Portrait Photography

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WHY BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY

Bringing new life into the world changes you forever, in so many incredible ways. Your child’s birth is monumental for you and all of your loved ones. In my eyes, every moment of labor is filled with beauty and love. Mothers exhibit incredible strength, while their spouses participate fully by offering complete support. Let the documenting of this moment become an heirloom, and take its place as part of your family history.

Never forget this day. Make sure your baby’s first photo session is incredible

BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES

WHAT IS BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY?

The essence of my photography is to capture raw emotions and moments so that anyone who views my work senses both its intimacy and its timelessness. I record the story of your birth through powerful, fleeting moments that, because of the fog of labor and emotion, people forget: a meaningful gaze, a gentle embrace between parents, or the tears of joy shed after your baby is born.

THE EXPERIENCE

Due to the on-call nature of birthing, I can only reserve 1-3 birth photography sessions each month. Because of my limited availability, please book me as early in your pregnancy as you can.

The Birth Date

I will arrive at your birthing location to photograph you during the entire labor process and 1-2 hours postpartum. The session will be photojournalistic in nature–no posing, no props, and no flash, except when I have your permission. Because of low-light conditions, images may be more raw in nature, with some motion blur.

Next Steps

My photography packages always include a beautifully curated, archival quality photo album for you to treasure forever. I will present you with a layout proof, which you can make adjustments to before it is printed into your personalized album. I will also personally deliver a thumb drive with JPEG files of all of your photographs. Please see my Album Descriptions page to learn more about my photography packages.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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From witnessing many births, I have seen that this is the time when both spouses need more support than they have ever needed in their entire lives. It is an exhausting, exhilarating, and highly emotional experience. Asking your spouse to also be the photographer, and perform two jobs, will detract from either, or both. Likewise with asking your doula to photograph the events. A doula’s primary role is to support you during your birth. While your doula may also be a wonderful photographer, it is practically impossible to engage simultaneously as a labor and delivery support system and as a professional photographer.I have trained for years to capture beautiful photographs in all settings, and will be able to focus completely on documenting your unique birth experience. If you want to ensure that all of your important moments are captured in a professional, flattering, artful, tasteful manner, then you want to engage a birth photographer.

Despite our best efforts to plan, Mother Nature is unpredictable. I always try to arrive in time for your baby’s birth, but sometimes this does not happen. If for some reason I do arrive afterward, I will photograph your infant’s early postpartum moments for several hours. Additionally, I offer a lifestyle newborn session at my clients’ home to document their new family.

I always insist on meeting my clients before they engage me. There are always many questions surrounding birth photography, and I find that an in-person meeting is the best way to answer them, allay any misgivings about birth photography, and get to know each other. For clients opting for home birth experiences, I prefer meeting at their home. However, I want my clients to feel comfortable at all times, and can meet anywhere.Once we hold an initial meeting, I remain in constant communication. I like to stay updated on the baby’s progress, of complications (if any), and of course, of the beginning of labor. Just as importantly, I like to get to know my clients. It is important to me to learn their story—how they met, how they interact, what they do for fun. In some ways, our relationship is comparable to a relationship with a doula or midwife.

Beginning twelve days before my clients’ due date, I am on call to go to attend the birth 24/7. If a client goes into labor in the middle of the night, I ask that they telephone me as soon as possible (I prefer telephone calls over text messages, as I do not always hear text alerts).
I am officially on call from week 38-42 of my clients’ pregnancy. During this period, everything else in my schedule can be postponed or canceled. I remain in the general area, and keep my cell phone and packed photography bag on hand at all times. I ask my clients to keep me informed if they have any indication that their baby may arrive before this time period. Because of the unpredictability of birth dates, I deliberately keep my booking schedule open enough to allow for flexibility. Whatever my clients’ situation is, I do my best to arrive in time for the birth.
I am able to reserve sessions up to about an hour’s drive from San Francisco. However, I do accept out-of-town clients. Please contact me for more information if this is your situation.
Before engaging me, I ask that all potential clients verify that I am authorized to photograph at their chosen birthing location. For those planning a home birth, I recommend that potential clients confirm with their midwife whether or not I can be present. For those opting for a hospital location, potential clients should verify with hospital policies and providers that I am authorized to attend and photograph before engaging me. If anyone has any questions or concerns, I am available to speak with midwives, doulas, and other healthcare providers.

In the event of a planned C-section delivery, I require that my clients contact their providers about my anticipated presence in the operating room. Because hospital policies vary, I sometimes may not be permitted to be in the room. Additionally, I require that my clients verify with their anesthesiologist whether I may photograph in the operating room, and coordinate with her or him to schedule a delivery date.In the event of an unplanned, emergency C-section delivery, I will photograph in the operating room if I am authorized to enter. If I am not authorized, I will give my camera to the mother’s accompanying person so that she or he may photograph the events. As soon as my clients leave the operating room, I will resume photographing.

