WHY HIRE A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER?
Having a dedicated person like me at your birth whose sole responsibility is to document those wonderful first moments will allow your partner to spend their time fully supporting you during the birth instead of worrying about trying to capture all of the important shots of the day. They’ll be able to enjoy every moment fully and participate much more rather than watching it unfold from behind a camera. Not to mention, chances are I have a better eye for capturing those moments!
HOW DO YOU MANAGE BEING BOTH A DOULA AND DOING PHOTOGRAPHY WHILE AT A BIRTH?
When hired as your doula, I am first and foremost committed to providing you with comfort, care, and creating a safe, nurturing environment for which to birth. If there is a moment when I am not hands-on providing comfort, I will quietly pick up my camera and take a couple of shots. Typically, I come to your home early before labor is too intense. At that time, I take a lot of shots of sweet moments of couples working together in their home anticipating the baby. But eventually, labor gets intense and my focus shifts to being more of a doula. At that time, my camera is mostly on the side. I typically don’t pick up the camera again until birth is near.
In my experience, I don’t find that I need to shoot every contraction to be able to tell the story of your birth. I’ve been very successful at managing the dual role of handling both. However, there could be unforeseen circumstances like a particularly fast labor that I am very hands-on providing care and unable to pick up my camera. But keep in mind, even if it’s a quick, hands-on labor, I still take photos once your little one arrives for about 2 hours afterward to capture all of the first magical moments and details – those first looks of love, cutting of the cord, the weigh-in, first breastfeeding, and those teeny little fingers and toes.
CAN WE HIRE YOU FOR ONLY BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY AND NOT AS A DOULA?
Absolutely. Assembling your birth team is an important part of making your day comfortable and special. Many women are loyal to a doula that has helped them before, or maybe have connected with someone else in a special way. In that situation, I happily fade into the background as a calm, unobtrusive presence and will act solely as your photographer. Hospital births can be tricky because most NYC hospitals restrict the number of support people attending your birth to just one, so check your hospital policy first. However, this situation works wonderfully for a home birth.
HOW MUCH IS YOUR FEE?
My fees start at $2,500. Please contact me at the link above and let me know if you are interested in me as your doula, photographer, or both. I will respond shortly with pricing information.
WHAT EXACTLY DO WE GET OUT OF THIS?
Included in my fee:
My photography fee covers capturing the birth and immediate postpartum period 1-2 hours after birth, the editing/processing, and a download of ALL high-resolution files (100+). The download comes with a “Print Release” giving you the legal right to print as many copies as you wish.
In about 2 weeks, I will have the editing complete and will deliver the files via a secure download. I always deliver over a hundred images processed in both color and B&W, making this a great value.
For an additional cost:
I can add a complete set of 4×6 prints, additional 5x7s, 8x10s, a photo album, a private online slideshow set to music for friends and family to enjoy. If there’s anything printing related you need, contact me and I’ll make it happen.
WHEN WILL WE GET OUR PICTURES BACK?
I will normally have your photos edited and available for delivery within 2 weeks after your birth. Contact me if needed sooner for a birth announcement and I’ll do everything I can to help.
WHEN DO YOU COME TO THE BIRTH AND HOW LONG DO YOU STAY AFTERWARDS?
When acting as your doula/photographer, I will join you wherever and whenever you wish, at any point you decide that you would need an extra pair of hands and some loving, nurturing comfort. If I’m acting as only your photographer, it might not make sense for me to be there at the first twinge of labor, so I’ll join you once labor starts to become more active. For both situations I will stay about 2 hours afterward.
CAN YOU PHOTOGRAPH A CESAREAN BIRTH?
This area can be tricky, NYC area hospitals typically aren’t too open to having labor support during a cesarean delivery. If your cesarean is planned, please discuss with your care provider and get permission ahead of time. If for some reason, a cesarean is an emergency and I am not available or allowed to attend, I still come to the birth and document whatever I can such as family waiting excitedly in the waiting room. Once you’re in the room recovering with baby a couple hours later, I then join you in the room in order to capture all of those wonderful first moments. In my experience, I’ve found the photos I delivered were very healing to the mothers that had cesareans and were instrumental in reframing the experience. If more serious circumstances of your birth require that I do not shoot, our contract covers this situation and the amount paid for will instead transfer to a newborn photoshoot either at my studio or location of your choice.
WHEN IS IT BEST TO BOOK YOU AS OUR BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER?
Since I only attend a certain number of births per month, it is best to reserve your spot as soon as you decide you would like me to be there. I am often fully booked in advance, so if you are interested in having me at your birth and it is coming up soon, please contact me as soon as possible to see if I have an opening.
HOW MANY BIRTHS DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH PER MONTH?
I limit myself to four, that’s why it is so important to reserve your spot as soon as possible.
HOW MANY BIRTHS HAVE YOU ATTENDED?
I've attended close to 200 births, making me a senior-level doula and very experienced birth photographer.
DO YOU OFFER MATERNITY AND CHILDREN’S PORTRAITURE, AS WELL AS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Absolutely. Please visit my main portfolio site at http://www.heatherwhitephoto.com/portfolio#/family/ for examples of my work and contact me for pricing and availability.