It may seem like you are walking in the dark when you sit down to meet with a birth photographer for the first time. What kind of questions should you ask? What are you looking for? This is a big investment and you will want to make sure you are making the best decision for your family.
Below are a couple of tips to guide you towards the best decision for you and your family:
1. Before you meet with any photographer, make sure you LOVE the work you have seen on their website.
This may be tough, since a lot of birth photographers do respect the privacy of their clients and don't post a lot of their images publicly. But make sure that what you do see, you love. Don't waste your time connecting with a photographer whose work you don't absolutely love.
2. Find out the photographer's level of familiarity with birth.
Does the photographer seem knowledgable about birth? Birth is a private, intimate event and demands respect in its own way. A professional birth photographer should not only know her role as a spectator only, but also be familiar with the process of birth and the level of respect needed in a labor and delivery room. She should not offer medical advice or present herself as an expert on birth. She should respect you and your partner's birth wishes as well as any guidelines set forth by your medical care provider.
3. Do you feel comfortable in the presence of the photographer?
Any professional birth photographer should meet with prospective clients in person (if possible) to ensure there is a good comfort level between the both of you. Birth is a sensitive time in a woman's life and any feeling of awkwardness or bad energy coming from any person present while a woman is in labor could stall her labor experience. Take note of your comfort level when meeting with a birth photographer to help in your decision making process. Does this person have a good, happy energy? Do they make you feel comfortable and confident in their company? Ask these questions and hopefully the answers will put you one step closer to feeling confident about your decision.
4. Determine your goals before you book.
Find out what end-products you want. Do you want a slideshow? An album? Or just the digital images? Do you want pictures of your entire labor and delivery experience or just the moments after birth? Know what you want to have in your hands at the end of your birth experience and consult with a few select photographers about what they offer. Book a photographer who can provide the end-products you are looking for.
5. Is the photographer running a legal business?
At the very least, your photographer should have insurance and be paying taxes. Are you being charged sales tax? Did the photographer require a contractual agreement between the two of you? If not, that is a sign that your photographer may not have all of her ducks in a row.
6. Does the photographer carry herself professionally?
There is a delicate line that birth photographers balance between professionalism and friendship. Birth is such an intimate experience, it wouldn't be right to feel as though there were a complete stranger present snapping pictures of you during that time. However, a professional birth photographer should have experience building relationships with her clients and should make you not only feel comfortable and at ease with the birth photography experience, but also confident in her services at the same time.
Liz Cook is a photographer by day and a blogger by night. She also wears the hats of wife, mama, and friend, so she's always striving for balance. She lives by the motto "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Follow along as Liz captures love with her lens and celebrates life with her words. Connect with Liz: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Photo credit: The Birth Lens