Birth is on of the most unpredictable and life changing events you can experience! When selecting a birth photographer, it’s important to make sure that they are a good fit for you and your family, and there are several questions you can ask to ensure that they are a good match.
Birth photography is one of the most challenging areas of photography due to the unpredictable nature of birth. Which also means that you definitely get what you pay for, as far as quality. If you want to have a reliable photographer who is accustomed to on-call life that will guarantee to join you whenever you call, whether it be the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning, as well as have good quality equipment and gear to take high quality photos in low-light situations, and additionally the knowledge and sensitivity of understanding birth and the birth space, you really need to interview your options in your area to see who is a good fit for the experience and standard that you and your family are desiring.
Questions to ask a birth photographer:
- Why did you become a birth photographer?
- How long have you been a photographer? And how long have you been specializing in birth?
- What types of births have you photographed? (home births, birth center births, hospital births, scheduled cesarean births, unexpected cesarean births, etc.)
- What happens if I have an emergency c-section?
- What types of births do you photograph most often?
- What’s your presence like in the birth space? (Are you chatty, involved, quiet, etc?)
- Do you have a backup photographer and backup camera?
- Have you ever missed a birth and what is your process if that happens?
- When do you arrive to the birth, and how long do you stay?
- Do you offer video as well as photos? How do you prioritize when to take video vs still images?
- How do you deal with low light situations? Do you use flash? And if so, are you able to continue taking photos if the flash is bothering me during labor?
- Can I view a full gallery (or 2) of what you would provide to a client?
- Lastly, a question to ask yourself: How does this birth photographer make you feel?
This list of questions to ask a birth photographer is a starting point.
This list of questions is not comprehensive; however, it will definitely give you a good jumping off point. As you continue your interviews with potential birth photographers, you’ll think of more questions that will come up as you are listening to what they have to say. Also, during your interview, you’ll get a good feel for if this person is fitting for you as far as personality and the right vibe. There is a photographer for everyone, and not everyone is the right fit. And that’s okay!
A final question to ask yourself is this: How does this birth photographer make me feel?
After receiving answers from all these questions listed above, I believe it’s important to ask yourself this: How does this person make me feel? This birth photographer will be in the room with you capturing one of your most life changing experiences. Do you feel comfortable with them? Your birth space is sacred, and it’s an honor and privilege to be invited into that space.
Want to schedule a no-pressure consultation to ask me these questions?
If you are looking for a birth photographer in Seattle or the greater Puget Sound area, I’d love to schedule a consult to answer all of these questions for you! (Spoiler alert: if you look around on my website and birth photography page, you may see some of these questions answered already!)
But it’s way more fun to talk about it! I’m happy to meet for a no-pressure consult via zoom, on the phone or in-person at a coffee shop near you (coffee/drinks on me!) I love talking about birth and birth photography, so we’ll have a great time…I promise! And if we are not a good fit, I’m connected to several other local Seattle childbirth photographers that I can confidently recommend.
If you are not in the Seattle area and it’s vicinity, there are several places to find a birth photographer near you so that you can select and interview professional birth photographers in your area. I absolutely love the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers! It’s a fantastic organization, and they have a comprehensive list of birth photographers listed by country, state or zip code. The Birth Becomes You Directory is also a great place to find birth photographers from around the world.
Do you have other suggestions for questions to ask a birth photographer?
I’d love to hear yours! List your questions in the comments below.