One question you must ask a birth photographer before booking
Shopping for a birth photographer?
There's one very important tip I have to offer - no matter where you are or which photographer you choose.
You need to ask ONE question above all others when hiring a birth photographer.
But first, let me tell you a little story…
I’ll wait while you pee again and get a glass of water. Because #pregnancy. Ok. Ready? Here we go.
Once upon a time…about 10 p.m., a doula called a client’s birth photographer to give her an update. “Mama is laboring now; baby should be here soon. You should probably head this way.” said the doula.
The birth photographer replied “I have school drop off at 7 a.m. I can’t go then.”
Throughout the night, mom labored and the doula sent the birth photographer text updates.
Just before 7 a.m., the doula called the birth photographer and said ‘get here now!’ Mom had transitioned from 7 cm to 10 cm in 30 minutes, and baby was sprinting into the world.
Do you know what that birth photographer said? You’re never going to believe this.
That birth photographer said “I can’t. My kid has been sick since last yesterday.”
And that photographer NEVER. SHOWED. UP. Didn’t even try.
This mother had paid this photographer to be there, trusting her with this very special and once-in-a-lifetime event. It can’t be repeated. And she bailed. She didn’t understand what is required of birth photograpbers and birth service itself.
Thankfully for the mama, her doula called her good friend (ahem, moi) and said I need you. Can you get here now? She’s pushing.
Not being at a birth story of my own that day, I threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera bag, and booked it as fast as I could down I-35 to Harris Methodist Downtown Fort Worth at 7:15 am in rush hour traffic.
I rushed into her hospital room two minutes after she delivered.
Because of that one photographer who didn’t understand how birth service works, She didn’t get photos of her first baby's arrival.
True story. And let me tell you, this mama is still upset about this today, almost two years later.
Have you figured out what question you need to ask?
The one question you need to ask is:
Don’t take this lightly or shrug it off. The risk could be detrimental to your birth photos.
There are a ton of photographers out there, but photographers who specialize in birth aren't as common. The “shoot everything” photographers, especially new ones, often don’t know or take into consideration the on-call nature of birth and the commitment required for this type of work.
Babies don’t follow a schedule (scheduled c-sections excluded). Birth photographers must be ready, willing, and able to jump and run when you call. Whether you have a history of fast labors or slow, professional birth photographers know how to reduce or remove the risk of missing your birth.
This moment can’t be repeated and you want to know you have invested both your money and trust in a birth photographer who is reliable.
At Birth & Life Photography, each birth story includes “on call time” beginning two weeks prior to your due date and lasting until your baby arrives to ensure I am on alert for your birth, ready to jump and run.
You can learn more about our all-inclusive birth stories and on-call time here.
Don't forget to swipe the Birth Story Plan Checklist. Because no matter which birth photographer you choose to book, getting the moments important to you should be easy! Grab it here!