by Shirley Anne, Professional Birth Photographer
Massachusetts is catching up to the idea of having a photographer during the labor and birth of a child to capture those first moments of life. A Birth Photographer is there to capture that first time you see your little one, the first moment you notice you are now a family (or a growing family) and also to document a strong woman/couple. The emotions that are lived through a birth of a child can never be relived and what better way to capture this moment than with pictures.
5 tips on hiring the perfect birth photographer for your family.
1 | Schedule a Quick Coffee Date
Meet up in person with the photographer prior to signing a contract.
I needed to mention this right from the get-go. Birth is such a private and intimate time that you need to know that you and the photographer are a perfect match. You and your partner need to feel comfortable with this person in order to have the best experience. Meeting with you and your partner should be one of the priorities of the photographer.
2 | Check their portfolio
Look at their portfolio, whether it is their first time shooting a birth or they’ve done various; you want to confirm their style of documenting a birth/life is similar to your expectations.
3 | Ask questions!
Example of questions:
- Knowledge of the birth process?
- What happens in case of an emergency?
- What kind of equipment they use?
- Do they use flash?
- How would they behave in specific situations with providers and/or nurses?
- When does their on-call period time start/finish?
- Will I be aware that you are in the room?
- What if you miss the birth?
All these questions will provide you with a clear view of what to expect. Also, having a photographer who will stay calm and professional during any type of situation is very important during a birth.
4 | Check your provider’s policies for Photography
Reach out to your hospital, ob-gyn, midwife, etc and confirm that there is no issue with birth photography and inform that you plan on hiring a Birth Photographer. If the parents are able to add you to their Birth Plan, even better. This was something that was advised by a fellow Birth Photographer in Maine, which I thought was perfect in order to prepare providers for your arrival.
5 | Check that their pricing goes with your budget
Discuss the investment of hiring a Birth Photographer from the beginning. The last thing you need is to be surprised during the birth or after the birth with additional costs. Birth Photography is definitely something very comparable to weddings when it comes to pricing. A few differences of Wedding Photography vs. Birth Photography is that you do not know the exact time or day you need to be at the birth, you need to be on call from 37 or 38 weeks up until the baby is born. The birth can last 2 hours or it can last 36 hours. Birth is very unpredictable, but regardless it is a moment to be captured and remembered forever.
Birth Photography is still very new in many states but, regardless, there is a group of photographers actively working to bring awareness to this important time and how beautiful it is to have it documented.
Shirley Anne is the owner of Shirley Anne Photography, mother of two and wife of a veteran of the Marine Corps. She finished her undergrad and grad in Social Work but decided to pursue her passion for Photography and Births n 2016.
Are you expecting? Read up on how to prepare HERE