What is Birth Photography?

The birth of your baby is one of the most amazing, exciting, challenging, exhausting, awe-inspiring, emotional, and joyous events you will ever experience during your lifetime!

As a professional birth photographer, I am there to capture, in documentary-style,  the story of your baby’s journey into your arms.  From the smallest detail of your labor–the quiet moments, glances, smiles, touches, fears, laughs, joy and tears–to your baby’s first breath, these are the moments I am honored and humbled to capture for you!   Clients have commented that the photos they have of their child’s birth day and the visual reminders of the emotions experienced that day are some of their most prized earthly posessions.

The memories of these moments will fade over time, but the photos captured for you of your baby’s birth and the day they joined your family will be an heirloom you’ll treasure and share for generations to come!

Why should I hire a Professional Birth Photographer?

Many clients relate that the reasons they want to hire a professional for their baby’s birth day are essentially the very same reasons they wouldn’t dream of hiring less than a professional photographer for their wedding day–these are once-in-a-lifetime, can-never-get-them-back again moments that happen in the blink of an eye.  Your baby only takes one first breath…  you only get one chance to meet for the very first time!

As far as photography goes, the birth environment can be one of the most technically challenging environments to work in!  Quite often, moms-to-be prefer a dimly lit space for their labor and birth.  This poses a challenge for non-professional grade equipment like cell-phones and consumer grade cameras and can often lead to blurry, dark or hazy images.  The equipment I own and bring with me to every birth is professional grade–including top notch lenses that allow me to take beautiful images with or without the need for flash.  As someone who has spent years studying and learning the art of photography, I am confidant in manipulating my equipment to capture these priceless moments beautifully– regardless of whatever type of birth environment you may have.

I plan to have other support people there with me.  Can’t they just take the pictures for me?

I’m so glad you asked!  In addition to what I’ve listed above, one of my absolute favorite things about being a Birth Photographer is getting to watch fathers, mothers, friends or other support people fully focused on being there FOR and WITH the person they love so much (you!)  instead of being stuck behind a camera lens.

Many support people have related to me after a birth how much of a relief and joy it was to not worry about capturing or missing the important moments, and how freeing it was instead to actually be a PART of them!

So, while I of course think it’s fine for support people to take occasional pictures throughout the process, it’s always very rewarding to see them instead focused on supporting you both physically and emotionally because I am there taking care of the rest!

Do we meet before the birth?

Yes, definitely! I think it’s very important for us to meet and get to know each other a bit before hiring me as your birth photographer.  I’d love to hear all about what your wishes and desires are for your birth and how I can help capture these moments for you.

These laid-back consultation meetings take place at a local coffee shop where we can sit back, relax and chat freely.  Other support people are welcomed and encouraged to attend!

I’m a pretty private/modest person.  Will you be posting my images online?

Birth is such a deeply personal and individual experience that I completely understand the desires of those who would rather keep these intimate moments private.  I have photographed many birth sessions that were never shared anywhere online and were for the client’s eyes only.  Your birth is just that–YOUR birth, and as my client, I am there to document it for YOU.

Whether or not you are comfortable allowing me to share your images is something that we will discuss in greater detail during your consultation meeting.  If you are comfortable with me sharing, please know that I always err on the side of modesty and keep the images I share  “G”-rated.

How long should I wait to call you if I think I’m in labor?

Great question!  Typically, the sooner you can give me notice that you think this might “be it” the better!  Even if it’s the middle of the night, don’t be afraid to contact me, or worry that it may turn out to be a false alarm.  As a mom myself, the more heads up I have, the better I’m able to have my kids taken care so that I can head your way asap!

While “on call” for your birth, my camera bags and equipment are always packed and ready to go and I have my phone on me at all times!

When do you arrive at the birth?  How long do you stay?

My aim is to arrive during active labor (typically around 5-6cm dilated) and I stay up to 3 hours after baby’s arrival to document all of those meaningful “first” moments for you…the first time holding baby, feeding baby, first time siblings and other family members meet baby, images of the baby being weighed, measured, bathed, etc.

I am ever mindful of my client’s comfort level during this precious bonding time and when I can tell that the birth high is wearing off and exhaustion is kicking in, that’s my cue to give you and your new family the space you need to rest and have that much needed alone time.

What if I require a C-section?

Regardless of whether or not a C-section is planned or unplanned, it is up to each individual client to speak with their care provider prior to baby’s birth about any policies they may have–for, OR against–allowing additional support people in the operating room.

Many providers only allow one support person into the operating room during C-sections.  If that is the case and I am not allowed to be with you in the OR, I will hand my camera over to your support person so they may continue capturing photos during baby’s actual birth, but I encourage clients to advocate for their wishes to have me present with them in the OR with their care provider.

