So you're pregnant and want to hire a birth photographer...what now?

First off, congratulations, mama! The excitement and anticipation is probably overwhelming you but I can promise you, the wait will be so worth it once you have your little one in your arms.

Secondly, if you stumbled across this blog, you have decided to hire a birth photographer but you're not really sure what to look for or how to find the write one. Well, you are in the right spot! I am HUGE on doing research before investing into just about anything. From my next Amazon outfit haul to my own birth photographer, you will always find a lengthy search history on my computer to make sure I am making the right decision.

So, here are some tips to look for when hiring a birth photographer:

Figure out your budget

This is pretty self-explanatory and a given. How much are you looking to spend? Unfortunately, this is something that I cannot provide much on because everyone and their budget is different, and what one person might find expensive, another person might find the price to be reasonable. However, what I can provide to you is a few things:

  1. "Lower priced" birth photographers tend to be photographers just starting out in the field. They want to build their portfolio to eventually increase their pricing.
  2. "Higher priced" birth photographers are usually established in the field and have been doing it for a long amount of time.

These are very general statements that can be used across any niche. A key thing to remember, though, is that just because someone has "cheaper" prices, it doesn't mean they aren't a good photographer. On the flip side, just because someone is "more expensive", it doesn't mean they're the best.

*Quotations added as I mentioned earlier, everyone has a different definition of "low/high priced."

Figure out what you want with your photos

This can be a loaded tip but let's break it down.

Are you giving birth at a hospital, birthing center, or at your home? Some birth photographers will only photograph home births while other photographers will go anywhere so it's important to understand where you are giving birth so you can find a photographer that fits your circumstance. Of course, if you found someone you love, when you send them an inquiry, ask if they will photograph where you are giving birth - just because their website might show one thing, it doesn't mean they are limited to that!

What types of photos do you want from your birth? While every photo in a birth is beautiful and empowering, some people don't want the super exposed photos (ie. the baby crowning or just their vagina in general) but others want it all! This is something, again, you should talk to your photographer about to see if they will be a good fit for you.

What do you want the photos to look like? This all has to do with editing style. Do not choose a birth photographer who has light & airy photos and then ask them to edit more moody. Make sure you find a photographer that has an edit or style that you like!

Look to See What Else the Photographer Offers

Most birth photographers also offer additional services. For example, maternity and newborn sessions. Do they have packages that encompass all three so you get more bang-for-your-buck?

A lot of birth photographers are also certified doulas (or, as we like to be called, doulatogs). If having a doula is super important to you and photos are important as well - find a doula who does birth photography so you get the best of both worlds.

Additionally, when you do inquire with a photographer, look to see what their birth package offers. For example, how many weeks are they on-call? Do they have any travel fees? When you are in labor, at what point do they arrive at the hospital, birthing center, or home? Do they include an online gallery of your photos or do they only offer a select few and then you can purchase more? What is their turnaround time for photos?

Look at the Photographers Experience

Are you comfortable with someone who has only shot one or two births (or none!) or do you want someone that has been in this niche for a few years?

If you find someone that hasn't done any birth photos - do they have other photography experience (ie. weddings, families, newborns, etc)? This might help increase your confidence as, although they haven't had their first birth yet, they do know how to work a camera. Additionally, some photographers that are just starting out in birth might offer free or heavily discounted prices so if your budget is tight, look to see if this is an option for you.

If there is a photographer that is popular in your community that you love, make sure to inquire ahead of time as they can book out pretty far in advance ( aka 9 months ahead of time). ;)

Do You Connect With Them?

Alright, you think you found your birth photographer but let's dive into this last tip...

Birth is a sacred space. An intimate space shared with you and your loved ones. My final (& BIGGEST) tip is to find someone that you & your partner feel comfortable with - someone that makes you feel like a friend or family member from the moment you inquire. Having a stranger come into your birth space is already nerve-wracking so having someone in the room that you don't feel connected with can make the experience, unfortunately, not the best.

As mentioned above, look at the review from other mamas - do they rave about the photographer in a way that makes you feel excited to inquire with them? Do they seem friendly and personable on their social media pages? Remember, just because you inquire it does not mean you HAVE to book with that photographer. If after the first few emails (or phone calls) back & forth have you feeling like they aren't the right fit, let them know (please, for the love of all photography Gods, don't ghost them)! We all have different personalities and some don't mesh and THAT'S OKAY. You will find someone that makes you feel empowered, comfortable, and excited for your birth - I promise.

Feel like I'm the right photographer for you? Yay!! Click the link below to inquire and I'll see you soon, mama!