Childbirth. Whether it’s your first or your last, it always seems a little daunting. How will it go? Who will be there? What will my new bundle of joy look like?! Will I even remember our birth story?
Well, if you are anything like me, you’ll remember bits and pieces of your child’s birth, but not all of it. I WISH I had an experienced, personable photographer there with me to capture all of the moments I could have missed.
Having a birth photographer should feel like having your best friend in the room with you to cheer you on, all judgements aside. Plus, you will have photo-proof of your badass birthing skills, emotional moments, and your face the second you see your beautiful baby. If you want to make sure you’ll have your professional-photo-taking-bestie in the room with you, and not some stranger, ask your potential birth photographer these 5 questions!
1. “Are you going to take photos of me in all my glory?!?!”
Honestly, she probably will SEE your lady bits. But, chances are your photographer will be a woman (we’ll assume so here) who has those same lady bits and won’t think twice about it. Let’s be honest, that will be the LAST thing on everyone’s mind when your baby arrives! Will you see your lady bits in the photos?! That should be totally up to you. Make sure your photographer has a conversation with you, about the type of photos you want. Do you want graphic, everything exposed photos or do you want more conservative photos? Your photographer should be receptive to your request. There are DEFINITELY ways to capture the full beauty of your birth without capturing the explicit moments.
2. “I don’t want another stranger in my room. Do we meet beforehand?”
Meeting your birth photographer BEFORE the birth is a HUGE DEAL. What if you don’t like her personality? What if you two don’t have chemistry? What if she doesn’t show up for the meetup?! How can she be reliably there for you at your birth if she can’t even show up to the meet and greet? You’ll want someone to match your energy, so make sure you at LEAST have a video call with your potential photographer before hiring her… but at some point, you should meet face to face.
3. “What’s your turnaround time for pictures?”
You won’t want to receive your birth photos when your baby turns a year old… and you most certainly won’t have the energy to keep pestering your photographer for photos while taking care of a newborn! Make sure the turnaround time is listed in your contract and that it is a timeline that works for you.
Oh! Make sure there is a contract you both agree on! A legitimate photographer should have one for you. The contract should be equally protective of you and the photographer.
4. “How do I know you’ll be available when I go into labor? How long will you be with me?”
Okay, I know this is two questions, but they are both equally important.
Birth can be so unpredictable, especially if you don’t have a planned c-section. How do you know your photographer will be there when you need her? Make sure she has a clear plan for the time around when your baby is due.
For example, maybe she blocks out 2 weeks before and after your due date reserved for YOU ONLY, so that as soon as you call, she is ready to go meet you! The last thing you want is a photographer who overbooks and says, “sorry, you’re early, and I’m with someone else.”
Does the birth photographer have kids? Make sure they have reliable child care. It is probable, you’ll have to call in the middle of the night to let your photographer know it’s time. Will there be any issues with her having someone to take care of her children?
How long will she be there? What if you are in labor for 2 hours? (We can hope, right!!) Well, easy enough. Of course a photographer would stay for 2 hours— but what if you are in labor for 8 hours, 12 hours, 30 hours?! Does your photographer have a plan for when she will arrive, how long she will stay, and when to leave? She should be flexible and willing to be there by your side, day or night, especially after you get closer to fully dilated!
5. “Will you share my pictures with other people?”
“I DON’T WANT MY HOO-HA ALL OVER GOOGLE!”
Don’t worry. If you have a great photographer, she will adhere to any rules you have about sharing your photos (this should also be in your contract). If she is pressuring you to share photos that you are uncomfortable with, that is a red flag. This is your body and your experience for you to share however YOU want.
I think all of these questions have a common theme, and that is to make sure your photographer is receptive to your needs. You deserve the best ally by your side during this special moment, so ask these questions (and more!) to make sure you have the best photographer by your side.
Can you think of any other questions you would like to ask your birth photographer? Leave them in the comments and I can answer those for you!
I hope you found this post helpful. Let’s schedule a meeting where you can ask me anything you want and I can ease your mind!