Hey new birth photographer,
I see you there eager to learn alllllllll the things about birth photography. I was once you. At that starting point jumping all in not really knowing what I was doing. Along the way though I have learned a lot. It has been through trial and error. Practice and patience. Ebbs and flows, lots of highs and even some lows. Birth photography is becoming more and more popular – I understand the draw to it. The raw emotion of birth, the excitement of witnessing new life, the tears of joy, the feeling of pride.
Birth photography is so much more. It’s dedicating your life to an unpredictable event outside your control. Leaving your home at 2am and not returning for 4-36+ hours. It’s going with the flow and having a backup to your backup plan. Missing holidays with your family, not being able to commit to dinners out with friends, skipping out on that concert 2 hours from home because it falls within your on-call time, it’s running on little to no sleep at times, being awake for 24+ hours supporting a laboring mama. It’s a high honor to hold space for a family, an absolute joy and delight to document one of the most important moments in life. It’s knowing that you’re willing to move mountains to be with your clients, day or night.
What it’s not is something that can be taken lightly. Being a birth photographer means making a commitment to be there for your clients when they call. No matter what, beyond “Acts of God”. It takes practice, skill, patience, insight into the birthing process. Knowing how your camera works, inside and out. Knowing how to shoot in drastic changing lighting conditions, being confident to capture split second moments. There are NO do-overs. No posing, no makeup sessions. What happens if your main camera fails during delivery? Do you have a backup camera seconds within reach?
Does your contract cover what happens if you get a flat tire on your way to a birth? What about if your sick in bed? Do you have a network of other birth photographers you trust to hand your clients over to? You have to be prepared for out of left field scenarios. Have you calculated your CODB? What about understanding your local hospital policies and adhering to them? How do you handle other scheduled sessions around a birth client EDD? These are all questions to ask yourself before launching a birth photography business.
Birth Photography is soul rewarding work. Is it hard? You bet. Is it worth it? You bet. I see you in the FB forums eager to get started. I just want you to be fully aware of the commitment you are making. The sacrifice and demand of birth photography. The time, money, talent, skill and grit it takes to do this work. In my 5+ years and 70+ births I have seen it all practically. It’s a crazy ride, welcome to it.
xoxo ~ Laura
Laura Fifield Photography