umbilical cord in birth

You’ve asked and here are our answers!

We get lots of the same questions over and over again when we meet with potential clients. They are GREAT, IMPORTANT questions! We’re going to compile a list of your most burning questions right here!

I’m going to start out with a little fun because people can sometimes have really funny reactions when they innocently ask “What do you do?” and the response is “I’m a birth photographer!”. Questions. So many questions.

The BIGGEST question we hear is-

Q: “Wait, so, you’re like IN there? When the baby is COMING OUT?”

A: YEP! We sure are! Isn’t that SO COOL!? We are actually in the SAME room as the baby who is in the process of being born! BEST.DAY.EVER!

Next up-

Q: Who would want pictures of THAT!? I mean….POOP!?

A: Well, poop does happen. It’s 100% COMPLETELY and TOTALLY NORMAL. We’re not fazed by it because….normal! That being said, we actually don’t photograph poop. Well, Mom’s poop anyway.

Now that that is out of the way for all of you who may not be familiar with what we do here, lets get to the top questions we hear from potential clients.

Q: Why is it so expensive?

A: There were many factors that went into determining our price points. The biggest factor has to be the on call aspect of this work. When our clients call we drop everything to be with them for an unknown amount of time. That’s pretty significant. Take into account our top of the line equipment & our curated skill sets-all important things that enable us to provide the best for our clients-and we think you’ll find that the investment is well worth it.

Q: How do you manage doula + photography at the same time?

A: Really easily! The most significant point here is that we photograph with INTENTION. Which means that we aren’t constantly photographing. We can see a moment, snap a photo of that moment and then put our cameras down and be present in another way until we see the next moment to photograph. Of course if situations arise we will always take on our doula role as first priority when necessary.

Q: How does your partnership work? Who will come to our birth?

A: We both have the same skill sets and we have worked together to create a similar style in our photos. We have worked hard in making sure our clients receive the same top notch care and product no matter which one of us attends the birth. We both attend all consultations and we like to communicate with our clients during pregnancy via group text. That way we’re all on the same page and all forming a relationship. For our photography + doula clients we will both also attend the prenatal appointment (postpartum appointments will be done with whomever attend the birth). We deliver each of our clients an on call calendar for the weeks surrounding their estimated due date. Typically we switch on and off call every 3-5 days.

Q: How do you include the spouse or partner?

A: It is our goal to have partners PRESENT in labor and birth. We love the sweet moments that we get to photograph between birthing persons and their partners that would other wise be missed if the partner was the one doing the photographing. Photographing the family connection is the greatest wish we have when documenting each birth. We provide the space for partners to really be able to submerge themselves into the labor and birth experience that is theirs to fully live and enjoy! We are there as doulas to assist partners in caring for the birthing person. That may be gentle suggestions on different comfort measures to try or tagging in on hip squeezes when their arms need a rest. We never ever wish to replace spouses or partners.

Q: What if you miss the birth?

A: We do a really good job of coaching our clients on when and how to contact us when labor begins. We do not want to miss your birth just as much as you don’t want us to miss your birth! That being said, fast births do happen. In the unlikely event that the birth is missed we would come to you as quickly as possible and photograph your family’s story from that moment on. If we felt like we still weren’t able to sufficiently document your story we would make plans with you to add to your gallery by way of a fresh 48 session or a newborn lifestyle session in your home.

Q: Can you photograph cesarean births?

A: Sometimes! This really depends on the facility, your medical staff and your specific situation. We’ve been really welcomed into some of the OR’s in Pittsburgh. Other hospitals have stricter rules and we have been turned away. This is something we talk with each of our clients about during their consultations in specific regard to their chosen place of birth. In emergent cesarean situations we will very likely not be permitted into the OR even at the most welcoming hospitals in our area. We do have suggestions for our clients on how to talk to their care providers (and which ones specifically) to give us the highest chance possible of gaining access to the OR. We will help you advocate for yourselves. In the event that we cannot gain access we will remain with you until you enter the OR and meet you in recovery directly after.

Q: Does my hospital allow photography or have you had any issues/pushback at the hospital I’m delivering at?

A: Aside from situations including the OR (which we’ve covered in the previous question) we have not had a situation with any of our clients in any of the hospitals we’ve visited that prevented us from documenting our clients story. The biggest ‘rule’ we encounter in hospital settings is that we may not photograph the ‘perineum’ during birth. So that means no crowning shots. We are still very much able to document the entire story despite this rule. Often times during this stage of the process we will position ourselves beside the birthing persons shoulders opposite of the partner. This way we are able to photograph baby the moment they are delivered and all the sweet first reactions from the baby’s family.

Occasionally we will have a member of hospital staff that requests not being photographed. This is absolutely fine as this story is about you and your family and you are always our main focus.

We have had a few situations pop up where clients were told about strict “no photography” policies during hospital tours. When this happens we encourage our clients to take a deep breath & speak directly to their care team about our presence in the birth space. Each time all has turned out well and there were no issues with us being there at all.

Q: Do you attend home births?

A: YES! We love home births!

Q: If there is an emergency in my birth what do you do?

A: This is definitely an example of a time that we would step forward as your doula first and foremost. We would assist you in understanding what was happening, help you get answers to any questions you may have and provide space for you and your partner in the form of comfort and support. We may find it appropriate in certain situations to pause on photographing. Whenever possible we would remain with you.

Q: How can I convince my partner to be on-board with having a doula/photographer at our birth?

A: Talk to them! Let them know why it’s important to you to have a doula/photographer in your birth space. Show them these FAQ’s. Meet with us together!

Often times partners may feel that they can cover the services we provide. This is what we do, this is our job. We have lots of info, experiences and resources on many aspects of pregnancy, labor & birth, breastfeeding and the 4th trimester. Info and resources that no “non-birth worker” person would be expected to have. And, while iPhone photos are nice they just cannot compare to the work that we do.

Some partners may be worried about being pushed out of the experience. In fact, we are there to ENHANCE the presence of partners in birth.

Q: Why do you not offer a “doula only” package?

A: We love what we do! We love supporting family’s during one of the biggest moments of their lives so, so much. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be invited into your birth spaces. We feel so strongly about the empowerment and sometimes, healing, that can come from having your birth documented in photographs that is has become our biggest passion. Because of that we have made the decision to make the most room possible in our schedules for those family’s that also have a passion for photography.

Q: I see lots of beautiful photos on your social media pages and website. What if I want my photos to be private?

A: We NEVER share ANY photos without consent. Birth is a sacred, intimate moment in your life. We would never disrespect your wishes for privacy. When we deliver your online gallery to you there are different ways you can mark your photos and their privacy. You let us know exactly how we can use each photo. We obviously love when we do have the opportunity to share our work (we’re proud of it and YOU!). We never tag photos or attach any identifying info, such as full names, when we do get the chance to share.