Most births aren't scheduled- how do you get there in time?
This part is tricky, and the planner in me freaks out a little bit at the thought of scheduling a photo shoot that can literally happen at any moment. I've worked along with clients to let them know what I expect of them so they can help me get there in time. Giving me updates at the last few doctor appointments, keeping me in the loop when they start having contractions, and letting me know when their intuition tells them I should get to the hospital! It's definitely a unique photographer-client relationship that I LOVE, just because birth and pregnancy are just amazing and cool to me.
I feel weird about being so vulnerable with a stranger!
Ok, this isn't a question, but it's worth addressing! There is no doubt that this is one of the most vulnerable times in your life. You're literally hanging all-out and things might happen beyond your control that you think you'll be embarassed about. I'm a mom to two young kids, so both of my births (one c-section and one all-natural VBAC!) are very fresh in my mind. Nothing you do will make me feel uncomfortable, and your choice peak-contraction swear words are safe with me! The bottom line is- your nurses will be strangers, but you trust them because they are there to provide a service you trust, and so would I!
How long will you be at my birth?
I do ask that you keep me updated as soon as you start feeling contractions, and I will usually arrive at the hospital once you are 6 or 7 cm dilated (depending on travel time) to make sure I get the labor photos and am there on time for delivery. I will stay up to two hours after you give birth, and that will be at your disgression at that time. If things aren't progressing, we will discuss our options depending on what is going on.
Are you going to post my images?
Only discrete photos are shared, with your permission, on my social media sites and my blog. I encourage you to give me permission to post the images you're comfortable with, because they give my prospective clients a good idea of why birth photos are something they want! Somewhere along the line, you saw a birth photo that captured your attention and inspired you to have this service for your own birth. I would never use a photo of sensitive nature without your expressed permission.
Can't my partner just take pictures?
They sure can! But hiring a separate person (hello!) to photograph your birth ensures that nothing is missed. Your partner can focus their attention to helping you, your doula can be fully present and ready to help you with whatever you need, and your mom can enjoy this moment with you and her new grand-baby without having her iPhone in front of her face! It ensures all the little moments your best friend might not think of get photographed. The photos I take during your birth are an artform, the depiction of a memory. They deserve to be the best quality and cared for by someone whose passion it is to capture the essence of a memory.
Should I ask my doctor for permission to have you there?
Yes! I will definitely cover this in our conversation, but you need to get permission from your doctor and birth facility in advance! It is also helpful to let me know if there is anything I'm not allowed to photograph. Some have policies that include no photos of delivery (pushing, crowning) and I'd like to be aware of those things so I don't push any buttons. Also consider how many support people you're allowed to have in the room- it may be limited and I would hate to find that out at 7 cm dilated!