This post is part of an editorial series, “The Stork Stories,” brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog and Bree Linne Photography. We hope these pieces provide you with helpful information, encouragement, and answers as you prepare for baby’s arrival.
As a 34-year-old, I don’t remember anything about my own day of birth (obviously), or my brother’s (though I know I was there). I do however have memories of those days thanks to photographs. Yes, my mom was quite ahead of her time and had someone take pictures of the before, during, and after of our deliveries.
I thought it was weird.
But, then I had kids. When you become a mom, everything you once thought you knew goes out the proverbial window. This is true of anything regarding parenting . . . discipline, mealtime, sleep training . . . it’s like a switch flips once you have a baby in your arms, and you (and your brain, and your heart) are entirely different.
Needless to say, my opinions on the subject are entrenched firmly in the “don’t knock it ’til you try it” camp. So, in hopes of opening up this dialogue, I am going to do my best to answer some of those awkward and uncomfortable questions that you might have about this growing industry — birth photography.
What about my privacy?? Here’s the thing . . . you are the boss. Yes, we as artists love to share work that is meaningful to us. And there is nothing more meaningful than watching new life being born. But, how your pictures are shared publicly is ultimately up to you.
Enter, the model release.
The contract you have with your photographer should always include this. It is what gives us the right to use and publish your photographs. You do not have to sign this. Most people do, but in my case, it is with the knowledge that I will always honor the wishes of the client first. For example, when I am sharing a blog post of a client’s session, I have chosen images that are modest in nature, and I have requested that the client please let me know if there is anything she would like for me to remove.
I don’t believe that any professional would ever share images without client consent, but this is a friendly reminder to always discuss the model release when booking your session.
Why is it so expensive? None of us like this part. Nevertheless, I am going to jump in feet first here and try to clear up any confusion about the costs of our service. Logistically, as with any service you hire out, the fee you are paying covers three primary costs: time, expertise, and equipment. I won’t get too much into the last two, because I think those are pretty self-explanatory. But let’s talk about time for a second.
Though these are all estimates, birth photographers typically spend an average of four weeks on-call for our clients, and anywhere from 6-36 hours at the birth — often more; sometimes less. We then spend several more days/weeks culling, editing, and delivering the final product to you.
So, let’s compare this to the booming field of wedding photography. If you haven’t heard this comparison before, it’s a good one:
- You are hiring someone for one of the most special, life-changing days of your life.
- You want to hire someone who is experienced, reliable, discreet, and talented.
- You want someone who will stay for the duration; who will be there from beginning to end.
- You want someone who can give you beautiful, stirring images that you can look back on forever.
These ALL apply to both wedding, and birth photography, yes? The difference for us is that we don’t know when that special day will be, how long that special day will last, or even what kind of lighting conditions we will be shooting in.
Sadly, we are still often scoffed at for our prices. It IS a growing industry, and we realize there will be some growing pains. But, it is a hope of ours that our work documenting your baby’s birthday will eventually become as accepted and valued as the work you have hired artists to do on your wedding day.
What if I am very modest? Can I still hire a birth photographer? Yes, yes, yes. More than likely, your photographer will sit down with you well before your due date to discuss your expectations and desires for your session. You can have an incredible day documented without crowning shots; without breastfeeding shots. I’ve had clients where I only shoot the “before” — the time spent as a couple during labor, and the “after” — baby being placed on mom’s chest and every sweet little moment that follows. I’ve also had clients that want every single moment captured. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, we respect that. And remember, these images are for your eyes only, until you decide otherwise.
What if my husband isn’t on board? If your husband is unsure about hiring a photographer for your baby’s birth day, you are in good company. This is a very personal, sacred time, and I often get inquiries from expectant moms who want to meet with me, with their husbands, so that they can get an idea of what this experience entails together. Sometimes dads take a bit longer to become comfortable with it. However, it has been my experience that once they experience and witness the incredible act of their child being born, all hesitancy towards having a photographer around totally disappears. I get the biggest grins from dads holding their babies for the first time, and the sweetest, most genuine interactions between husbands and their laboring wives. And, let’s be real . . . dads do not have the time or inclination to be taking photos during the labor and delivery process. It just won’t happen, and if it does, it won’t happen well.
There are undoubtedly countless more questions one may have about birth photography. But, it’s my hope that this information serves to clear up these super important inquiries that are not always so fun to discuss.
The Fort Worth Moms Blog is hosting its next event just for you! Bloom, happening May 20, 2017 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Cook Children’s Medical Center, is an event for expectant moms and moms who are currently parenting children two years and under. (Foster and adoptive moms are welcome too!) The afternoon will focus on information, resources, products, and more that target the pregnancy and delivery stage of parenting through the first two years. This event, held in partnership with Cook Children’s Health Care System, will provide a few hours of pampering, light snacks, educational resources, giveaways and swag, shopping, and connecting moms and families with relevant local resources for this season of life. For information, tickets, and more click HERE!
Bree is a mom, wife, daughter, sister, photographer at Bree Linne Photography, and Christ-follower. She grew up in the Texas Hill Country, and has called the DFW metroplex her home for almost 15 years now. She graduated with a Fine Arts degree in Photography and and has slowly worked her way through different facets of the business to finally arrive here. At a spot where she feels she is best able to use her heart and her eye to serve clients during some of the most meaningful times of their lives.