Birth photography is documentary in nature. I will not be posing anyone, but rather being a wallflower and capturing the moments of labour and birth as they unfold naturally. Because of the sometimes fast-paced nature of labour and birth, as well as the fact that I often have little control over which angles I am able to shoot from, I cannot guarantee any specific shots or video clips. I do not photograph or film medical procedures while they are being done in respect to the care provider (this includes: membranes being ruptured, epidurals being placed, etc). My main focus is you, your partner, your baby, and the emotions of labour and birth. As birth can be so unpredictable, so can the lighting situation. I will do my best to work with the lighting provided, however, if lighting is dim and I notice photos and/or video clip quality is being affected, I may subtly adjust lighting. If I think the lighting situation warrants it, and that it may improve photographic quality, I may bounce flash for photos. Bouncing flash means that a 1/128 of a second burst of light will be emitted from my speedlight atop my camera body, which will be aimed at the ceiling or wall (not aimed at you). This briefly illuminates the room with a neutralized light. I do try to shoot conservatively (rather than snapping away), so as to minimize any distraction. This will be discussed beforehand as well, but if at any time you would like me to stop bouncing flash, just ask. For birthing attire, I highly recommend Gracefully Birthed garments. I have 3 two-piece water birthing outfits available for my client’s use at no extra charge (one set each in magenta, navy, and black). Comfortable bralettes are also a good option, and of course, a hospital provided gown is another common option. After the baby is born, I generally stay for two hours. I try to document the newborn exam/first weight and measurement, baby’s first breastfeed, and leave once you and your family are settled and ready for quiet time. I understand that birth is an intimate event, and for this reason, I only share photos/videos on social media/my website that have been approved by you.
For cesarean births, I will arrive at the hospital before you go in the OR to document preparation and the “before baby” part of your story. If able, I will accompany you to the OR and document the birth, however, local hospital policy only allows one support person in the OR. If I cannot accompany you into the OR, I will still remain at the hospital. I will then document you and your family for the first few hours after baby is born.
A fresh 48 session is a photo session done within the first 24-48 hours after baby’s birth. Keeping communication with me is very important – though I am not fully on-call like I would be for birth photography, I am still “soft on-call”, meaning the session date and time will of course be chosen very last minute, depending on when you give birth. This session is more of a lifestyle session – me capturing you (and other immediate family members such as your partner or baby’s siblings, if present) interacting with each other candidly, and the sweet new details of your fresh baby. I recommend bringing a solid colour t-shirt in your hospital bag for dad/partner if he will be in the photos (I recommend against wearing shirts with big logos or words). For mom, a nice robe or nightgown looks simple and pretty, and you can bring a special swaddle blanket for baby too if you’d like, as well as any hair bows or wraps (though I will be sure to get plenty of baby’s uncovered head too, if so!). If you have had a home birth, or if for other reasons this session will be taking place in your home rather than the hospital, I generally make use of the living room, master bedroom, and baby’s nursery (if baby has one).
For milk/herbal bath sessions, I will provide the needed materials such as flowers and milk or herbs. I also bring some electric “flameless” candles and some lace garments, but feel free to bring any of your own garments to wear. We will discuss exact colour details together beforehand, but generally it is best to wear white or nude bra and panties (or black, if our colour scheme is darker and if we will be using black lace). These sessions are done in your home, in your bathtub, and are best done during the daytime when there is ample natural light.
For family/couples/maternity sessions, I do not bring any props. These sessions are generally done outdoors at sunset hour for golden light, but can also be done in-home during daylight hours if you would prefer. I recommend that families wear coordinating (not matching) colours in solids or subtle prints, and for clothes to be free of words or distracting logos. Please feel free to message me so I can help you with outfit configuration! For maternity sessions, I can help you coordinate a beautiful handmade gown rental from JH Gowns or Chelsea Celeste Designs. These gown rentals average $40 and I will provide complimentary pickup and dropoff of the gown. If we will be using a gown, please still come in your regular clothes, and we can do an outfit change halfway through the session.