You’re expecting a new baby, and you’ve decided to hire a birth photographer. Birth photography is a beautiful way to capture the moments your child enters the world, and their first few moments with you. The first time you see your baby, their new little footprints, meeting big brother for the first time… those moments are precious and deserve to be captured!
Birth photography is growing rapidly, and everyday there are more and more portrait photographers eager to become birth photographers. There are so many choices out there! How do you find the right photographer for you? What should you ask your potential birth photographer?
I put together a list of questions that will hopefully help you find the perfect match for your birth.
1) Have you photographed a birth before? I know this seems obvious. Someone could be a great natural light photographer, but this does not automatically make them a great birth photographer. There are so many elements of photographing birth that differentiates it from a portrait session. Make sure the photographer you hire is an experienced BIRTH photographer.
2) How many births have you photographed?
3) Do you have experience shooting in ALL lighting situations? What if the room is pitch black when the baby is born? Birth is unpredictable! Lights go on, then off suddenly. Sometimes mom wants all the lights off, with only a few candles nearby. In that situation, would your photographer be able to provide quality photographs?
4) Do you carry back up equipment? Memory cards fail. Batteries lose power. Cameras die. Lenses fail. Your photographer, just like a wedding photographer, should come prepared with back ups for EVERYTHING. You do not get a second chance to have your baby’s birth photographed.
5) Do you have children? If so, what are your daycare arrangements for them when I go into labor? This is an important one. You will find a lot of birth photographers are also moms themselves. If it’s 3am when you need them to come to your birth, who is going to keep their children?
6) Do you have business insurance, liability insurance, and a business license? These documents ensure you’re working with a true professional. You should also ask about a contract. A professional birth photographer will have terms and conditions in place.
7) Will we meet before the birth? Meeting your photographer before your birth is important. You (and your partner) want to feel comfortable with your photographer as well as communicate your thoughts and requests before you’re in labor.
8) What happens if you miss my birth? A professional birth photographer will not plan a vacation or trip around your due date. Also, make sure to ask if they have backup photographers available if they’re ill or for some reason unable to attend you birth.
9) Will my photos be posted online? Birth photography is very private and intimate. A professional birth photographer will never post anything online without your permission. Trust is a huge factor in choosing a birth photographer.
10) What are your prices and what does it include? Pricing is a main concern for most people looking to hire a birth photographer. As with many situations, cheaper is not always better. You want a photographer with experience, confidence and the ability to attend and photograph your birth professionally.
If quality birth photography is important to you, but it’s not something you can afford- consider bartering! Do you have a skill, trade or small business? It doesn’t hurt to ask!