Frequently Asked Questions
Q - I’m considering hiring you. What are the steps involved?
The first step is to contact me via my contact page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will enable me to confirm my availability, answer any questions you might have, and make sure we are a good fit... as I want you to have the best birth experience ever with a story that you can share for generations to come, so who you choose to have on your birth team matters! Following this initial contact, we will set up a meeting over coffee/tea to get to know each other better, and I will also send a detailed collection guide that includes all of my collection options so that you can get a clear understanding of my services and who I am as a storyteller. Once you make the decision to book, I will send you a custom quote, my client agreement, and a simple way to pay your deposit online to hold your spot. After that, I’ll send over my client questionnaire to make sure I know everything you could possibly need me to know for your birth... and then we'll prepare for your birth story together from there as team! My ultimate goal is to serve you in any way that I can during your pregnancy and birth journey, so truly when I say I'm here for you as a teammate and cheerleader, I mean it!
Q - What exactly does it mean when you say you are “on-call”?
My husband is a physician, so the “on-call” life is something we are very familiar with. Much like an OB has a pager ready when on call for a birth, I will have my phone turned on loud, at all hours of the day from 38 weeks until you deliver, ready and available for any calls/texts about potential labor, and for the “big call” when it’s time for me to head that way. Just like many mamas have bags packed and ready to go for when labor starts, I will make sure to have clothes laid out, equipment packed, batteries charged, etc. so that when it’s go time, I can make it to you as quickly as possible! I also make sure to stay local, have flexible childcare readily available (for any hour of the day and an unspecified amount of time) and that any day-to-day activities are made with the understanding that I might need to cancel at any moment. Living the “on-call” life is not easy - but it is SO worth it to be able to capture such an incredible moment in you and your baby’s life story!
Q - I’m a little concerned about feeling watched or distracted by the camera - but in the same breath would love to have this important day documented. Will you be around/shooting the entire time?
My goal in documenting your birth is to tell your story in an authentic, organic way without disturbing the birth process in any way. Upon my arrival, if things seem to be more chill/ambling along, I will often get a few shots to tell that part of your story and then sit back and let you do your thing while keeping an eye out for any special moments to capture. As labor gets more intense, it is normal for mamas to find a position that feels right to them and hang out their for a while laboring. In this case, I’ll take a similar “fly on the wall” approach by grabbing the shots needed to tell the story without constantly being in your space. As mamas get closer to delivery, things generally start moving faster and I will be photographing more as needed. That being said, most of the time mamas and their partners are so “in the zone” that they don’t even notice I’m there.
Above all, my experience in birth has allowed me to learn to read the situation so I generally know when to withdraw a little vs. step back in; and I work very hard to anticipate moments so I can tell your story in its fullness without having a paparazzi style presence. (And know I will NEVER be offended if you ask for privacy in any given moment. I'm there to serve you in whatever way you see fit!) I’ve had some of the most private mamas hire me with this same worry, and tell me later that they hardly realized I was in the room. Check out my testimonials on Facebook to hear some of my mamas’ experiences.
Q - The “graphic” nature of birth isn’t something that appeals to me. Can you document my birth without including those shots?
Absolutely! I take respecting my clients’ sense of modesty and privacy very seriously. I very rarely take photos from the “business end”, and only do so when specifically requested. Instead, depending on your positioning and the placement of those in your birth team, I can sometimes capture the birth itself without revealing any “parts” if that is something you desire. I am also more than happy to just focus my camera on capturing that sweet first moment baby is brought to your chest, if having something of the actual “birth” isn’t desirable to you.
Q - What if my baby is early? Will you be there?
Even if I’m not officially “on-call” yet for your birth based on your due date, I will do everything I can to attend your birth should your baby decide to make their entrance earlier than expected. If for some reason I am unable to make it, then I will call one of my backup photographers to attend your birth in my place.
Q - What if my birth progresses too quickly for you to make it?
This has only happened once to me so far, and even the doctors and nurses missed the delivery! (Talk about unexpected!) That being said, this is fairly uncommon (especially when we are keeping in close touch in the weeks leading up to delivery). However, should your labor progress so quickly that I miss the actual birth, I will arrive as soon as possible (I arrived only three minutes after the baby mentioned above was born) to capture all of the lovely bonding moments, family meeting baby, newborn exam, first bath, etc. - and will often stay a little longer than usual to make sure every last moment is documented. No matter how your story unfolds, I will still be able to tell it in a way that is special and memorable (and includes lots of photos for your USB/albums).
Q - What if I need a C-section?
