Your labor, delivery, & birth can be one of the most important days of your life. Documenting it with photographs and/or video is a great way to be sure not to forget those most precious and amazing moments. Choosing a birth photographer can be tricky as it's a newer photography niche and it's a very personal experience.
Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a birth photographer:
1. Find someone with a body of work that you LOVE. Request to see full galleries of different types of births if possible (home, hospital, epidural, cesarean). We all shoot a little different, we all process a little different, and it's important that you're hiring someone that shoots and edits in a way that you enjoy.
2. Paying for experience is worth it! A seasoned birth photographer is a birth professional - we've seen it. We can keep our cool under pressure, we know the ins and outs of working with your birth team. We have clear plans in the case of an emergency, we have our childcare ready if we need it, we have back-ups in place.
3. Try to meet your birth photographer before you book her. Getting to know the people coming into your birth space before things get heavy can help you feel more comfortable and safe, vs. having a stranger with a camera waltzing in while you're hitting transition
4. Be clear about your expectations. While birth is wildly unpredictable, if your reaction is more important than crowning images, your photographer needs to be able to try to position herself to get the images that are a higher priority for you. Being clear about expectations of modesty is also extremely important - there are definitely ways to keep a birth story PGish if that's what you want, and a good, experienced photographer will respect that.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Your birth photographer is not a mind reader. If you have a history of precipitous labor, tell her. If you're having a VBAC, tell her. If you're in labor ... tell her! Seems simple, but it can be the simple things that get overlooked the fastest.
A professional birth and family photographer based in Simpsonville, Kentucky