How far in advance should we book? How many clients do you take on?
I take on 2-3 birth story clients a month. It is best to reserve your date as soon as possible usually around the 20th week of pregnancy. Maternity and newborn sessions should be scheduled around this time. However, please check in because I may have room for you!!
How do we secure our due date?
During your initial inquiry we can briefly chat about your needs, hopes for your birth and package options that best suit your desires. Once you are decided on your package you will receive a service agreement to read and sign. A $500 initial payment is also due at this time. We will meet around 36 weeks of your pregnancy to go over a day of checklist. It is best that your partner comes with you so that everyone has a chance to meet and we are all on the same page. I will be able to answer our questions that have come up and go over your birth plan. I will then be on call starting at 38 weeks.
Do you have a back-up? What if you can't make it?
Yes I do! I always work with a reliable back up photographer, Jill from This Is Family. This is a photographer whom I trust and whose work I greatly respect. I would use a back-up in case of a family emergency or if two births were happening at the same time. Depending on the situation the back up photographer might come for a couple hours or be with you the entire birth. We can chat more about back-up photographers at our meeting, at which time you can request to meet her as well.
Do I need to talk to my provider to see if he/she will allow a birth photographer?
It is your responsibility to make sure your provider and hospital will allow photography during your labor and delivery. If you are having a homebirth I can assure you that birth photography will be welcome.
Throughout the last 8 years I have documented births at the following hospitals.
- Hinsdale Hospital
- Elmhurst Hospital
- Good Samaritan
- Rush Copley
- West Suburban Medical Center
- Prentice Women's Hospital
- Swedish Covenant
- Evanston Hospital
- U of C
Most hospitals are very welcoming to birth photographers, some require that no photos be taken during the “birth”. Some hospitals have a limit on the number of support people that can be in the room. If you are scheduled for a C-Cection you will probably only be allowed 1 support person during the surgery but please talk to your doctor in advance to see if an exception can be made for 1 support person AND your photographer. It might not happen, but ask! If I am not allowed in the OR, I will stay close by photograph your partner and baby being brought out and meeting family and will follow your baby to capture all of those firsts while you are in recovery, depending you the birth package I may be able to come back the next day to document your new family together. We can talk about this more in detail at our meeting.
What if I go into labor at 2am..will you be there?
Yes! I will! Working together means I am committed to being at your birth and will be on call 24/7 from 37 weeks until baby arrives. Once labor begins I will clear any obligations and join you around the time you are in active labor. We will stay in communication during early labor so that we can asses the best time for me to come
Will you post my photos online?
That's up to you!
Usually I like to post a handful of photos on social media for a sneak peak or use them on my website or share inspiring tid bits from your birth story along with some photos on my blog. How graphic or PG the photos are is totally up to you. Keep in mind that if you allow posting of even one photo you are inspiring other women with the beauty and honesty of your story :) thank you!!
If you do not wish for any of your photos to be shared I will always respect your privacy.
How long will you be at my birth?
I will be at your birth staring in active labor (sometime around 7-8 cm) to two hours after baby is born. Since each birth is different we can discuss this more when we initially meet.
I also offer newborn and brand new bonding sessions, which are designed to capture the authentic bonding moments of your new family in greater detail. You might want to consider adding one of these sessions to your birth package.
Will you be posing my new baby a lot during the newborn session?
Nope. Newborns are little people and not all of them like being folded into a pretzel. However if your baby is sleepy I will be happy to take some nakey or in a cute outfit-squishy-baby photos. I gently pose your baby and let him/her fold into a position that is natural for him/her. I suggest that you have some great wrapping blankets as well as cute outfits ready. I do not bring any props, and prefer that most of the props come from you to keep the session more personal.
The goal of my newborn sessions is to capture the essence and freshness of your family as you get to know each other and bond and your beauty and glow as a new mother.