Choosing a birth photographer can be a daunting task. What do you need to know and look for in a birth photographer? I’m hear to shed some light on the aspects that are essential and the things you should avoid. If you follow this guide, you should have a very positive experience, resulting in stunning images as a legacy for your family.
Is Birth their specialty? Check the photographers website to see if you can immediately tell they are passionate and educated about birth. It’s very important they have experience because it requires a very unique set of skills to photograph in the extremely challenging low light settings of birth and it’s very important the photographer knows how to behave around birthing women and their team. It also takes passion and dedication to be able to sign up to a birth with true commitment. Photographers who are not experienced and are just ‘testing the birth waters’ so to speak, may not fully understand the level of commitment that is needed for a birth. Being on call for 4-5 weeks can really take its toll and I’ve heard of these types of photographers pulling out at the last minute, just not showing up at all or not acting appropriately in the birth space. It is a good idea to ask how long they’ve been shooting births or how many births they have attended.
Do you feel at ease with them? Most birth photographers will be happy to meet with you and see if there is a natural connection to attend and document your birth. As with everyone on your birth team, it’s very important you feel comfortable and safe, to give you the best chance at a physiological birth.
Backup photographer. All good birth photographers work with a back up photographer who is also experienced and available to come in place of your photographer should they be unavailable.
Optimal equipment. Shooting in low light also requires top of the range equipment, which is extremely expensive to buy. The photographers price will usually indicate whether their equipment is up to standard, if a photographer is charging too little this is an indication their equipment won’t cut it and you may be left with blurry, grainy photos that you may as well have taken yourself.
Contract. A contract is extremely important, so you have a written agreement on what is expected from both parties. It’s important to read the contract carefully and ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.
Insurance. Insurance is not to be taken lightly and is an essential element to birth photography. For peace of mind and to know you are signing up with a professional, a birth photographer MUST have insurance. If something was to happen relating to your photographer during your birth, their insurance should cover it.