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