Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Are you considering hiring a birth photographer? I hope this blog will help you make up your mind.
Nearly 6 years ago I gave birth to my own little person, Emily. It was the most magical experience of my life. Not only did I create this wonderful little person but I created my own new little best friend. Back then I did not have a birth photographer but now I look back and wish I had someone there to capture the moments for me and the joy of her arrival.
So why hire a birth photographer? It is your baby's first day of life, the moment is timeless and priceless. You grew that tiny little person in your tummy for 9 months and faced the fears and excitement of birth head on. This must be celebrated and honoured.
So why commission Finding Light Photography to capture your baby's arrival? I know your baby's birth is a private and sacred event and I want to honour this incredible journey for you. Having given birth to my own baby I understand the fears and excitement it all involves. Birth is beautiful and can be portrayed beautifully. Photographs are always tasteful and respectful to both mommy, daddy and the medical team. I follow strict guide lines set out by your hospital of choice and always ensure these rules are followed. Each and every birth photographer should follow these rules not only for your safety and your baby's safety but also for the safety of each baby in the ward.
1. WHAT IS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
I think this is the perfect start off question and the answer is pretty simple. Birth Photography is the photographic coverage of a birth event. I cover the labour, delivery, bonding and first family meeting. Even in theatre all dressed up in scrubs and mask. Every moment is captured, labouring mommy, stressed out daddy, support team, baby's first breath and more. All medical practitioners involved in your baby's birth must be consulted and permission must be given first.
2. WHEN WILL YOU ARRIVE AND LEAVE?
For a vaginal birth, Birth Partners are expected to contact me as soon as labour is confirmed by a medical practitioner, be it a Midwife or Gynaecologist, so I know to start prepping. Once mommy reaches 5-6cm dilated I will need to be informed to come thru to the hospital. I will stay 1-2 hour after birth.
For a C-section birth, coverage will start 1 hour before mommy is due to be taken into theatre and usually 1-2 hours after mommy comes out of theatre.
3. WHAT PERMISSION IS NEEDED FROM THE DOCTORS?
A consent form needs to be completed and signed by you, your partner, Gynaecologist, midwife and any other medical practitioners involved in the birth of your baby. This form will need to be completed and returned to me 4 weeks before your due date. As a safe guard, just pop the signed form into your hospital bag as a backup. This is applicable to both vaginal and C-section births. Your hospital may also have their own form which we will complete on the day of your baby's delivery.
4. WHAT IF THE HOSPITAL DOESN'T ALLOW YOU INTO THE THEATRE?
Some hospitals have extremely strict rules regarding who can be present in the theatre. So if permission is not granted I will still arrive 1-2 hours before you are due to be taken to theatre and stay once you are back with your new baby, I will stay on for 1 hour. Your baby's arrival involves so many different aspects, theatre is only a small part of that. Daddy can capture the photographs of baby's arrival, the new family together and baby being weighed, I will do the rest.
5. HOW LONG DO YOU STAY?
Every birth is different, if you have a long birth I stay until baby is born regardless of how long it takes. If you are having a C-section, I will stay up to 2 hours after baby is born.
6. WHAT IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY C-SECTION?
If there are complications and it is decided to do an emergency C-section I will photograph your labour up until you are wheeled into theatre and stay on after baby is born for up to 2 hours. There is a chance that permission for me to enter the theatre will not be granted, if not I will still stay on 1-2 hours after baby is born. Unfortunately no refund is given in this case. If I do have permission I will be in theatre with you, scrubs and all.
7. AND IF YOU MISS THE BIRTH?
You are required to let me know as soon as mommy is in labour and you HAVE to let me know when mommy is 5-6cm dilated. If proper notice is not given and the actual birth is missed I will photograph moments after the birth, in this case no refund is given. If the birth is missed, due to my own fault a full refund is applicable. I do have an amazing second shooter that will be available if anything should arise so you are covered.
8. WHEN AND HOW DO WE BOOK?
I first recommend getting in touch with me. We will then discuss your birthing plan and I will send thru your consent form which you will take along to your next Gynea appointment. If we have permission and all is ready to go we then book your slot in. I also offer payment plans which are available on request, You're preggie for 9 months so you have 6-7 months to pay off the fee, a 25% deposit is first required to secure your booking if a payment plan is arrange. Otherwise a a 50% deposit is required. Fees need to be paid up in full 4 weeks before your due date.
9. DO YOU USE FLASH?
I am a natural light photographer and prefer not to use flash unless absolutely necessary. If you would like your baby born in dark (it needs to be understood that camera equipment can only be pushed so far which may affect the end result, if the room is to dark and flash is required the photographs may not be what you would like), I will adjust my settings as far as possible and if flash is needed I will first ask the medical practitioners. In the case of a C-section, flash is a definite NO NO!!
10. HOW MANY PHOTOGRAPHS WILL I GET AND HOW LONG DO THEY TAKE?
You will receive 50-100 digital photographs and I take 2-4 weeks to complete editing.
11. HOW WILL WE GET OUR PHOTOGRAPHS?
Photographs are uploaded on a gorgeous online gallery that can be shared with family and friends as you see fit. The high res photographs can be downloaded and printed.
12. HOW ABOUT BLACK&WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS?
I reserve the right to select which photographs will be processed in back and white. I do not duplicate photographs from colour to black and white. each photographs is unique and this is the same with the black and white images.
If you would like to book and you'd like to see some of my work you can visit www.findinglightphotography.co.za/births. I hope that this has answered just some of your questions, if not please do get into contract with me either by phone on 0844591662 or email me on email@example.com.