"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
— Elizabeth Stone
Why birth photography?
Birth photography is an art in and of itself. It combines the artistry of photography with the artistry of birth work. It is still vastly underrated and is something that I recommend for anyone preparing to bring new life into the world. It’s not just about the pictures. It’s about the experience. The memories. The moments that you won’t get back.
You shouldn’t be stressed out about who’s going to be there to take quality photos of your baby entering this world. Your support person– whether it be your spouse, your mom, your sister, or WHOEVER else– shouldn’t have to sacrifice a second of their time supporting you because their eyes are focused behind a camera.
That’s where I come in.
I’m here to give you so.much.more. than pictures. I’m here to give you the opportunity to be PRESENT for your baby’s birth. I’m here to ensure that every person that you’ve chosen to witness your baby’s birth can be present too. The heirloom-quality photos that you’ll be able to share for generations to come are the added plus. I promise that you won’t regret that.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER?
Oh if I could only give you one reason. My biggest reasons are this-- YOU should be present for your baby's birth. YOUR PARTNER should be present for your baby's birth. YOU BOTH should have heirloom-quality photographs to remember the biggest days of your lives. YOUR CHILDREN and YOUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN (etc.) will love and appreciate them one day.
Speaking for myself, and countless of other parents whom I've gotten to know over the past couple of years, I don't have professional quality photos of my children from the days that they were born. I have low-quality, non-artistic, most-likely phone pics of each of my children's birthdays. They were taken by my husband & family members when they got the chance to snap some in-between also acting as my support people. I can't tell you how many times I have wished that I could go back in time and make birth photography "a thing" so that I could receive those beautiful images that I am delivering to my clients today.
WHY IS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY SO EXPENSIVE?
Birth photography blends the artistry of photography with birth work and the unpredictability of a life lived on-call. While I understand that it is a significant investment, I do offer flexible payment plan options and the ability to create your own gift registry, at no extra cost. Please contact me directly for more details.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER?
Every photographer is different but if you ask me, I would book as soon as you find out that you're expecting and have decided that birth photography is for you! Due to the nature and unpredictability of on-call life, I am only able to take 1-2 births per month. For the same reasons, if I have a wedding booked in a certain month, I am unable to book births in that same month. That means I only shoot around a dozen (or less) births per year! If I were you, I would secure your baby's birth month before anyone else does.
HOW MUCH DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH?
I will photograph as much or as little as you want me to! I typically arrive at your birth space while you are in active labor and stay until 1-2 hours postpartum. As far as details that are photographed— I leave that ball completely in your park! I will only photograph what you are comfortable with— all of which we will go over during our in-person consultations.
DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH THE BABY COMING OUT?
This is probably the most frequently asked question! If you are comfortable with me photographing your baby the very moment that he or she is entering this world, then yes! That moment is what birth is all about and it is an honor when I am granted the right to document it. However, I COMPLETELY understand if that is not something that you want! I will ONLY photograph that in which you are comfortable with.
WHAT IF I GO INTO LABOR EARLY?
My prices include me being on on-call status beginning at 38 weeks gestation just in case you happen to go into labor prior to 40 weeks. This DOES NOT mean that if you go into labor prior to that, you're without a birth photographer. It simply means that it might take me a little longer to get to you once its time. In the extremely rare event that I am unavailable, arrangements will be made. If you are a momma who knows that she's prone to delivering early, I simply adjust my schedule to accommodate you.
WHAT IF MY LABOR IS REALLY LONG?
A lot of labors are! My prices include full birth photography coverage for the entire duration of your active labor through 1-2 hours postpartum. That means that whether you're in labor for 2 hours or 24+ hours— I am there.
WHAT IF I HAVE A C-SECTION?
In the event that you happen to need a cesarean, it is sometimes still an option for me to photograph in the operating room! This is something that you should definitely talk over with your physician prior to your baby's birthday. In the event that I am unable to enter the operating room with you, I am 100% okay with handing my camera over to your support person to photograph your baby's entrance into the world. I will simply photograph everything up until that point in time and will take over again once you're in recovery.
DO YOU SERVICE MY BIRTH LOCATION?
I most commonly service Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Guthrie Corning Hospital, and home-births within 20 miles of Elmira, New York. If you plan on giving birth elsewhere, please reach out to me!
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOCTOR, HOSPITAL, OR MIDWIFE ALLOWS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
I definitely recommend talking to your doctor or midwife prior to your delivery day to see if they allow a birth photographer to be present! I have found that most do not have a problem with it but it is still important to let your care provider know of your wishes to having me be present, just in case.
I'M AFRAID OF WHAT MY BIRTH WILL LOOK LIKE
Society makes us feel as though we need immaculate birth spaces, 'picture-perfect' bodies, and suppression in order for our stories to be worthy of documentation but that's simply not true. The reality of birth is that it's not pretty. Birth is blood, body fluids, sweat, and tears. It is nudity, intensity, and unpredictability. It is the epitome of vulnerability, and you are completely valid in your fears. Though birth is all of those things, it is also magic. It is power. It is my hope that I can use my camera as a vessel to show you that though birth isn't pretty per se— it is BEAUTIFUL. And that it, no matter what it looks like, deserves respect and celebration!
