I really strongly believe in the importance of capturing your birth story in images. Although birth is often treated like a means to an end, centuries of women are proof that every birth is a journey and a transformation. I have never met someone who regretted having their birth photographed. I have met many families who regretted their lack of pictures.
Birth photography has a lot of often overlooked benefits. Aside from simply being a way to mark a memory, often women struggling to come to terms with a birth experience that wasn’t what they expected use their photographs to find beauty in their birth experience. I truly believe that good birth photography can help some women work through postpartum depression. It can help women who struggle with bonding (often due to their birth experience) connect to their baby in a new way by experiencing, through photos, what they may have missed during the birth itself. Birth photos can fill in the blanks that time, exhaustion, focus, medication or surgery all create. Birth photography can help us to see the beauty again in our bodies that society has convinced us are otherwise imperfect.
All of this to say that I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility about attending the births I am hired to photograph. I would never agree to attend a birth I was not sure I could make. I have been careful about scheduling births so there is almost no chance that two women will go into labor at the same time. There is no do-over. And the liklihood that someone could find another professional photographer to attend their birth at the last minute, in the middle of the night, is very very slim. Birth photographers are not exactly easy to find.
All of this has weighed heavily on me this past year. It has been a goal of mine to find myself a back-up photographer for months now. This turned out not to be as easy as expected. Photographing a birth is not like a wedding or a portrait session. The technical requirements are completely different. My top priority was finding a back-up photographer whose work I knew I could rely on. Local photographer peers and friends either had no interest, no availability or no experience.
I am so happy and relieved to announce that I’ve finally found her! Although I hope to NEVER miss a birth, I would never want to show up at a birth with the flu or some other contagious disease that would put baby at risk. And no matter how much I plan for a birth, life can have other plans. My clients who are investing in not only a service but a memory to last a lifetime – one that can’t be rescheduled – deserve this layer of insurance.
So effectively immediately, should I ever be unable to attend a birth each client will have the option to use my back-up photographer or to receive a full refund. Again, I don’t plan to ever miss a birth. But knowing that each birth will be captured in high quality professional photos, no matter what, is something that each of you deserves.