I generally ask that my clients contact me by phone or text at the first signs of labor. From there, by keeping open communication with my clients, we gauge together when is a good time for my arrival. I strive to arrive when active labor begins, usually upon check-in at the hospital, or upon the arrival of the midwife.
Each birth comes with its own set of circumstances, but generally, I remain with my clients for the duration of their labor and delivery, up until two hours after the birth. By that time, I find that the newborns fall asleep, and everyone is ready for some rest. Whether the process takes a short or long time, I will remain to capture enough images for a full gallery. In the event of an extremely long labor period over several days, I may step out for a quick meal or break. However, I will always remain to photograph if there is any indication the child is arriving soon, and will remain until two hours after birth.

This is a critical aspect of my photography, and the relationship I have with my clients. Whenever a client engages me, we review in detail what the client is comfortable having captured on camera. If a client expresses certain wishes, I do my absolute best to honor them. Similarly, if a client expresses a wish for specific shots during the birth, I strive to honor that request. For clients who plan on birthing garmentless, we can make arrangements to tastefully photograph the event in a way that will be pleasing to everyone. I like to get to know my clients as well as I can before the birth, so that when the time comes, I am not merely a stranger.During our session, I do my best to be as unobtrusive as possible. However, if at any moment my presence causes any discomfort or distress, I can step out of the room.

After my clients’ photographs are processed, I sometimes will share them online, or add them to my portfolio, keeping in mind that only modest images will be added. However, my clients have complete authority regarding which photos may be shared or not.

As a photojournalistic photographer, I try to stay in the background, as quiet as possible, so that I can document what is happening around me. However, in appropriate circumstances, we may find ourselves interacting. For instance, if there is a quiet moment, and someone is thirsty, I can hand her a glass of water, or hold something if needed.Before the birth, my clients and I develop our expectations and plans for our session, so that we can at a level that everyone is comfortable with.

Because I employ a documentary photojournalistic style, I will never pose anyone for photographs during a birth session. Everything will be captured as it happens. Some of the most beautiful moments happen when everyone present forgets that I am there. For clients who would like a group photograph, I try to capture the image if it occurs naturally. Rarely, if a client wishes, I will ask for eye contact with the camera. However, I only do this upon explicit client request.

While it is deeply upsetting to think about the possibility of complications during birth, this is a possibility my clients and I discuss when they engage me. Some clients ask that I continue capturing events regardless of what happens, while others prefer that I stop photographing. Everyone has different wishes, and planning for this contingency before our session allows me to honor them in the event of an emergency. If the hospital staff ever requests that I stop photographing, if I am hindering anyone with my presence, or if I am needed to assist in any way, I will cease photographing.In the event that I photograph difficult images, I will segregate them into their own folder in the client’s gallery.

Because of the circumstances unique to each birth, I take a different number of photographs each time. However, my clients can generally expect to receive 75-200 black and white images from their session. In the event of a short labor, or if I miss the birth, I remain for several hours after my arrival to document as much as possible. There are several circumstances where I could take fewer photographs, for instance, if the room is very dark, or if I must leave the room. However, if this happens, I will remain longer after the birth to photograph the new family as much as needed to complete a gallery.

I request a 50% nonrefundable reservation fee at the time of client engagement. The balance is due 30 days prior to the client’s due date.
Because of the “on call” nature of birth sessions, I limit my engagements to 1-3 each month. This ensures availability for my clients. I encourage potential clients to reserve me for their session as soon as possible, to avoid any booking conflicts.
My clients engage me to document their active labor, birth, and 1-2 hours postpartum. The session will be photographed in a candid style. There will be no posing, props, and no flash, unless I first receive my clients’ permission and flash is absolutely necessary. Because many of my sessions occur in low light settings, some images may be grainy or include motion blur. Most images will be in black and white.

ALBUMS

All photo albums are handcrafted and made of the finest materials. You will be able to look back on your beautiful birth memories for years to come.

Celebrate and commemorate this special time with a keepsake photo album hand crafted with the finest materials. While those special moments of your birth can be forgotten in the emotional fog of the event, having them printed and laid out in an heirloom quality book means you and your family can experience them forever. I make sure all of my photo albums meet my high artistic and quality standards so you can focus on your little one and each other.
All albums have lay-flat binding, and are printed on Fuji crystal archive paper for the best presentation possible. You have a choice among several suede-soft, hand-picked Italian leathers or richly textured and colored Japanese fabrics for your album cover. When your finished album is presented to you, it will be in a beautifully crafted keepsake bamboo or walnut box and slipcover.

ALBUM PAIRINGS

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PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTIONS

The Little Loves Collection, Tier 1 includes one custom designed album.

The Treasure Collection, Tier 2 includes one custom designed album carefully packaged in a beautiful walnut or bamboo presentation box.

The Heirloom Collection is all-inclusive and includes your custom designed album, plus two additional albums for you to share with family and friends. All of the albums are carefully packaged in a beautiful walnut or bamboo presentation box.