CAN WE MEET BEFORE I GIVE BIRTH?
Yes!! I encourage it! Your birth space is sacred and you should only have people present who define and respect that. It is so, so, SO important to me to be more than 'just your birth photographer.' I want to be your friend and someone who you can lean on for support if and when you need to. When it comes to birth photography, I am always a birth worker first and a photographer second.
With that being said, I schedule an in-person consultation at the time that you book me, and another in-person consultation when you have reached 37 weeks gestation. I also have no problem exchanging phone numbers so that we can keep in touch via text. I find that the better our communication, the better the birth experience :)
I DON'T WANT TO SHARE MY BIRTH PHOTOS PUBLICLY. CAN I STILL HIRE YOU?
Absolutely!! Many of my clients wish to keep their photos private. You have complete say in which photos you would like me to share, whether that's all, none, or some. We go over all of this during our in-person consultations and again once you receive your gallery.
I WANT A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER BUT MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER DOESN'T
This makes me so sad! But unfortunately, it is something that I hear all.the.time.
I'm not here to step on toes or pick fights but I AM here hoping that Dad's will at the very least hear me out! So DADS— you and your partner have spent/will spend the next nine months cooking and prepping for the single, most important journey of your life. Your partner has spent/will spend the next 9-10+ months sacrificing her body and mind so that she can give you life. There are no words to describe the incredible changes that you both are going to experience in the days to come. If your partner would like a birth photographer— let her hire a freaking birth photographer!!
I know that you think it's not necessary. I know that you think your mom or your sister can just snap some photos on their phone for you. I know that you think that it's weird to have an extra person looking at your partner's body. I know that it feels intrusive. I know that you don't want to spend the money on it. I KNOW IT and I GET IT. BUT. I also know that I am here to give you SO much more than low-quality phone pics. I am here to give you high-quality, heirloom-worthy art of your family. I am educated and have had adequate practice shooting in birth spaces. All of my photos are also taken on top-of-the-line gear and individually hand-edited before you even see them. Once finished, they are ready for photo albums and are forever able to be printed at just about any size that you could imagine, without their quality ever being stretched or distorted.
Most importantly, I am here to give you the opportunity to be present for your baby's birth! I'm here to ensure that your mom, your sister, or whoever else you have chosen to witness your baby's birth can be present too. Not a single one of you, especially your partner, should be worried about who is going to be there to document the magic of this day. And guess what? If one of those special people is busy taking photos— they won't be IN the photos! All of your people should be in these photos. Seriously, every.single.one.
Lastly, I want to note that your baby's birthday is a day that you will never get back. We're not talking annual Christmas photos here. We're not talking 'Oh if we don't do this-this year, we'll try for it again next year.' No. Once your baby is born, there are no replays or do-overs. Please don't make your partner, who has already sacrificed everything, spend her entire life wishing that you would have let her have this. I've met so many couples (myself & my husband included) who have said that they wish they would have hired a birth photographer— I've never met a couple who has said that they wish they hadn't. I promise that you won't regret it.
DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?
I do! Birth photography is so special but I understand that it's a significant investment. My wish is that it can be attainable for everyone. I offer flexible payment plans for this reason. Payment plans can be weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, or whatever works best for you to ensure that you don't miss out on this incredible opportunity.
I also offer gift registry options at no cost. Gift registries are an awesome option for baby shower gifts, push presents and all of those 'What do you still need?!' requests. Please contact me directly for more details!
DO YOU EVER WORK PRO-BONO FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES?
I do! While it is not something that I am able to offer frequently, I do take on quite a bit of pro-bono work, with exceptions. If you are interested in hiring me as your birth photographer but my prices are simply not doable for you, please don’t let it deter you from reaching out to me! In some cases, we are able to work something out.
THE IDEA OF BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY STILL WEIRDS ME OUT
That's OKAY! Birth photography isn't for everyone. Thankfully, there are still quite a few options to ensure that you still get amazing, quality photos of this exciting time in your life! Fresh 48 sessions are amazing for documenting details of your hospital stay (usually done the day following birth) while in-home newborn sessions are great for capturing more intimate portraits.
WHAT IS A FRESH 48 SESSION?
A Fresh 48 Session is a photo session that documents the details of your hospital stay, once you've been moved out of Labor & Delivery. It is usually done within the first 48 hours of giving birth, while you are still in the hospital. Fresh 48 Sessions are great for capturing those classic bassinet photos, details of your hospital room, baby snuggles, and the sweet meeting of family members. Fresh 48 sessions are included in my full birth coverage package but can also be scheduled by themselves for those who are not wanting their birth story documented.