Social Media is where it’s all at and by all, we mean ALL. Sharing your work online can be tricky. As a Birth Photographer, social media is an incredible tool to use to showcase your art and talent while attracting new clients.
Birth Photographers also have the opportunity to advocate for birth and the work we provide within that realm. It’s also very cost effective at the extremely affordable cost of FREE.
But is free really free and what costs come along with it if used unwisely?
How often do you find yourself posting, or see someone else posting the following sentiments or similar:
On my way to photograph a birth! Wish the mama well!
Just captured the most beautiful birth!
I got to welcome a precious little baby today!
The thing is…are those things really ours to share? Was it our birth that we experienced? Were we the ones using all of our will and might to bring a baby earthside? As birth photographers, it is vital that we have both a social media presence and a policy that supports that, and vice versa. We must ensure that everyone is on the same page and the images we share support that work we are emboldened and called to do. So how do we effectively do that while honoring and respecting each unique family? Read on for four tips in regards to sharing your work online today.
Four tips for birth photographers sharing on social media:
- Determine what your purpose is.
Why are you feeling called to share this particular piece on social media? Get specific and ask yourself the hard questions. This intentionality will help you determine if the message you are trying to convey is actually easily understood and seen. Are you looking to empower your clients? Are you trying to deconstruct fear around birth? Slaying stigmas? Determine your purpose and create your message.
- Communicate sharing policies.
Create a policy in regards to sharing your work, and their photos, online. Do you tag the family’s within the post? How long do you wait to share? Do they have an option in regards to how long you wait to share? Do you want to share at least X amount of photos? Are there photos you will absolutely not share? Does the intended mother have a say in regards to what she is comfortable sharing online? Create a document that the family can fill out PRIOR to their labor and delivery. This ensures that each decision is founded on calm, thoughtful responses.
- Ask permission before posting.
Even with a sharing policy signed and sealed, consider presenting the family with a few images that you would like to share post birth and have them choose 3. The birth world is a wild one and anything can happen. A family may have signed off indicating that you are free to share whatever you would like, but then a complication or diagnosis hits the table and everything may change. Having this type of professional flexibility will set you apart from the rest. Not only should you be asking the birthing family for permission, if any of the birthing staff is found within the images, their permission should be sought as well. Honoring everyone within this realm can be really, really hard – but it’s worth it every single time.
- Wait to share.
Even with permission, the best practice is to wait to share. This birth and the entire experience was something you were invited into; it is not yours. Waiting to share gives the family time to share their little light, and enjoy them too, when all is well and right for them. The fourth trimester during the postpartum period is so important to the mother; waiting to share ensures that not only you care about her emotional and physical well being, but that you want and desire a place in her village of support.
IAPBP works hard to ensure best practices are used when photographing births. Our community is steadfast and full of professionalism that moves beyond the scope of what we could have ever dreamed. Our community is a great place to learn from, a safe space to have challenging conversations, and an intended space of learning and growth. To become a member, simply click here and follow the prompts.
Feature Image: Lindsey Eden