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Birth Stories - Frequently Asked Questions

What is birth photography?
Birth photography is a beautiful and emotive documentation of the moments leading up to and the moment your baby enters this world. It primarily focuses on the emotion and support between the mother and her support partner/s.

Why can’t my partner just take photos?
Your partner can take photos, but having a professional to do the job means that you wont miss special moments, they can be in the photos with you, and they can offer you the support you need with their full attention.

I’ve hired a doula and she says she can be our photographer. Why would I pay a separate fee to a photographer when my doula can do it?
Similar to your partner, it frees your doula up to do what they are hired to do - assist you with the birth, which is often physical involvement. Hiring a professional like myself allows me to capture your doula within your birth story as they play a vital role in the process.

I would like to meet you before hiring you to make sure I am comfortable with you. Is that possible?
Yes please! I wouldn’t want to be a part of such a personal and private time without your approval of who I am and how I work. I would want you to be completely comfortable with my presence in the room. This is best achieved by meeting face to face and discussing all options, decisions and desires you have for your birth and it’s storyline.

When should I book my session?
As soon as we have met and you are happy with progressing the next step is to book your birth story. This ensures that I am available in the month of your due date. I am limiting the amount of births I photograph each month so better to be safe than sorry.

I don’t want revealing images of me on the internet. Do I have a say in what images you show?
100%. I am always excited about amazing images I can include in my portfolio, but you are commissioning these images for you. Therefore no images are ever published without your prior written approval. Images that I would like to use require a certain level of decency if I am to gain ongoing clientele so rest assured, you privacy is safe with me.

What exactly do you photograph?
The births that I have witnessed are all so different and unique, my own included. While there are certain stages that I will aim to capture labour / birth progressing, there is nothing set in stone. I aim to operate like a fly on the wall, capturing all that I see, the big and the small moments in between. I will document the squeeze of a hand, tears of joy, the moment your little bundle arrives in your arms. Primarily though, I want to capture the emotion and support generated through these actions and moments between loved ones and their trusted professionals.   

When my labor starts, when should I call you?
Immediately. The sooner I now that things have started moving, the sooner I can organise myself in regards to my own childcare, preparation of equipment etc. Labour often progresses slowly, but it can also progress really fast and I would hate to miss the event due to lack of notice. So please text message or call ASAP just to give me the heads up.

Once I’m in labor, when will you come to begin photographing?
I aim to arrive when you are around 7cm dilated, as it allows me sufficient time to capture moments of labour and be prepared for when your baby decides to delight us with it’s presence. All mums and births are different and unique though, so it’s important that we maintain good communication during labour and leading up to the birth.  

What if I go into labor in the middle of the night?
Call me! Even if it’s early labour, I need to know so that I can be prepared and arrive with sufficient time to do my job. Do not worry about what time it is, this is what I do.

How long are you on call?
Two weeks before your due date I will officially be on call, 24/7. I will remain on call until your baby is born. You will have my personal mobile number which is always turned on and by my side.

What if I go into labor before you are officially on call?
Call me! I don’t want to miss your birth and I will do everything within my power to get there. If in the event of inability, I will contact a back up photographer and see if they can her there instead, or at least hold the fort until I can be there myself.

What if you don’t make it to the birth?
If you have communicated with me as soon as labour begins, then there is no reason that I wouldn’t be there. But if in some unforeseen circumstance I cannot make it through no fault of your own (and you have notified me with plenty of time) then a full refund will be made.
If however, you fail to let me know that you have begun labour and there isn’t sufficient time for me to arrive, there will be no refund of the birth story payment. I will however get there as soon as possible and capture your first moments with your baby, staying for an extended post delivery session.

How long will you stay at the birth?
I generally stay until 1 hour after delivery.

Do you interact during the birth session?
It’s up to you, we can discuss this before hand or I’m happy to go with the flow on the day. I can easily just photograph without interacting at all, or we can talk and share the moments through conversation etc.  

What about c-sections?
If you are happy and your care providers are happy, I will continue to photograph the birth in the operation room. If this is not permitted by your care providers then I will continue the session as soon as you return to your room / nursery. Acquiring permission with your care provider will be discussed and organised before labour begins so that there is no hiccups on the day.

How far will you travel?
Within 100km radius of Canberra. After this, a travel fee of .75c/km will be charged.

Do you use a flash?
I prefer to work with natural or ambient light and aim to do this for the entire shoot. When circumstances require an extra light source I will have flash available just in case. This will also be discussed and agreed upon before labour so that I don’t have to second guess or disturb you with my flash in the heat of the moment.  

Will my images be in black and white or color?
This is up to you, although I think black and white images are more suitable to the subject, and I will provide you with these unless colour is requested.

How soon will I be able to access my online gallery to view my images and make selections?
Within 4 weeks from your date of birth I will have a password protected online gallery for you to view your images.

How many proof images will I have?
Every birth is different and the amount of images can vary from 100-500….

What do you charge?
Consultancy, session photography, post production and a private online gallery is $660. There are several options for digital negatives, prints, albums, coffee table books, etc. which all have varying costs. These can be outlined during our consultations prior to labour. A non refundable deposit of $200 is required at the time of booking.

Is the deposit refundable?
Deposits secure me for the month of your due date, and I limit myself to two bookings per month. I turn away additional work and for this reason deposits and any other payments made to date are non-refundable, unless in the event of a miscarriage. Alternatively you can apply the funds paid towards a newborn or portrait session at a later date.

Do you offer discounts?
Yes! I love referrals via word of mouth, so for every new birth client that you refer to me and they book, you will receive $50 credit towards your own birth session or future photography shoots.

Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes, so long as your deposit is paid, I don’t mind when or how often you make the rest of your payments, so long as full payment is made by the time I go on call, two weeks before your due date.

Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes, I can organise gift certificates of varying denominations which can be physically posted out or simply recorded as credit towards your session. Contact me to discuss the finer details.

I hope I have covered most queries, but if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via my contact page or phone call.

I look forward to hearing from you,

~ Holly x

To view the featured birth story on my blog please click here .

If you would like to download a printer friendly version of the Birth Stories FAQ please click here.