When my firstborn was a mere 10-months-old, I was invited to join a friend in labor as her photographer. I had dabbled in family photography for a few months prior and because of my love for birth, wanted to try my hand at birth photography.
Now that I'm a doula, years later, I have seen a recurring trend. Women either can't afford a doula AND birth photographer, or they desire to keep birth attendants to a minimal which leads them to choose one or the other. After much internal debate, the lightbulb went off for me that I should begin offering this as a package option for clients.
Here's the thing. I LOVE birth photographers and DFW has an amazingly talented bunch that I adore. I also love being IN the photos. (Because I'm selfish, and I like to use them for advertising purposes.) Because of this, I am going to encourage clients who can hire a professional photographer to do so.
I have a good eye for the work and I know how to shoot in Manual, but I am not blinded to the fact that there are plenty far more talented than I. If you can afford it (financially or otherwise), hire one of the amazing birth photographers in our area. If you don't know who they are, I'm happy to pass along their information.
To maintain my good relationships with the photographers in our area, I am limiting my birth photography packages to Labor Support clients, only. I will not work solely as a birth photographer. It is not my high calling. I enjoy it and I see a need, so I'm simply filling the gaps. Also for 2018, I am offering FREE birth photography to all my clients who wish to have images of their birth. This is simply so I can get comfortable with switching between doula mode and photographer mode. Clients will receive at least 10 unedited, downloadable images.
Beginning in 2019, I will charge extra for packages that include birth photography. I will use the next year to perfect my technique, work out any kinks, and think through appropriate fees. So, stay tuned for those updates.
I have so much respect for photographers. It is hard work thinking through small details that others don't even notice, not to mention combing through and editing sometimes hundreds of images. If you have the means, PLEASE support local photographers who make their living in this art. I am merely killing two birds with one stone, because I understand financial limits as well as wanting as limited a crowd in the birth room as possible. Birth photography is important and I hate the thought of someone missing out because of circumstances.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a FREE consultation, feel free to post in the comments, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or fill out a Contact Me form here.