Depending on the hospital/physician, I have been allowed to accompany clients to the OR so I can capture the birth, and my experience in working with/being respectful of hospital staff in this manner is a great help as I document this part of your story. If for some reason/policy I am not allowed back, I will plan to stay until after the c-section and you are in recovery. If possible, I will send your support person back with one of my cameras and a few pointers so they capture a few shots that we can incorporate into your birth story, while I document the “outside world” of family waiting, etc. If in very rare circumstances I will not be allowed into recovery or will be unable to see you or baby for a very extended period of time, I will speak with you about the possibility of coming back later that day or the next day to finish documenting your story.
Q - What if my birth is very long or I am transferred from home/birth center to a hospital? Do you stay and/or go to the hospital with us?
Yes! Birth is unpredictable and I will be with you every step of the way that I am allowed. I’ve attended births where from 1st contraction to baby was less than 3 hours, and then experienced a birth personally where my photographer was there for two days! Whatever happens, I will talk with you about what you feel is the best plan for you and completely respect your desires/wishes. If you transfer to the hospital from a planned home/birth center birth, I will follow you there if desired and work with your expanded birth team to help you have the best possible experience.
Q - How will I know when to call you and when do you come to the birth?
As you near your due date, I like to be in touch fairly often to know what’s going on with your body/baby so I can make sure all of my ducks are in a row when the time comes. There is never such a thing as “too much info” with me… so little text updates like “my Braxton hicks are really kicking up this morning, but not sure if it’s anything” are SO helpful as every little detail gives me clues to prepare so I can come quickly when you are ready. That being said, even if you have a labor that gives little/no warning, I am still on-call and will do my best to get there as quickly as possible!
Q - What happens if you are sick or at another birth when I need you?
I limit the amount of births I take per month to avoid this happening, but in the event that I am unable to attend due to another birth or being sick, I have experienced back-up photographers that I can call to step in to photograph in my place. In the event I am able to come later, I will trade places with them and will still handle post-processing, etc. so your images/birth story have the look you desire.
Q - How far in advance of my birth should I book a birth session/Fresh 48?
The sooner the better! Due to the nature of living “on-call,” I limit the number of births and Fresh 48 sessions I take per month, so once they are booked, they are gone. I require a $500 deposit for birth stories and $100 deposit for Fresh 48 sessions to hold your date, and then am more than happy to work with you once you have the date reserved on payment plans, etc. so you can have the birth package you desire without tons of stress.
Q - Do I need to talk to my care provider to see if he/she will allow a photographer?
YES! The care providers are typically the “gate keepers” of whether or not a photographer will be allowed in to document your birth. It is your responsibility to talk with them about your desire to have me there, as well as any of their policies regarding photo/video. Letting them know that I am an experienced professional (and doctor’s wife) who will be respectful and not get in the way is always helpful, too! :)
Q - I want to book now to reserve my spot, but I don’t have an appointment for another month to ask about having a photographer at the birth. What happens if I book, and then find out that birth photography isn’t allowed?
If after speaking with your care provider about the possibility of having me there for your birth, they are too uncomfortable and just won’t budge, I am more than happy to apply your deposit towards any other sessions. We could arrange for me to come capture baby bonding/meeting family/first bath etc following the birth in a Fresh 48 session, do a newborn lifestyle session/herbal bath at home, etc. Whatever you would prefer!
Q - How long will you be at my birth?
In typical circumstances, I will arrive after active labor is established and you are ready for me, and will stay until 2-3 hours after baby is born.
Q - How long will it take to receive the images/birth story film?
I have a stated 6-8 week turnaround on all photography sessions, and a 90 day turnaround for birth films. That being said, I do my best to get things edited in an efficient manner and am sometimes able to get things back before this timeline. My utmost goal is to deliver high quality images with a top-notch client experience. For birth stories, when your images are close to being ready, I will touch base with you to set up your slideshow/movie reveal, which can act as a fun reunion for your birth team to reminisce on your birth experience and also serves as a perfect time to personally deliver all images/product.
Q - Will you travel outside of the Tulsa Metro to document my birth/shoot a lifestyle session?
I would be more than happy to travel outside of the Tulsa Metro for your birth/other session for a travel fee, and have documented multiple births in the OKC area. Contact me so we can discuss the specifics on location, etc.
Q - Are you going to post my pictures/video online?
I LOVE to share birth stories online as they are empowering and inspiring and normalize the birth experience in our communities - which I am SO passionate about! However, I will NEVER share anything without your expressed permission on specific images and a signed model release. I completely respect your right to privacy and will not be offended at all should you ask to keep your images just between the two of us.
Q - What deposit do you require?
For birth stories, I require a $500 deposit. For all other sessions the deposit is $100.
Q - Do you offer a payment plan?
I am more than happy to work with clients on a flexible payment plan so that they can have their birth or story documented the way they hope/imagine. Please contact me to chat about your specific situation, and we can work something out!
Q - Do you have a referral program?
YES! I LOVE working with repeat clients and their friends - and it is my joy to offer clients $50 session credit for any client they refer to me that books a birth story package, and $25 session credit for any client that books another session type.