Five Questions Clients Ask About Birth Sessions
What is the difference between Birth Photography and Fresh 48 Photography?
Birth Photography is exactly what it sounds like, it is having a photographer at the hospital while you are giving birth. It's similar to Wedding photography in the way that it is your one chance to capture these special moments which will never happen again. It is truly special and relieves Dad of having to run back and forth taking photographs so he can truly be your support person during labor, delivery and baby's first measurements.
Fresh 48 photography is different. For moms who deliver in a hospital, Fresh 48 happens about two days after baby is born. It's a fantastic time to capture the experience of your first couple of days with Baby. Mom is generally more rested (though far from recovered), and cleaned up to be in these first family pictures. It's a wonderful time to capture baby meeting important family members too.
What is the experience like? Is it weird having a photographer around for the birth?
During labor, most of my moms forget that I am there as they are razor-focused on their task of giving birth. Prior to active labor, I will come in and out of the room periodically to take a few photographs in the moment. These can be photographs of the room, pictures of your partner helping you though a contraction or anything else that I find helps tell your story. When active labor hits, I am there. I am experienced with working around the doctors and can capture what I need while staying out of the way. The Doctors and Nurses jobs and your and baby's health is the most important thing in the moment. I also have moms who have questions about modesty. Rest assured, I've seen it all and am similar in mindset to a Doctor or Nurse. If you are not comfortable with the crowning being captured, I choose angles that are less graphic, (like the first image in this blog).
How long are you around before and after?
Some moms dilate quickly while others take hours. My own birth experiences have all been different and ranged from 27 hours to 7 hours of labor, some moms only have minutes. Once you are admitted to the hospital and progressing, I will come and will stay through your baby's first meeting with those people who have come to the hospital while you were giving birth.
How much time do you need to get to the hospital?
During our initial consultation, we will discuss where you intend to give birth whether a hospital, a birthing center or a home birth. I will then obtain the address and let you know how much time I need to get there. I ask that you or your support person first call me when you are headed to the place you will give birth or when your contractions are regular. I will typically make an initial trip to the hospital at this point. If I have not arrived by the time a nurse or Doula checks your dilation, I often ask for a call or text at that point with your 0-10 dilation information, (the nurse will give you this information after a cervical exam). Once I arrive, I get a feeling for how quickly you have dilated and what the nurses expectations are for continued dilatation. Things can change really quickly, so I will typically stay. I will be in constant contact with your support person throughout your journey and in and out of your room to capture little moments as you journey though labor.
What if you don't make it on time? What if the doctor does not allow you to photograph in the case of an emergency?
This situation has not yet happened to me, but with birth, anything can happen. If the hospital is far from me, I have a network of other photographers that I can generally call if you are, for example, dilated to a 9 or a 10 and I am an hour away. I am always building my network and utilize it to the best of my ability. However, if I do miss the birth because of timing, you will have an option of receiving your deposit back, applying it to a Fresh 48 or newborn session, or inviting me to capture the afterbirth moments as they happen, (these are still precious).
In the case of an emergency C section where I am not allowed in as a photographer I will capture the before to include preliminary labor and special moments between you and your partner. I will also capture photographs as soon as I am allowed after the birth and if possible will capture some of the typical Fresh 48 poses in lieu of the actual birth.
There are no guarantees when babies are born, they each make their own distinct entrance into this world. I would love to be there to tell your little one's birth story!