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Birth Photography?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Has anyone had a birth photographer for a previous birth?  Anyone thinking of having one at this birth?  I'd like really great artistic photos (we're lacking those with DS1) but I don't want my husband to have to be in charge of our DSLR during the birth, obviously.  We're birthing in such a beautiful birth center, and I really want those intense moments (laboring, pushing, meeting the baby) to be captured (in a modest way, of course :-))  I'm wondering about average pricing as well as protocol (what if I am laboring in the middle of the night?  How long does the photographer stay? etc.) I'd like to have a better idea of what is "normal" before I start interviewing photographers.  

Any advice?

post #2 of 16



From working for a  photographer, I would say the price will be around 1500 dollars, depending on your area, what is included, etc.



post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Oh my! 

I haven't found quotes that high yet, most are around 150-200 for the session.  

Originally Posted by mamaecho View Post



From working for a  photographer, I would say the price will be around 1500 dollars, depending on your area, what is included, etc.




post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

I did some more poking around and have found that with photos and post-processing it's around 300-600 or so.  

I wonder if that's approximately what other mamas have paid.  Anyone?

post #5 of 16

WOW..... So basically.... a photographer is going to come in and spend, what? at least 5 hours there.. getting before and after and during images... then spend approximately 20 hours (that's about an average for a normal session, let alone a longer session) editing.. and they are only charging 300? After taxes, insurance, etc the photographer is then making, perhaps 5-8 bucks an hour.This is what's wrong with the photography business..... :( too many moms with 'good' cameras under cutting people who truly know what they are doing, are paying taxes, and are legit :(


/end rant.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I think the 300 is just for the session, not the post-processing, etc.  I'm unsure, I obviously need to schedule some consultations.  I still think 1500 is a lot- I had the best photographer in the area shoot my wedding with an assistant for 8 hours and got a package with all sorts of albums as well as engagement session.... and it was just over 2000.  So I don't know... I'm wondering what other options are as well, perhaps a student photographer trying to gain experience, etc.  redface.gif

post #7 of 16

Sorry for venting my frustration :) I tend to feel really strongly about this, because I've been there (I was an assistant for a photographer).. and so it's frustrating how many momographers pop up, undercut professionals which cheapens everything.. and the real professionals end up losing out.. but I totally support students!! that may be your best bet :)


post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Totally- I have a few "friends" who are momographers and it is really annoying.  They aren't that good!  Ugh.  They're always promoting their "business" too.  

I've heard that some doulas offer photography services.  I really wouldn't mind having someone just man our camera (we have a great camera) the whole time but I don't want my midwives or hubby to do it, obviously :)  There are also a few photography schools in town, so maybe I'll post something...

post #9 of 16

I will do yours and you can do mine.  ;) 


I've either had a family member or a friend be in charge of the pictures.  I must say that I don't have any fabulous photos though...  This time I won't have any friends present, so I'm not sure what I'll do...?  I don't think that I'd want a stranger at my birth taking pics of me though.  I don't even want my friends to be around this time.  Hmmm.


What have other people done?  Now I'm curious..


I paid about $1800 for 2 photographers to do our wedding.  I would expect to pay around $500+ for a birth.  Especially considering that they might have to be there in the middle of the night.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 


I might have to keep you in mind, Abra ;-)  I'm weird though, I would rather have a stranger than someone I know.  I'm super modest and I think I'd feel more "free" with a stranger that I'll never see again.  Haha!   Though you'll probably be having your own baby, or be busy with a newbie, lol!
post #11 of 16

We're "hiring" a woman I used to babysit for, who does photography as a hobby (for friends only) in a style I really like, and does some commerical type work for art galleries, stuff like that. She's also a huge advocate of natural birth, had two homebirths herself, and is one heck of a mama bear, so I'm so thankful to have her there in a multi-role capacity. She will be our doula, but is aware that when possible, I'd rather have her photographing, and DH acting as support. But when needed, she can put down the camera, and doula me. 


I haven't talked with her about prices yet, it's a bit awkward since I had posted a FB message asking for advice for doulas, and she said she would love to be my doula. But we haven't talked about it being an official thing. Doulas in our area charge around $400-500. Birth photographers in this area (and there are only about 3, none of whose style I even remotely like), seem to charge between $600-800. 


I think it depends on what you're looking for too. I don't need my photographer to do a lot of touchups and post processing. Just do a semi-decent job of capturing the moments, transfer to a disk, and send it to me. I don't need it to be touched up, I just want the emotion, you know? But then again, I've got some experience with lightroom, so I can do it myself if I want as well. 


To me, it seems reasonable to pay a photographer in this case approximately the same as you would your doula. They're both on call, both possibly there for a very long (or short) time, working under stress situations, etc. If you're expecting prints and a lot of post processing from your photog, then yes, I could see this being more expensive. 

post #12 of 16

Ha ha, yeah, you're right, the timing here isn't so good.  It's totally possible that we could both be in labor on the same day.  ;)

Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post


I might have to keep you in mind, Abra ;-)  I'm weird though, I would rather have a stranger than someone I know.  I'm super modest and I think I'd feel more "free" with a stranger that I'll never see again.  Haha!   Though you'll probably be having your own baby, or be busy with a newbie, lol!


post #13 of 16

We are considering it, but only b/c there is a local birth photographer that used to be a midwife and she may be willing to be hired as a photographer, but be present for medical issues should they arise.  In this sense we might get our UC!  But, I also wanted to add that I know a few doulas that do  photography and often nurses and birth assistants are happy to snap a few shots for you as well.  The nurse at the FSBC I had my first at got some pretty great shots.  We had made a list ahead of time of things we would like to have photographed so that she could reference it and try to get those if it was possible at the time.  Another thought is to have a video camera plugged in to an outlet, getting a wide shot of the room, and just have it on the entire time.  You could get stills from that later.  But if you're looking for more professional photos I imagine you'll be spending close to $1000 when all is said and done.

post #14 of 16

For my last birth, DH was in charge of the camera and passed it to my sister while I was pushing. Problem was, DH was so hopped up on coffee and adrenaline he was taking pictures of ridiculous things and killed our battery. We only got a few shots of her right after she was born before it crapped out on us. He does NOT have camera privileges this time!


Last summer, I photographed a homebirth for a good friend of mine. I'm no photographer, nor do I play one on tv. I just asked her lots of questions beforehand about what kinds of moments she wanted captured and tried to remain a fly on the wall during the birth. The whole day was filled with powerful moments, so it wasn't difficult to know what to shoot. I just did it as a favor to her and because it gave me an excuse to be there for the birth, I was so excited since it was my first time being there for a homebirth. I gave her the memory card with all the pictures on it and made her a slideshow with the most meaningful shots. She has never witnessed a birth other than when she had her son, so I asked her to do the same for me when I have this baby. I think she'll do a much better job than my husband did!

post #15 of 16

thank you for saying all that!! Most people don't think about what we photographers do behind the scenes and just see us come and spend a few hours with them. I love what i do and that is why I keep doing it!! Specializing in births involves being on call 24/7 for weeks surrounding due dates, having equipment and clothes with you at all times, spending time away from family at odd times. and them yes!! all the hours we spend editing, processing, preparing special packaging, emails- meetings- and phone calls.  But again, I really llove it!!

post #16 of 16

Yes, it all depends on your area.. Im right outside of Nashville, so I can serve Nashville and Bowling Green, KY... I charge 600.00..  It is a very time consuming process.. and we can be there hours at a time just like the birthing parents! 

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