The mystery behind birth photography
If you've made it this far good chance this is for you!
Birth photography may not be something you commonly hear about or it may be and you know nothing about it. I honestly knew nothing about birth photography or much about birth itself up until February of this year, after experiencing it for the VERY first time! Trust me before it was a terrifying thought of someone being in the room photographing a baby being born. Women generally have a lot of insecurities, so for most women the thought of someone photographing them in a very vulnerable moment equals a automatic NO!
This is were Birth Photography comes into play, and why we believe its an essential step in pregnancy.
1. Why is Birth Photography such an investment?
I mean let's get this one out of the way, because no one likes to talk about money!
Education: Anyone literally anyone can pick up a camera to be a birth photographer. But, i want to make sure that when you are saving to invest with us you know its not just someone with a camera. You know that I have taken the time to do everything i can to ensure that you are getting the best level of expertise and quality, from your investment. That being said since i do not only do birth photography, i will capture video as well i took the time to become a certified BBH Certified Birth Photographer. We have taken online classes in both Birth photography and birth film, by some of the most amazing birth photographers in the world.
Time: Time is Huge when it comes to photography in generally, but especially birth photography. There is a very common mis understanding with how much time really goes into photography.
Lifestyle: Being a birth photographer, means you're living a unique lifestyle. In most cases for 4 weeks if not more you're on-call....
Photography is mostly about value, I never lose sleep when a potential client finds my prices a little too high. I know I've done my best to create pricing that is both livable for me in the long run and is equal to the quality I deliver with every session. It simply means that in the season they are in or even the interests that they have , they aren't at a place where they value the photography
2. Time: This is a huge one! A lot of people mis understand how much time goes into photography. And births are the most unpredictable form of photography I can think of. They can last anywhere from 3 hours to 30 hours. They require not just a flexible schedule but long hours that are often taxing. Pricing for birth photography reflects the flexibility we have to have so that we can be by your side constantly through the ups and downs of birth and then of course the editing. For the birth photography I create I try and allot at least 2 hours of editing to every 1 hour photographing. So as you can imagine that can be a lot of hours.
3. Lifestyle: Birth photographers live a very special type of lifestyle. It's unpredictable, exhausting, exciting and dedicated. When we take on a birth that means we are putting our routines on hold for up to 4 weeks or more. We often sacrifice family time and family obligations to be with you when baby decides it's their birth day. We definitely for-go a lot of sleep trying to stay half awake waiting for a text telling us that "you're in active labor" and we rarely take a good long vacation. For me I wouldn't have it any other way but to be honest my pricing has to reflect that lifestyle. Unlike other types of portrait photography these sessions can neither be planned or rescheduled, they happen on their own beautiful timeline and as birth photographers we make sacrifices to live this lifestyle.
4. Running a Full time Photography Business: A big part of my personal journey into birth photography didn't come when I fell in love with birth. I had been in love with birth for so many years before I could truly start offering birth photography regularly. This is because it requires you to run your business full time, no part time jobs or just shooting sessions on the weekends. This meant my livelihood solely relied on the photography I created and the prices I charged. I don't want to go into details about what it means to be self employed but it's not simple. Take into consideration taxes, insurance, licensing and of course the big one equipment...
Equipment : Photography is not a cheap hobby to start in. Quality equipment is an ever growing expense (think I-phones but Cameras and lenses have been around WAY longer and getting way better with every year) As a birth photographer my cameras have to be able to handle a lot of unpredictable lighting situations. This means even more expensive lenses and camera bodies that can handle photography that isn't well lit or photographed in the perfect time of the day. And honestly I want to be able to offer the best of the best to my clients, with every year I add to my equipment because as I become more experienced so should my equipment
. 6. Professionalism : I'm sure you're looking at some of the above reasons for investment and thinking well why shouldn't I just hire a beginner then. Every birth photographer started as a beginner and I'm honestly excited to see this genre of photography growing all over the world. But at the same time birth can be scary, emergent and tricky to navigate sometimes. You want to have a photographer who has both a respect for your sacred birthing space and knowledge of how to respond under pressure. You also want a photographer who has an experienced intuition when it comes to experiencing births. So a large part of the investment that goes into hiring a professional and experienced birth photographer is that knowledge, education and experience.
2. Do i have a say in what is Shared on Social media Or to potential clients?
Of course you have the say in what is shared. I know a lot of people who wonder how or even why my clients let me share the images you will see on our website, social media, and even the stuff potential clients are seeing. The answer is each birth is so very unique and every story is totally different each and every-time. Our clients have the ability to decide what they are comfortable with and what they aren't comfortable with being shared. If you wanted you could keep the Literally the entire birth story 100% private, that's ok with me. Does that happen often? No, most people find us and hire us for a reason and are so over joyed with the results they want us to share at least something. We try to encourage women to be open to the idea of sharing even just a single shot to show their amazing strength as a women, and hope to educate other women about birth and that this is YOUR birth story, and you should not do something you don't want to do.