Birth Photography FAQs
What is a Birth Photographer?
Have you ever journaled? I don't journal often, but in very significant moments of my life I have dusted off my journal, and written down my thoughts and feelings so that I can look back and remember. As a birth photographer, I like to think of my job as producing a visual journal that tells the story of your little one's arrival into the world. I am a storyteller, a documenter of moments you may not remember yourself. Birth is intense, it's full of emotion, and there are so many details that all blur into one. I tell your story, exactly how it happens, the beautiful and the messy, the magical moments and the unplanned. I take a photojournalistic but creative approach to documenting your birth as it unfolds, and I hope your images will be something you cherish for many years to come.
How many births have you attended?
I have photographed over 20 births, as well as having 3 children of my own. I have also recently completed an intensive Doula and Childbirth Educator course so I have a well rounded understanding of the birthing process.
Can you offer medical advice?
No, I am NOT a medical professional. If you would like medical advice I always recommend you seek the counsel of your care provider.
What areas do you service?
I am based in Townsville, North Queensland and currently service both the Townsville Hospital & Birth Centre, and The Mater Women and Children's Hospital Hyde Park.
When should I contact you?
I like to stay in regular contact with you as your due date approaches. We usually stay in touch via text message about developments such as midwife/OB appointments, or any other signs of pre-labour. I usually ask you to ring my phone with anything major such as their waters breaking, contractions that are regular, or when they are headed in to the hospital.
When do you come in?
I aim to arrive when you are in active labour. If your care provider is checking your cervix then I like to know when you are around 5-6cm dilated. If you aren’t being checked then I like to come in when your contractions have been around 4-5 minutes apart for a duration of about 1 minute long for at least an hour.
How long do you stay after my baby is born?
Usually about 2 hours. This gives us enough time to capture those first sweet moments, baby’s first feed, and sometimes their weights and measurements :)
Do you photograph everything? I’m self conscious about my… And really don’t want it captured!
This is totally your choice! I’m not weirded out by anything, nor am I going to pressure you in to getting photos of something you don’t want! So it’s up to you! My goal is to tell your story in a tasteful and sensitive way, so when we have our first consultation I will chat about all this with you and you can tell me what you want captured and what you’d prefer to be avoided!
What if I have a REALLY long labour, how long will you stay?
If I arrive when you are in active labour, but something happens and for whatever reason your labour stalls, or takes longer than 10 hours, I may need to step out for a bit to recharge so I can provide you with the best quality service. Communication with your care provider is really important in this case as they will have a good idea of where your labour is at, and I will request that your birth support person stays in close communication with me so that I know when things are picking back up again.
What if I want the room dark? Do you use a flash?
This is something we can discuss in your consult. Flash can help create light when there's not much available - this is especially handy in the middle of the night! Lighting is something that's a very personal choice to the birthing woman, and my first concern is respecting your birth space. My camera is made to function well in low light conditions so if you'd prefer that I don't use flash, I will still be able to capture your moments, however your images may be a little bit grainier than those taken with a flash.
Do I need to let my care provider know that I’m hiring a birth photographer?
Yes! Please do! As a birth photographer I represent a fairly new genre of photography. Just as I care about your experience, I also want your care providers to feel respected and honoured, and part of that is making sure there is open communication. If you are birthing at the Mater Hospital you will need written permission from your OB so the midwives know It's ok for me to be there.
What if something goes wrong, have you ever been in this situation?
Yes, I have. We can talk about this together on an individual basis, but I will keep photographing until I am told not to by the other professionals in the room. Even if things don’t happen the way you imagined they would, photos can be very helpful in processing the events around your birth, as often times everything becomes such a blur.
What happens If I end up having an Emergency Cesarean?
My job is to document your story, whatever the outcome. It’s highly unlikely I would be allowed in theatre in the case of an emergency C-Section, however, this is something I can discuss with the staff on duty at the time. In the event I'm not allowed in, I will be in recovery waiting for you and your baby when you come out.
What happens if I’m having a scheduled Cesarean?
It really depends on your care provider as to whether a photographer would be allowed into Theatre during a planned Cesarean, and this is a conversation you will need to have with your OB well in advance. However, your story is your story no matter how your baby is birthed. All those moments leading up to, as well as those tender moments in recovery are totally worth capturing. If you are birthing at the Townsville General Hospital there is one support person allowed in Theatre with you. If you choose to have me document the moments around your cesarean, but would like your partner to be your support person we can discuss this further in our consult.
Can I meet you first?
Yes! Of course!! I usually like to have 2 client meetings, an initial consult so we can get to know each other, and another quick coffee or meet up a few weeks before your due date. This way we can develop a relationship before I show up at your birth.
What happens if you miss my birth??!!
Birth is incredibly unpredictable and unfortunately it would be impossible to give you a 100% guarantee that I will make your birth. However I go to great lengths to make sure I will be there, so if we found ourselves in this situation it would be incredibly disappointing!! If I happen to miss a birth because I am unwell, or any other exceptional circumstance that is beyond my control, you will be offered a full refund. We can also credit what's been paid towards a fresh 48 session and refund the remainder. If I miss a birth because you’ve failed to communicate with me early enough or at all, you will not be refunded, however you may use your credit towards a different type of session if you would like. I only take on a limited amount of births per year, and make sure these births take first priority on my calendar. See cancellation policy below for more info.
I really like the idea of birth photography but I don't really want my labour documented... What should I do?
We have just launched a new package that is just for you! Our "Golden Hour" (referring to that beautiful "golden hour" immediately following delivery) package still includes our premium 24/7 on call availability, however instead of me being in the delivery room with you - I arrive as soon as I am notified that the baby has been born. Coverage lasts 1 - 2 hours and the gallery contains less images than a full birth gallery.
What is a Fresh 48 Session?
As the name suggests, A fresh 48 session is done (usually still in hospital) within baby's first 48 hours of life. If you prefer to get settled into the maternity ward and freshen up before photos, but still want to capture those brand new baby feels, then Fresh 48 is for you. Sometimes Fresh 48s are referred to as In Hospital Newborn Sessions.
Do you offer Fresh 48 Sessions?
What about the internet and social media? Will you be posting my images online??
Not without permission!! Birth is so personal and intimate, and I recognise that everyone has different preferences on this. My first and foremost concern is that your wish is respected. Most often clients don't know what they will be comfortable with sharing until they have seen the images and have had time to soak in their precious memories themselves. In the case you are willing to allow me to share some of your images, I will ask you to sign a photography release for those specific images.
How much does it cost to have my birth documented? And how do I make sure the time around my due date is reserved?
I only take on 2-3 births per month. To secure your due date I require a non-refundable fee of $990. This means for the 3-4 weeks surrounding your due date you can rest assured I am on call at any hour of any day.
Do you offer Payment plans?
I do require the on-call/session fee to be paid in full up front to secure your date. However, if you would like to talk about purchasing your image package on a payment plan I’m happy to discuss that during our initial consult.