What if I go into labor before 38 weeks?

As your birth photographer, I am officially “on call” for your birth from 38 weeks until you go into labor.  This means that my bags and equipment are always packed and ready to go, my phone is with me at all times, I do not travel out of town and often my husband and I will drive separate vehicles when leaving the house to ensure that I am able to leave at a moments notice to head to your birth place.

While I cannot make any guarantees of my availability before I officially go on call for you at 38 weeks, I encourage you to call me as soon as you know labor is starting.  Depending on the circumstance, I may still be able to come!

Have you ever missed a birth?

I’ve had a couple of close calls, but so far, I have been VERY fortunate to have made every one of my client’s births.  The closest I’ve come to missing a birth was within 15 minutes of delivery!

I cannot emphasize this enough….as SOON as you think it may be the real deal, give me a call.  Better to be too early, than too late!

What if I change my mind during the birth?

I have the sincerest, and utmost respect for the birthing space of laboring moms and do my very best to be a fly on the wall and as unobtrusive as I can be throughout your birth.  Many clients have told me afterwards that they couldn’t believe the images I had captured because they barely even noticed I was there!  One client went so far as to call me the ninja photographer  (Awesome!)

That said, if at any time you feel that you need some private time, I will be more than happy to honor that request and will step out and give you the space and privacy you need.  I am there to support you first and foremost and I will respect your wishes.

How many images can I expect?

Depending on the length of your labor and how long I stay afterwards, you can expect to receive between 100 to 200 edited images from your birth.

Will my images be in color or in black and white?

I tend to prefer the beauty and natural look of color editing for birth images, so you can typically expect your images to be in color.  If your birth takes place in a very dim space however, without a lot of available light, more of your images may be edited in black & white as opposed to color.

Essentially, the finished product will depend mostly on the professional discretion of what effect I feel each individual image needs during the editing process.

Do you use flash?

While I have an external flash that I bring with me to every birth, I definitely prefer to work with the available light of the room when at all possible!  My ultimate goal is to be as unobtrusive to the process of your labor, and to baby, as I can be while still providing you with beautiful images of these moments.

Your preferences for lighting and the use of flash during your birth is one of the topics that we will discuss in much greater detail during our consultation meeting.

How soon can I expect to receive my images?

I know how exciting it is to finally announce the good news of your little one’s arrival!   With this in mind, I will provide 1-2 fully edited, web-sized/watermarked images from your birth session within 24 hours of baby’s arrival so that you have beautiful images to share with friends and family.

All of the images from your birth will be completely edited and ready for viewing within 2-3 weeks of baby’s arrival.

How far do you travel and what areas do you serve?

I am able to travel within a 60 minute radius of Waterloo, Iowa and provide Birth Photography services to the surrounding areas of North Eastern Iowa including Cedar Falls, Evansdale, Hudson, La Porte City, Waverly and many more.

Do you photograph hospital births or homebirths?

Both!  I’ve had the privilege of being at all different kinds of births:  homebirths, C-sections, natural hospital vaginal births, medicated hospital vaginal births, natural VBACs, inductions…you name it!  No one birth is the same and your birth will be a completely individual experience.  I am honored and blessed to capture them all!

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes I do!  Investing in a professional birth photographer is one of the best decisions you can make to ensure that these priceless, only-happen-once moments of your baby’s arrival and first day are beautifully preserved for generations to come.

Booking early during your pregnancy is encouraged for the full benefit of using a payment plan.

A 25% retainer is due at the time of booking with the balance of your package of choice due by the 38th week of pregnancy or prior to me going on call for you.

How soon should I hire you for my birth?

Because of the nature and unpredictability of birth, I am able to accommodate a very limited number of birth clients per month.  With this in mind, the earlier in your pregnancy that you can decide to hire me for your birth, the better the odds will be that I am available for your dates.

Do you offer other types of sessions?

I sure do!  My passion is focusing on the full spectrum of Motherhood through photography.  I offer Maternity Photography, preferably between 30 and 37 weeks pregnant, Lifestyle Newborn Photography within the comfort of your own home within the first month of your baby’s life, Gender Reveal and “We’re Expecting!” sessions.

Breastfeeding Photography Sessions and Babywearing sessions are also near and dear to my heart and are offered as Mommy & Me sessions.

Can I see samples of your work?

Absolutely!  Click on any of the icons shown below to visit my portfolio for that type of photography.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here?

I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have.  Drop me a note by using the contact form below!

Ready to Book your Baby’s Birth Date?

Great!  Let’s schedule a time to meet for coffee!  I’m so excited to work with you!