Birth | Should you hire a birth photographer | How to choose the ONE

Photographer

Hiring a birth photographer

There are a many precious moments that make up a life, one of which is the day your child is born. If you know me, you know that I have a very deep and strong passion for pregnancy and birth. Along with this passion comes my love of documenting these memorable occasions. I have documented each of my kids pregnancy, had the maternity shoot and not so newborn shoot. I update our family photo’s as much as I’m able to because I want to hold onto every little stage of their lives.

Maternity Photography

Why would you choose to have a birth photographer?

  • Details are easy to forget
  • You want your partner fully involved in the birth and not distracted by camera angles
  • Memories folks

Confession: I binge watch births on YouTube daily, from birth photographers video’s to parents sharing their experiences. There’s just something so beautiful, sacred and magical about a baby being born. Every time I’m blown away by God’s little miracles.

Questions to ask a potential birth photographer

How many births have you captured?

Packages and pricing?

Hiring a birth photographer isn’t cheap, but having the moments captured is a true investment.

Being a birth photographer requires true dedication and skill, having an understanding of birth and putting your life on hold while on call to ensure that your baby’s birth is captured. But your birth process doesn’t just start and end of the day of labour or prepping for theatre for them.

A birth photographer has to:

  • Prepare for the birth
  • Has to pack and sort equipment
  • Will wait by your side with your partner during the process experiencing all the highs and lows of birth
  • Captures your child’s birth, their first breath, their first cry, the first time you see your child (a lot is riding on this person being on top of their game on the day)
  • They then go home and starts the editing process (which takes hours and days of work)

Birth

Birth is sometimes not the most glamorous of situations in a poorly lit environment and cramped space (birth photographers have their place and try their best to keep out of everyone’s way which often leaves them and their equipment in a corner or dodging staff with grace and great skill).

Being a birth photographer also comes with sacrifice, so next time you’re thinking of knocking one of these ladies down because of their pricing take a moment to think about what they actually do.

Will we meet before the birth?

I think its definitely a must to meet with your birth photographer prior to your baby’s birth. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have and sign the required documentation. Facilities have documents which need to be completed by both the parents and birth photographer (also permission needs to be given by your Doc, Midwife, Anaesthetist, Doula who will be part of your birth team).

Are you comfortable with capturing different types of births (i.e. home birth, natural vaginal birth, caesarian birth)?

A good birth photographer blends into your birth team, allowing your birth to be special and non-judgmental.  All personal preferences are left at the door, your birth photographer should respect and understand this. They capture what they need to capture while respecting the work of your birthing team. Select someone who is open to all birthing options.

NVB*: Do you take pictures of the whole labor and birth? 

NVB*: When do you show up? How long will you stay? What if I have a long labor?

Are you on call for my birth?

You may go into labour at any time, so it is important to find someone who has a flexible schedule and is on call for your birth (at least 2 week before and after).

What if I have an emergency caesarian birth? Will you still capture the birth?

CB*: When do you show up? How long will you stay? 

Do you have a back up birth photographer? What if you miss the birth?

In the event your birth goes earlier or later than expected, in the event of sickness or a family emergency, make sure your photographer has a plan in place.

*NVB: Natural vaginal birth 
*CB: Caesarian birth

You can find more information and a directory of photographers in South Africa on the South Africa Birth Photographers Association’s site

What birth photography is not:

  • It’s not explicit. Not intrusive. Not posed. Not about a shot-list. Not cheap.

Picture credit: SABPA – The ideal birth photographer

 

Remember however you choose to celebrate this magical occasion is your choice.

I have personally chosen to have a birth photographer for this pregnancy as this will be my last pregnancy and I want every moment of this little girls birth captured.

Have you been following my latest pregnancy series? If not you can read about my pregnancy skincare routine, planning a gentle cesarean, the magical hour.

Did you have a birth photographer capture your child’s birth? Leave a comment below sharing your experience.

4 Comments

  1. BEST decision we ever made was to hire a birth photographer! The photos and video are now our most treasured possessions and our 2 year old loves watching the video! Can’t wait until she’s actually able to fully understand the miracle that was her birth

    • How did you husband react to wanting a birth photographer? Mine is still unsure about having someone else present but much more open to the idea. See I want those memories.
      With baby 1 – I have 2 pics (one of the Doctor holding him and one of him being weighed)
      With baby 2 – I have a few (Doctor holding him, hubby holding him, doing all the checks)
      This time around I want everything documented.

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