Prepare for a Birth Session
Obviously career comes up in adult conversation often, one of the most common things I hear when I say that I’m a birth photographer is “oh, wow. like you’re in the room while…”
Yes, yes I am. I’m in there while… while people meet their baby for the very first time. While someone gets to see the very life they created takes a breath for the first time. Whilen a baby opens their eyes and the very first thing they see is the face of the voices they’ve been hearing for so many weeks.
I know, *so gross* right. No it’s not, it’s so, so magical. Every. Single. Time.
And yes, I’m in there while the baby comes out of the vagina (I know, I said it) – and I’ve even been blessed enough to be invited into a few OR’s in the event of a c-section.
I’m just here to capture families most incredible moments, and normalize birth along the way. I’ve gotten a lot of requests about how to prepare for a birth session, and I think most of it is from a photographers side – but this is hopefully going to be helpful for (potential) clients too, so here it goes. <3
Planning, Scheduling, and Booking
You decided you wanted your birth story documented, now what? When a client firsts reaches out I base my response off their initial email. If they’re hesitant, or really just wanting more information, I offer to meet up for coffee (or answer any questions they have via email). I’m totally up to meeting with all potential clients to help give them reassurance of who I am, and my personality, of which will be in their birth space.
After booking I tell all my clients – “tell me everything!” There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to being a birth photographer. I want to know all the details. Being 110% in the loop helps me tentatively plan for my kids and family of when I might get called in. After every appointment, let me know what you know. There’s no point where I’ll be like, “okay stop texting me now” lol.
The most common question I get from outsiders – “what happens if you miss it?” well, it’s all just a roll of the dice. There’s no way to determine how long labor will be, and that’s why I truly encourage all my clients to be as transparent with me as possible.
It’s Baby Time
As we all know, babies come on their own time – most of the time. As soon as contractions begin, water breaks, induction is set, etc. I want to be one of the top five people you contact. Ideally behind spouse, and support person if you have one. Like I said, the most information I have the more I can prepare when to come. I generally try to arrive between 6-7CM, however, I also adjust that based on progression rate, distance to the birth center, etc.
Depending on how they’re laboring, and the feel in the room – I’ll jump right in and start shooting. If everyone is resting, I generally try to wait quietly before interrupting. Reading the birth environment is so important.
Based on the questionnaire filled out prior to the session will help me determine where I’m going to be during delivery. I try to get in my position before the room fills, but sometimes I have to take what I can get. The amazing part about birth stories is it can be as revealing, or conservative, as you want. If clients are more on the conservative side, I recommend a nursing bra and robe during labor to ensure everything is covered up. If you don’t care what’s showing, trust me I don’t care either. I’ve seen it all, and it’s just another day at the office for me, haha!
Once baby is delivered, I follow them. I try to document weight, measurement, foot prints, first latch – basically everything that you’re not going to be right there for. Some hospitals have different rules – but since I generally stay 1-2 hours after delivery, I mostly get to be there for all of those moments.
I try to finish up and get out of the way so you and your spouse/family can enjoy those first few moments alone. I know most clients want their images to post as announcements, I try my best to get sneak peeks ready within those 24-48 hours so they can post them, or send to whomever. All of my birth galleries have been complete and delivered within two weeks of birth. I know you want your images, I gotchu.
— all of the images in this post are from Sarah + Robbie Tripp’s birth story. They were incredible to work with, and now they’re happily snuggling their sweet baby boy as a family of three. Congratulations you guys!
If you’re ready to set up your birth session with us, or have any questions on how to prepare for a birth session (with me, of course) – feel free to take a look at our package list and contact us!
If you’re searching for an Arizona birth photographer, please contact me to schedule your session today; I only accept a limited amount of births per month to ensure adequate time around each due date.