Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Birth Photographer

Choosing to invite a birth photographer to attend your birth, and capture the event as it unfolds, is a very personal decision. The birth of your child is going to be one of the pivotal moments of your life, whether that is because of the strength and empowerment you feel giving birth, or because of the overwhelming you love you feel once that baby is placed in your arms.

If you have decided to hire a birth photographer to take professional photographs at the birth, you may be wondering how to find the right birth photographer. Here are some important things to consider:

1. Do you like their style?
Each photographer has a unique style, and a feel to the photographs that make them stand out. When you are looking for birth photographers, have a look through their portfolios. Choose a birth photographer whose style most appeals to you. There’s no point forking out for photographs you won’t love. Look on their websites, Facebook business pages, and ask to see photographs at your appointment, so you can get a feel for what’s on offer.

2. Do they put you at ease?
There is no modesty in birth. You will be, at least, semi naked, surrounded by strangers, at your most vulnerable. If you’re going to throw a photographer into the mix, make sure this won’t leave you feeling uneasy. Find a photographer who you click with, one who you think will blend into the background during the birth, and who you will feel comfortable around. Meet up with a few different photographers before making a final decision, so you can compare bedside manners.

3. Do they have the relevant experience?
You want a photographer who will be in their comfort zone during the birth. If you are planning to give birth at hospital, find a photographer who has experience of hospital births, ideally at the same hospital. Hospitals have rules and procedures that photographers must abide by, so choose a photographer who has experience of this.

4. Will they be available?
Sadly, your baby is unlikely to let you know when his birthday will be in advance. You may be calling your birth photographer at 10am on a Wednesday, or at 3am on a Sunday morning. Find out how your photographer’s availability works. Will you be able to get hold of them at the crucial time, and will they be able to guarantee being there for the birth (time permitting, of course). If, for example, there are certain times they may be unavailable, will those hours be covered by another photographer, and if so, will you get to meet them in advance?

5. How much will it cost?
Birth photography isn’t cheap, but prices can vary drastically. Find out about the costs, and whether there are any ways to reduce the price. Less experienced photographers may offer a discount for experience. Find out what is included in the price – will you be given the original photo files, or will you need to order prints through the photographer? If you need to order prints through your photographer, ask for the costs in advance so you can allow for this in your budget.

Now you’ve selected your birth photographer, you need to think about setting some ground rules. Decide what you want to be photographer, and what things are off limits (if any).

Are you hiring a birth photographer to capture your baby’s birth?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Photographing Your Baby

We’ve all seen them – the perfect pictures of a cocooned baby on a beautifully crocheted blanket with just the right lighting. Then when we try to take that picture at home, we come up a bit short of the artistic image we expected. Aside from hiring a professional photographer, what can you do to beautifully capture your precious little one?

Photographers have the following tips for photographing your baby at home:

Safety is paramount: Make sure any props you use are sturdy and clean. No leaving baby laying on a table or fluffy pillow. If baby will be undressed, make sure the room is warm.

Pay close attention to lighting: Natural light makes for the best photos, so set your shot up near a large window to take advantage of lots of daylight. This is especially helpful for making the most of those hospital pictures that capture the first days of baby’s life.

Keep extra supplies on hand: Diapers, wipes and blankets are helpful. Be sure baby is fed and comfortable before starting, and take breaks if baby gets fussy.

Let the baby stand out: Choose a neutral color palate for your background (black, white, grey, beige) and keep props to the minimum. The baby should be the focus of the images.

Use angles to your advantage: Try taking pictures from above – which limits distractions in the background and is typically a flattering angle. Don’t move the baby, move yourself. Take pictures from all different angles, walking around baby and snapping as you go. Consider tilting the camera for an artsy image.

Consider a macro lens or setting: To get the best images of those tiny fingers and toes, choose the correct settings on your camera to bring out the detail.

For the fussy baby: Consider images where mom is holding baby (even if the backdrop is draped over mom’s body!). Play some white noise or classical music to keep the mood calm. If baby is too fussy, end the photo session and try again another time.

Get to know your camera before the photoshoot. A top-of-the-line camera won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it. Learn how to change the settings to capture the best lighting. Play around with modes – portrait, action, landscape, shutter speed, etc. Learn what focal length and aperture are, and try shooting manually with your camera.

As your baby grows into a toddler and young child, some of the same rules apply, but you may be trying to shoot pictures of a moving target. Tips for capturing images of your older child include: Get down to their level (rather than always taking pictures from your taller perspective), give them something to hold or something to do, or ask them to copy your facial expressions.

Candid shots are always fun, too. Don’t always focus on the portrait sessions.

The best advice, though, is to stay in the moment. Sometimes being the constant family photographer – for holidays, birthday parties, and vacations – keeps you from living the experience. So, at least once in a while, put the camera away and join in the fun.

Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.