Frequently Asked Questions about Birth Photography and Videography in Red Deer and Central Alberta
Why should I hire a birth photographer?
Of course, as a birth photographer myself, I am a bit biased on this. But as a mom, I can tell you, I cherish the photos I have from the birth day of our second and third children, and truly regret not having any photos from the birth day of our first child. These images are so powerful, and I feel passionately that birth photography is just as worthy of an investment as wedding photography! Just like a wedding, a child’s birth is a life event that you will have etched into your heart for life, but the details grow foggy so quickly. So often when I deliver birth galleries, families point out details I was able to capture that they didn’t even know was happening at the time, and thank for me for helping them remember their story more clearly. Birth photography is an incredible way to process your birth experience, as well as to have these beautiful images of your baby’s first moments to treasure for life.
Do you share our images or films?
That completely depends on whether or not you want me to share them. Of course, as a birth photographer, I think all birth stories are immensely beautiful and deserve to be seen and appreciated… But I also understand that some families would like to keep their images or films private. That is totally okay! We will discuss your preferences when we meet during your pregnancy, and I will check in with you again after your baby’s birth, once I deliver any images. I never share or use any images, video clips, or films without obtaining your permission first.
When should we book you?
As soon as possible, if possible! Clients often book me months in advance, and I am only able to accept a few births per month.
How many birth clients do you take per month?
I will take 4 birth clients per month at maximum, but ideally I prefer to keep it to 1-3 to prevent overlaps and to be able to give my full care and attention to each client.
How long have you worked in the birth industry?
6 years now! I trained with DONA as a birth doula in January 2014. In 2017 I took the Essence of Birth course by Birth Becomes Her, certified with them as a birth photographer, and switched the focus of my business specifically to birth photography (though I do still offer doula support, and I don’t think I can ever “take my doula hat off”!). In 2018 I took the Birth Film workshop with Everyday Films to be able to provide videography services in addition to still photography.
What if I go into labour before your on-call time?
My “on-call” time (which is from 38 weeks until birth) means that I am prepared and ready to come 24/7 – phone on loud, charged, and with me at all times, camera gear ready to go, childcare on standby, and no far trips out of town. However, I am committed to attending your birth (even outside of that on-call time), and barring any extreme circumstances, I will still be there. In the event that I cannot make it, I will send one of my professional backup birth photographers to take my place – but rest assured, this is very rare (so rare in fact, that I have not yet ever had to do so).
When do you arrive?
This will greatly depend on your unique birthing history and the situation at hand, but in general, I like to arrive once you are in established active labour. If your care provider is doing cervical checks, this tends to be around 6cm dilated. Another good rule of thumb is when you can no longer talk through contractions, and they have been steadily increasing in intensity, duration, and frequency. With that being said, I will come whenever you ask me to, as a mother’s intuition knows best. I will also heavily stress this when we meet during your pregnancy, but solid communication is a must! Please contact me at the first signs of labour, even if you don’t think things are progressing yet. The better educated I am on what exactly is happening with your body, the more prepared I can be, and the sooner I can get to you once it is time to come.
What if I have a planned or unplanned cesarean?
I wholeheartedly believe all birth stories are beautiful and worthy of being documented. I cannot guarantee operating room coverage, as most local hospital policy only allows for one OR support person (which, generally, would be your spouse). However, I can capture the “before and after”, and if you choose I can set my camera to a modified auto-mode to send it in with your husband/partner, and include the images they are able to capture as part of your story. I still highly recommend bringing birth photography up in conversation with you care provider both ahead of time and at your birth, and advocating for your wishes!
What if you miss the birth?
Again, this has not yet happened, but I know precipitous birth can be a reality! As I talked about earlier, solid communication is a must to ensure that I arrive at an optimal time. However, I know birth is wildly unpredictable, and things happen. My aim is to tell your story regardless of how it unfolds. In the event that you have a very fast labour and birth, I will still come to your place of birth and document your story. This may mean staying a bit longer postpartum to provide you with the same size gallery you would have received with a longer labour, or even coming back the next day to make up for missed coverage if needed.
How long do you stay after the birth?
I generally stay 1-2 hours after your baby is born. My aim is to capture those first precious bonding moments and the newborn exam, and leave once you are settled and ready for some rest. If you are in need of further coverage (arrival of siblings or grandparents, for example), let me know, and we can add it to your package.
How many images will we receive?
I deliver all of the images that I deem usable – you can expect between 100-250 professionally edited, high-resolution images. The exact number will depend on the length and details of your birth story.
When will we receive our images?
I deliver a handful of images (perfect for announcements!) in the first 24 hours postpartum. The full gallery will be finished within 2-3 weeks of your baby’s birth.
How can we make this investment more manageable for our budget?
Birth photography is an investment, for sure. Not only are you investing in these images or videos, but you are also investing in a birth professional you can count on to be dedicated to your birth day! I do have some options to make the investment a bit easier to budget. Many of my clients pay in installments, with the full balance being due by 37 weeks. Payment plans are totally fine by me. I also offer a gift registry option – your family and friends are eager to spoil you at this exciting time, and this is a great way for them to contribute toward a gift you will truly treasure for life! If you are another local small business owner, I am always willing to discuss bartering or trading services, as well. I promise you this investment is worth it!
We're ready to hire you! How do we proceed?
It is such an honour every time I am chosen to be a part of a family’s birth team. Thank you so much for choosing me! Usually me and families meet once before booking for a consultation to get to know each other better – this step is not necessary, but it’s always nice to put a face to a name! Once you are ready to book, I send over my custom booking proposal that will walk you through package and payment details, provide you with a questionnaire to fill out, and allow you to sign our contract. Once I receive your retainer fee, your due date is officially secured in my calendar! If you would like to book a consultation, or if you are ready to secure your spot and would like me to send your booking proposal, please send me a message via Facebook, e-mail, or my contact form here on my website.