Are you looking to hire a professional birth photographer? How exciting (and overwhelming)! You are looking to hire someone to be up close and personal during one of the most incredible moments: giving birth. You might be wondering what you should wear, are they going to take *that photo*, and most importantly how much it costs. We’ve compiled a list of some questions to ask during your birth photographer interviews.
Questions to Ask Your Birth Photographer
How many births have you photographed?
An experienced birth photographer will have attended at least 7-10 births. However, this is not a requirement as a lot of birth photographers have extensive experience photographing in other genres such as weddings or portraits. There are some birth photographers who have been around for more than a decade and photographed less than 75 births. This is because being on-call for birth photography is a strenuous part of the job and some photographers are only on-call for one client at a time.
How will you make attending my birth a priority?
Any photographer who considers themselves a professional should make attending every contracted client birth a top priority. There are rare times they may miss your birth, for example, if they are sick, if they had pre-scheduled travel on the calendar during your birth month, or if they are at a different birth at the time your labor begins. In this case, a true professional will discuss all of these possibilities with you and what their back-up plan will be to ensure your birth photography experience is captured professionally whether they are in attendance or not.
What is your back-up plan if you’re not able to make the birth?
Similar to the previous question, a photographer marketing their services as professional should have a back-up plan in place and be completely transparent with you about the possibility of a missed birth. The truth is, almost all births are unplanned and there is never a 100% guarantee that someone will be present at a birth. A professional birth photographer respects this truth and prepares multiple back-up plans as needed to take the best care of their client that they can.
Do you have a legitimate business? Do you have any certifications or professional associations?
A professional birth photographer should have a business license and either years of experience (and a portfolio to show this), or have a certification that represents hours of training and qualifications for their field.
What do you charge? Are there any hidden costs?
All birth photographers should be transparent and open about their costs. Many photographers offer different pricing models.
We suggest researching multiple photographers in your area – even if you aren’t sure you want to work with them all. Explore their services, how much they cost, and how they respond to your questions. Are they professional? Consistent? Confident? Transparent?
Other Questions to Ask During Your Birth Photographer Interviews
Do you also offer doula services?
What happens if I hire you as both birth photographer and doula?
Are you licensed and insured?
What is your policy on sharing photos?
What if I am concerned about modesty during the birth?
Are you able to document an unplanned cesarean?
Can I see your portfolio?
What is your editing style?
Do you use flash?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should help get you started and get you thinking about which aspects of birth photography are most important to you. When hiring a professional birth photographer, IAPBP is proud of our community of talented and passionate artists, who are required to uphold our community Code of Ethics and have promised to provide a professional, honest and respectful experience for any birthing person. Find a birth photographer near you to get started.
Feature Image: Jill Slagter Photography