Active labor, birth, and the first few hours after
Your birth, your way. Let's tell your story.
Your baby's birth is life-changing...period. Whether it's your first child or another sweet addition to your family, there is a line in the sand: life before that baby and life after. Having a photographer there to tell your story with images helps you to remember every twist and turn.
I am so humbled and honored each and every time a client invites me to witness the birth of their child. I take this responsibility so seriously, and for me, being your birth photographer means so much more than just taking your picture. It means having someone to share your pregnancy and birth plans with. (I could talk babies, bellies, and birth all day long!) It means letting your support partner be present in the moment to support you instead of fumbling with an iPhone camera. It means capturing everything; from the big, powerful moments to the little details that you may have missed when you were working hard. But most of all, birth photography means that your child will be able to look at your images and know how much he or she was loved from the very beginning.
What is birth photography?
When you book me as your birth photographer, it means I am on call from 37 weeks until your sweet baby is born. I like to meet you and your support partner for a pre-consultation (coffee's on me!), where we can get to know each other and I can answer any questions you have. Once you let me know that labor has begun, we will make a plan for me to come join you at the hospital, birth center, or your home, day or night. I will drop everything and be there to capture beautiful images of active labor, the birth of your baby, and the precious moments afterwards.
Within 6 hours of your baby's birth, I will email you 1-2 images that you can share with your excited friends and family! Then I will retouch the rest of your images and have them ready for you in about 4 weeks. I'll come to your home and show you a beautiful slideshow of your images! I will walk you through downloading your images and print release. We will work together to pick your favorites and discuss which images you are comfortable sharing. If you'd like to order an album, prints, or a wall display, I'll help you design them and place your order.
Birth photography packages start at $990, with payment plans available.
Ready for more information? Let's chat!
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT GOT YOU INTO BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
I've been photographing newborns and babies since 2011. In that time, I got to hear amazing stories from strong moms about the triumphant and the difficult parts of their labors. Birth always felt like this sacred, powerful place that I had to experience for myself before I could enter into it as an observer. During my pregnancy, I made so many connections with talented birth workers in the Jacksonville area, and my eyes were opened to all of the wonderful birth options we have here in town. After my daughter was born, I finally felt ready to take on this new challenge. Within just a few minutes of my first birth session, I knew that this was the direction I wanted to send my business. I love connecting with clients and hearing their hopes and hesitations about their births. I love zipping across town in the middle of the night and getting to be a part of the action while the rest of the world is sleeping. And more than anything, I love the honor of telling a story through photographs of a new person's entrance into our world. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love for a living!
IS IT AWKWARD TO HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE ROOM?
It really isn't! Birth (of any kind!) is hard and empowering work. Your birth photographer should blend in and honor your birthing space. Most of my clients tell me afterwards that they didn't even notice I was there. I know how to stay out of the way of medical professionals while still getting stunning images. I'm not going to ask you to pose, look at the camera, or "Say cheese!" (Can you imagine?? Yikes!) You can count on me to be respectful, quiet, and fully supportive of you, no matter what twists and turns your labor may take.
When should I book with you?
As soon as you can! Because of the nature of being on call for birth, I only take on a select number of births per month. The sooner in your pregnancy that you reach out to me, the greater the chance that I'll be able to take you on as a client and the more time we will have to get to know each other before the big day! A $500 deposit is due at booking, and the remaining payment is due by 37 weeks, so booking earlier can help break up the payments a bit.
If you are in your third trimester already and quickly approaching your due date, I'm still happy to chat with you and see how we can work together!
WHAT DOES BEING "ON CALL" MEAN FOR YOU AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
My standard on call period begins at 37 weeks gestation and ends when your sweet baby is born. Being on call means that I am ready to drop what I am doing and meet you at your birthing space as soon as you are confirmed to be in active labor. I won't travel out of town and I have childcare plans for my daughter lined up, day and night. When I am on call for your birth, my phone will always be on and my photography gear packed and ready to go!
WHEN SHOULD I CALL YOU TO MY BIRTH?
When we have our pre-consultation, I'll give you and your birth support partner very specific instructions for when you should call me. But basically, you should give me a heads up when you feel your first early signs of labor (contractions, water breaking, even just a strong gut feeling), and then continue to communicate with me via phone or text as your labor progresses. I will come join you once you are in active labor (usually when your contractions are 3-5 minutes apart and around 6 cm dilated, but this varies from person to person).
WHAT IF MY LABOR LASTS A LONG TIME?
If your labor lasts a long time, don't worry about me watching the clock! If your labor is more than 12 hours, I may need to step out for a bit to rest, eat, or check in with the babysitter. If your labor goes beyond 24 hours, I may call in a backup photographer to take my place. But rest assured, I'm in it for the long haul! There is never any additional charge for a long labor.
I AM HAVING A C-SECTION. CAN I STILL HIRE YOU?
Absolutely! Even with a scheduled C-section, there are lots of details to capture as you're getting ready to meet your baby, and of course loads of precious moments once baby has been born. Whether or not I will be allowed into the operating room to capture the moment of your baby's birth depends on the policies and preferences of your hospital and doctors. Even if I'm not allowed in, I can often times send your birthing partner in with a camera to get a few shots.
AREN'T BIRTH IMAGES GRAPHIC?
As a professional, I strive to take beautiful, tasteful, and very often modest images. During our pre-consultation, I always ask what kind of images you dream of having, and I use that to guide the session. Converting images to black and white, strategically placing my shot, and making use of a variety of angles can help, too. I'm happy to get images of baby crowning and the moment of birth, or I can shoot over your shoulder and capture more modest images of baby being placed in your arms.
In the end, what is important is that I am not documenting a medical procedure. I am catching a love story as it is unfolding. I'm focused on the emotions between you and your partner and the love that overflows when a baby comes into the world. Yes, there are raw and real parts of birth that we don't see everyday, but they are beautiful, too, and I capture them in a way that honors the sanctity of the moment.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU MISS MY BIRTH?
First of all, I have so many measures in place to make sure that doesn't happen. I know my way around Jacksonville hospitals and birth centers, my phone is always charged and loud, and my gear bag is packed and ready to go at all times. I give you specific instructions on how to reach me and when to notify me that you are in labor. I have a support system of several fantastic backup photographers, who also specialize in birth and do incredible work.
But! Birth is unpredictable, and we can't control how quickly babies come. If you have a very fast labor or if I am delayed by something outside of my control, I will come to your birth place as soon as I possibly can. I will stay and photograph you and your family with your new baby, catching those first few special hours together. I'm also happy to add on a Lifestyle Newborn Session in your home within 2 weeks, for no additional charge.
HOW MANY IMAGES WILL I GET? ARE THEY EDITED?
The number of images that you will receive depends on many different factors. The length of your birth, the setting, the time of day, how you are handling labor...all of these factors can contribute. Overall, my clients can expect anywhere between 125-150 images, give or take. All of my images are edited and you will receive both the high-resolution images (for printing) and watermarked images (for sharing online).
WILL YOU SHARE MY IMAGES ONLINE?
Only if you'd like me to! One of the reasons I was drawn to birth photography is because each birth tells a beautiful story of hard work and deep love. That's why I love blogging my clients' images and telling their amazing stories! My clients often times reflect on their baby's birth day and will send me their story in their own words, which I also love to include in their blog. When I come to your home to deliver your images, you will get to select your favorites and choose any images that will be shared online. If you prefer not to have your images shared online, I am also very respectful of that.