Who’s this?

I can dress down or dress up. Once I have my camera out, hospital staff takes notice. I am quick to make allies with the nurses. I will have more interaction with them than most of the obgyns. If the birth environment permits I always try to have a quick, kind, informative conversation with the lead nurse as to some of my client’s wishes. I always pose the wishes as reasonable requests under applicable circumstances. There is a quick team I need to form to be able to deliver for my clients. I can’t assume a position at the foot of the bed without communicating with a nurse or 3!

Once the obgyn enters the room I place my camera at my side and I usually sit if there is space. I wait to be introduced or the obgyn will ask the patient “who’s this?”, or I am directly addressed, typically with greetings like, “Oh I see you are a photographer. ” Whether I am introduced or I get to introduce myself, it is humble yet confident. Personally I love when my clients get the chance to introduce me – it validates that I am part of the team. The parents know it, the nurses know and customer satisfaction informs an obgyn. What really makes my day and my client’s as well, is when the doctor and I have report built on previous experiences. I am honored to say, a number of doctors know me and trust me in the birth space. One or two ( I won’t mention names) are familiar enough to chat photography and ask about my family. This is lovely and can also be awkward- I am working and we are there for the birthing person, but I try to navigate those times with a big smile.

A birth photographer on Hiring a birth photographer.

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Things to ask.

  • Do you have a website where I can see your most recent work?
  • How many births have you photographed?
  • Are you familiar with my place of birth?
  • Do you own professional gear? Are you able to shoot in low light?
  • What providers have you worked with?

 


Are you allowed in the OR?

This is important if you are scheduling a cesarean, if you are high risk, or in the event you do have to have a cesarean.

Why are you a birth photographer? This is possibly one of the most important questions.

In private birth photography groups that I am a part of, we have discussed the business of birth. We have discussed hearing that some photographers have picked up a birth or two because it sounded fun. In a few cases due to the inconvenience of birth, the photographer did not show up- it didn’t mesh well with their schedule in the end. A professional birth photographer who has made this their specialty, aims at serving the client on a higher level- NOT to “pick up some work”, not to make some extra money on the side of what they primarily photograph.

There have been other cases where a photographer, inexperienced and not understanding the space of birth violated and or disturbed hospital policies or staff.  These unintended actions ruined the opportunity for the already established professional photographers to continue their work.

Birth does not happen on a photographer’s schedule. Birth is unpredictable and a professional birth photographer will have life adjusted accordingly to be able to drop everything to walk out the door for an unlimited amount of time to be present for your most transformative day!

I am a birth photographer because documenting the transformative in women is priceless, powerful, humbling, validating, and essential to my clientele. It is essential to advocate for women and women’s birth choices. It is essential to uplift women in their birth story. It is a tool for healing and education. It is a way to build a community around women. It is also a private, secret story to relish in the heart and share with the child- the coming earth side. 

This is important if you are scheduling a cesarean, if you are high risk, or in the event you do have to have a cesarean.

How do you navigate yourself within the birth space?

“JENNA IS AN EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL AND RESPECTFUL BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER. WITH HER KNOWLEDGE AS A BIRTH DOULA, SHE UNDERSTANDS THE FLOW AND ENERGY OF THE ROOM AS IT PERTAINS TO THE LABORING WOMAN AND PARTNER. SHE MANAGES TO BLEND INTO THE BACKGROUND WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY CAPTURING BEAUTIFUL, INTIMATE IMAGES. SHE WORKS WITH THE FAMILY, BIRTH SUPPORT STAFF, AND MEDICAL PROVIDERS TO DOCUMENT THE EVENT WITH EASE AND GRACE. IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO WATCH JENNA WORK WHILE I PROVIDED DOULA SUPPORT AND I LOOK FORWARD TO BEING A PART OF A BIRTH SUPPORT TEAM WITH HER AGAIN IN THE FUTURE!”
– MELINDA CLINE; DOULA

Do you have a back up, in case you can’t make my birth?

A professional birth photographer will have a back up in place in case they are not able to make it to your birth. They believe your birth is so important and they work with such integrity that they back themselves up. Birth is unpredictable and we do not know if your birth is going to happen when my child is in the ER, or if I come down with the flu.

I have two professional photographers who back me up. I trust them and their work. 

Do you own a business lisense?

Do you belong to any Birth Photography groups; has your work ever been featured?

This may or may not matter to you in making  your decision, but ask if you are curious.

I belong to IAPB (International Association of Birth Photographers). I have been featured on Birthphotographers.com, Birth Becomes Her, and Tampa Birth Photographer- Dear Little One.

NEW- one of my Twin images was chosen by Birth Becomes Her as one of the TOP 29 images this February 2017!

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Do you edit in color and black and white?

This may be a discussion about philosophy of the art. But it is good to ask your birth photographer if they only edit in black and white and why?  Birth photography is subject to very challenging lighting situations. A strong command of light and knowledge of ones camera is vitally important. Being able to compose an image under stressful situations and poor lighting is a must. Black and white editing should be used to enhance an image, to focus in on the moment or emotion and is ultimately up to the photographer. But should not be used to mask poor quality images.

Personally birth is colorful- I edit in both color and black and white.

Why are you a birth photographer?

In private birth photography groups that I am a part of, we have discussed the business of birth. We have discussed hearing that some photographers have picked up a birth or two because it sounded fun. In a few cases due to the inconvenience of birth, the photographer did not show up- it didn’t mesh well with their schedule in the end. A professional birth photographer who has made this their specialty, aims at serving the client on a higher level- NOT to “pick up some work”, not to make some extra money on the side of what they primarily photograph.

There have been other cases where a photographer, inexperienced and not understanding the space of birth violated and or disturbed hospital policies or staff.  These unintended actions ruined the opportunity for the already established professional photographers to continue their work.

Birth does not happen on a photographer’s schedule. Birth is unpredictable and a professional birth photographer will have life adjusted accordingly to be able to drop everything to walk out the door for an unlimited amount of time to be present for your most transformative day!

I am a birth photographer because documenting the transformative in women is priceless, powerful, humbling, validating, and essential to my clientele. It is essential to advocate for women and women’s birth choices. It is essential to uplift women in their birth story. It is a tool for healing and education. It is a way to build a community around women. It is also a private, secret story to relish in the heart and share with the child- the coming earth side. 

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