Frequently asked questions

I'm having trouble deciding if I want my birth documented...


It might seem bizarre to some people, hiring a photographer to capture moments that seem very private and medical, right? But if you think about some of the most transformative and important moments in life, what comes to mind? Maybe graduations, weddings and birth? Most people don't bat an eye at hiring a professional to capture senior or wedding photos but we make do with blurry iPhone photos to capture one of the most raw and emotional transformations in life! When a professional comes to take photos at a birth they have the training and equipment to get the light and angles right – they are looking to make a beautiful story for you to look back on as you process the transformation you have made – from one to two (or more!) A good birth photographer has also discussed with you your wishes regarding level of modesty, and knows how to capture the perfect images from the right angles to tell your story the way you want it told. And last but vying for most important: a professional photographer frees up your support team and partner to be in the moment as well, knowing they don't have to be in charge of recording the memories! After all, you probably wouldn't ask your spouse to snap selfies during your wedding ceremony, would you? (Amusing mental picture though it may be!) Instead your partner gets to focus on you and their own connection to the incredible story unfolding. I've never heard someone who had birth photography regret making that decision but I've heard over and over parents regretting that they didn't. If you are still on the fence check out a few more reasons here and here. Or look into our Fresh 48 sessions - all of the sweet fresh baby, none of the birth.




But I don't want photos of my baby crowning or of my privates – I'm much too...private for that!


This is something that will vary from client to client and it will be discussed at your in person consultation when we get to know one another and chat about your specific wishes. I won't take photos from the "doctor’s point-of-view" while you are delivering (unless you specifically ask me to). Typically birth photographers station themselves at the head or hip so we have the best angle to capture the first photos of baby! I'm a mom myself and you can trust me to take photos that I feel you will cherish and want to remember. Furthermore, no one will see the photos unless you personally share them and/or give me permission to. I am very respectful of the birth process and will leave the room at any point if you ask me to. I will stay nearby so I can return as soon as you wish.




What if I have a C-section?


Regardless of the way your baby enters the world, the memories are worth capturing. It is possible that I may not be allowed in the OR but so far I have not run into that problem. It is up to you to ask your doctor if he will allow it in advance. Even if I am not allowed to attend during the operation, there are still so many moments I will be able to capture. I'll be there when your support person comes to announce the good news and if I am allowed, I'll follow baby to capture the firsts. One might argue that having someone there to capture memories at a c-section is even more important since you will be missing so much while you are in the OR and recovery. I will be honored to act as your eyes during the moments you miss. In the event your baby needs to spend extra time in the NICU, I will come back at a later time to do an additional NICU session at no charge.




How will you handle it if I like to labor in very little light?


Lighting is one of the biggest challenges in birth photography. My equipment handles low light very well with the caveat that I do at least need SOME light. In the hospital the staff will always ensure that I have adequate light to focus but home births can be different. If you find that you like to labor in the pitch dark we will discuss your preferences for that at our consultation. Basically, photography is “painting with light” so I must have at least a little - in that case I might ask if I can open a bathroom or hallway door. I use flash at a birth on a case by case basis as I feel not disrupting the birth space is my ultimate priority. There will be a difference in the look and feel of photos depending on the amount of light available. Low light without flash produces images that have film like grain and are more dark and moody. Flash will make crisper and brighter images, although if you are laboring in the dark they may not reflect your memories of the event as they will seem...bright!




Do you offer payment plans? What is your retainer?


Sure do! Many clients choose to make monthly installments. The balance must be paid in full by 36 weeks. Cash, check, credit or Paypal are accepted. A gift registry is also available. A retainer of 25% must be paid to secure your place on my birth calendar.




What if my birth is really long? Or short?


Then you will be 100% within the realm of normal for birthing women. I am in it for the long haul but do reserve the right to call in a backup after 15 hours. Once invested it's unlikely I will leave though. If you have a precipitous labor I will come as soon as I can and will capture first meetings, bonding, ect. and we will schedule a complementary in home newborn session.




How many photos will I receive?


That depends! Every birth story is different but on average I deliver 125-160 images. If your package includes all digitals, they will be uploaded to a secure gallery site for you to download/order products if you wish. If your package includes a limited number of digitals you may choose to purchase more or buy the rest of your gallery at that time.





Copyright Wandering Oaks Birth Photography 2020.