Frequently Asked Questions
Why hire a birth photographer?
Giving birth is a raw and unpredictable experience. It's intimate. It can't be staged. It's about creating families. It's real and it's beautiful.
As your birth photographer, I'm there to capture that beauty so that you can be fully present to your experience and honour the process in your own way. I'm there to record the magical, loving moments between partners, families, and friends seeing each other through labour, the mother's strength as she brings new life into the world, the faces of parents seeing their baby for the first time, the moment you become a family, the first touch, the first latch - to help you discover the amazing beginning of your unique and precious relationship with your newborn.
What kinds of birth do you photograph?
Birth is remarkable and beautiful no matter where it happens and I will work in whichever setting you choose - in a hospital, at home, water birth, at the birth centre. I have photographed families before and after cesarian births. I may be able to photograph your cesarian birth however it would need to be pre-arranged with your caregiver and this is only under certain conditions. My intention is to capture the relationships, moments and spaces in between that make each birth story special, wherever they occur.
What is your role at the birth?
These are your moments, and yours alone. I'm there as a camera-toting fly on the wall, to capture the beauty of your unique birth story exactly as it unfolds. I honour your space and experience, and I don't interfere - no instructions, requests, or interruptions.
I'm completely self-sufficient from the time you call me to the birth - I arrive with everything I need for any situation that might arise, so you don't have to worry about providing anything for me.
I will honour any requests or decisions we've made together in advance, as well as any directions from your medical and support team during the birth.
Why have you chosen this work?
I'm amazed, humbled and fascinated by birth - it can be a transcendent experience, raw and unpredictable, full of strength and love, and I honour it through journalistic style photography. I want to give parents the gift of being completely present to their own experience, then through photographs exploring the moments that happened along the way. My tag line says it all - I want to take care of the photos while you take care of each other.
Why should we choose you?
Birth is an intimate, unpredictable experience, full of emotion and vulnerability, and inviting a photographer to a birth is an act of immense trust.
I'm a mother of two young children - I've been through the experience myself and I know what a gift it is to be completely present for it. I've photographed birth in a wide array of settings and circumstances. I understand how important it is to allow things to unfold organically and I know to expect the unexpected. I am quiet, calm and I will hold space as your birth story unfolds. My intention is to honour your experience through photography.
I specialize in birth photography - it is my passion and the focus of my work. I only use top of the line camera equipment including back-up equipment should anything go awry. I also work with a team of back-up photographers to be sure that your birth is photographed if there is ever a reason that I cannot attend your birth. I have over 25 years of experience capturing images; that includes hours and hours of experience shooting birth in low light and complicated settings such as small spaces, recovery rooms, homes, outdoors and under hospital lights.
I am involved in our local birthing community and remain connected to local resources and other maternity professionals. I attend conferences and work with networks of birth photographers so I can continue to learn and expand my skills. I have been and will continue to be mentored by other women in this industry and in business so I can continue to grow and improve my craft and business.
I am a trained doula and registered with the Ottawa Valley Doulas, I am sensitive and well trained in the birth experience.
I am a member of the Canadian Birth Photographers and the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, which keeps me current on the birth photography industry as a whole.
How do we decide if this is the right fit?
We'll start with an informal meeting - maybe a chat over a latte - and just get to know each other a bit. You can ask me any questions you have and I'll ask you some standard questions of my own - and we'll see where it goes from there. I work best with folks who appreciate the beauty and unpredictability of the birthing process and want to experience and honour it fully.
How do we make sure this goes well?
We will meet in person at least twice before your birth. I have created an online private information questionnaire so I can know what your dreams are for your birth and around your birth photos. You will know when to contact me and I will know where to meet you long before your 37 week mark. From there, we let go and I am ready when your baby is ready.
The truth is that what we can do is welcome the experience and allow events to unfold as they will. Birth can take us through every emotion - excitement, determination, fear, exhaustion, hope, amazement, surrender, joy, surprise. Birth takes time. There can be a lot of waiting, or non-stop action, or something in between. I'm there to capture the story for you however it unfolds - unscripted, raw and authentic. You can give your full attention to what's happening in the present moment and I will take care of the photos.
This is a really big investment!
Yes it is! Payment plans are available as long as everything is paid by 34 weeks. Gift certificates are also available should a group want to offer birth photography as a gift to an expecting family, for example.
The benefits of investing in birth photography? You will have these images to look back on forever (as long as they are printed). You can go over them yearly on your baby's birthday and tell him his birth story.
You are investing in knowing that I will be there from active labour until your baby arrives. Some births last 6 hours, sometimes they are 24. I will be there. I have a childcare team on call 24/7 so I can be there. I have a bag packed and ready to go in my car every day. I arrive fully prepared with food and so on to be there for the long-haul. My car is full of gas and ready to go when you are. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that ensure you have a birth photographer when your baby is ready to arrive.
You are investing in this experience so you can relax and enjoy your pregnancy, birth and early moments and take care of each other. I will be on call from week 38 and available 24/7 to come to your birth. I will have a back up photographer on hand just in case. My equipment is top of the line, I have back up equipment and I triple store images when I get home. I will process your images with care and deliver them to you in 6-8 weeks.
You take care of each other. I will take care of the photos.
What if there is an emergency? What if things get intense?
Birth is unpredictable and things don't always go the way we hope. I have attended over 50 births now and I understand this. I am also trained as a doula and have a deep respect for birth. Should things go in a direction that feels uncomfortable I will make decisions about images based on conversations and a questionnaire that you would have filled out when you booked. Should you need to transfer from one location to the other - I will follow according to what we discuss when you fill out the questionnaire. The priority is the health and safety of you and your baby and I will always defer to medical professionals.
You are welcome to ask me to leave the room anytime. I will also read the room and make decisions from there. I have put my camera down a few times and I have also had moms ask me to keep shooting. It is your birth.
What if my baby comes early?
This happens too. You can contact me immediately and I will do my best to be there if possible. I will also contact my back up photographer if I can't be there. I can't guarantee I will make it when baby comes sooner than 38 weeks, but I will try! Should I miss your birth in this case I will be there to take images as soon as possible and we will likely follow up with an in home newborn session.
Birth is a private event - not something to be photographed.
This is true for many people. Birth Photography isn't for everyone. I do offer New Here Sessions - this means that I arrive during daylight hours to your place of birth within 48 hours. I do hope to be there as soon as possible. New Here Sessions are a great option for those who still want all the brand new baby details without the labour and delivery. This is a great option for those not wanting the birth but who do want siblings or grand-parents meeting baby for the first time. I am still somewhat on call for these special sessions.
I don't want my photos online. Do I have to have my photos public?
Not at all! Only about 50% of my birth clients allow images to be shared online. These images are for you and your family only. I do appreciate sharing images to continue to build my online portfolio and to show more folks out there what birth photography looks like, but it is not required. There is no extra fee if you want your images private. I am grateful to those families who do allow me to share images for my website and marketing. These photos are for you.
I make a lot of noise during labour. What if I yell a lot? What if I look terrible? What if I cry? What if I look strange or make strange sounds? What if...
I've attended over 100 births and as a professional birth photographer and trained doula - I am comfortable and what you are describing is normal. Often moms feel nervous about having a "stranger" at their birth and this totally makes sense. By the time you even book your calendar spot with Breathe In, we will have already talked on the phone once and met in person for at least an hour. We will be sure it's the right fit for both of us. We will then meet again in person or online at about 34-36 weeks.
I have more questions...
No problem. Please read through this website including the testimonials page and if you still have questions contact me and we can chat. I'm happy to answer questions.