{Frequently Asked Questions}

Why should I hire a birth photographer?  My family can take the photos. 

Outside the birth of your baby, your wedding was probably the biggest day of your life.   You probably had a professional photographer, or even two, to cover that event.  Why didn’t you have a neighbor or family member take your wedding photos? Why didn't one of your parents or your husband take them??  Probably because you needed to trust the final product and because you wanted all those important family and friends to be IN your photos and not behind the camera!!

Having Augusta Birth Photography - an experienced Augusta Birth Photographer since 2011 - at your birth will ensure the *story* of your baby's birth is told through photos.  It will give you the details that you might miss from your hospital bed.  It allows your family and friends to support you and not to worry about missing a moment.  It ensures the little details are captured that a friend might not think to photograph.  It allows your husband to hold your hand and be in the photos.  The hours of labor and delivery will pass just as quickly as the hours of your wedding day but your birth photographer will make sure you have the details of the day captured to relive for years to come.
 

What do the pictures look like?

Birth photography is documentary.  I capture the events as they happen, real life.   To prevent any possible disruptions, flash is not used.  Only available window and room lighting is used.   Your images will be edited in black and white which softens the scene and better reflects the mood of the day.  It also helps tone down any graphic images of birth and medical equipment in the hospital. 
 

How far in advance should we book our birth session with you?

Due to the 'on call' nature of birth photography, I take a limited number of births each month.  If you choose Augusta Birth Photography to capture this day, please reserve your due date as early as you can.   A non-refundable hold-the-date fee is required to be added to my calendar.
 

Will I meet you before the big day?

Yes!  I will meet with you when you are ready to book your session.   It is important that we are comfortable with each other and we each put a face with the voice.  It allows me to answer your questions before you sign a contract and make the initial payment.  We'll talk again around 36 weeks of your pregnancy to go over a last minute planning checklist.  I ask that your partner come with you to our first meeting if possible.   I will be able to answer more questions that have come up and go over your birth plan.
 

Do I need to talk to my doctor to see if he/she will allow a photographer?

YES!  It is your responsibility to make sure your doctor and hospital will allow photography during your labor and delivery.   You may be limited to the number of "support" people allowed with you.  Please verify the official policies with your doctor and hospital, which might differ.  We will need to discuss this at the time of your booking.   If you are scheduled to have a c-section, you will probably only be allowed 1 support person during the surgery but I will go over with you how to talk to your doctor toward the end of your pregnancy to see if an exception can be made for 1 support person AND your photographer.  It might not happen, but I want you to ask.  We'll talk about this when we meet. If I am *not* allowed in the OR, I will stay close by the doors to photograph your partner and baby being brought out and meeting family and will follow your baby to capture all of those firsts that you will miss from the OR and recovery. 

If your doctor or facility restricts photography specifically during the actual delivery (pushing, crowning, delivery), verify with your doctor the ability for me to take photos before the actual delivery, as well as photos immediately after the baby is delivered.   Even if the actual birth itself is restricted, I will still be able to get important shots of everything else that day.

Please note that if any unforeseen event occurs that requires treatment or urgent medical attention for you or your baby, or causes the planned delivery method to change (i.e., C-section), I might be required to leave the delivery room for the remaining duration of your labor and delivery.  I will still be close by to capture photos of your family and friends waiting for your new arrival, and will return to shooting as the medical staff allows. Keep in mind that the most important thing is that you have a safe delivery, and ultimately your doctor and nurse’s job is more important than mine.
 

What if I go in to labor at 2 am?  Will you be there?

YES, barring any unforeseen circumstance.  Babies don’t work on a set schedule so neither do I, and that's also why I only take a few birth sessions each month.  I fully anticipate middle-of-the-night phone calls.   You will let me know when you think labor is beginning at home (even if it ends up being false!), then again when you are heading to the hospital, and when your doctor confirms you are in active labor and they admit you.  My goal is to get to the hospital when you are in active labor and have progressed to about 6-7cm dilated, day or night.  Since it may take up to two hours to situate things at my own home and have time to travel to the hospital, it is important to keep in touch with me *EARLY* as labor begins and progresses so I get to you in time.
 

How long will you be at my birth?

There is no set time limit due to the unpredictable nature of births.  I aim to get to the hospital when you are around 6-7cm dilated and will stay up to 2 hours after your baby arrives to capture many of the first moments.  We'll discuss this more when we initially meet.  I also offer a {FIRST48} session which is taken within 48 hours of the baby's birth and is a more in-depth bonding session with the baby and new parents and other family members that you invite.  You might want to consider adding this session to your birth session. 
 

What if I know I am having a c-section?

Regardless of how your baby enters the world, it is worth capturing.  I might not be allowed in the OR but ask your doctor. I have been allowed in the OR to photograph every c-section my clients have needed so far.  Even if a photographer is not allowed in the operating room, there are still many moments I will capture outside the operating room with your waiting family and friends.  I'll be there when your support person comes to share the good news and I'll follow the baby, if allowed, and capture the firsts.  Having me there for a c-section is even more important since you will be missing so much while in the OR and recovery.  I'll be your eyes to get the moments you miss. 
 

Heaven forbid my baby(ies) go to the NICU, what happens then?

Depending on the hospital’s policies, I will do everything in my power to capture all those memories as well.  I will take as many photos in the delivery room before your baby(ies) are taken to NICU as long as it doesn't interfere with the medical staff.   If the hospital and medical staff allow, I will follow your partner to the NICU and take as many photos as I can.  Of course, I will respect your wishes for NICU coverage. If there is a time that I can't be near your baby(ies), I will still document the activities outside the NICU with your family and friends.  If your baby(ies) have to spend an extended time in the NICU, I try my best based on the progress of the babies, to come back to the hospital and do an additional NICU session at no additional charge since this is part of your birth story.
 

How many images will you take?

It varies because each birth is unique but on average, a final gallery will have at least 125 final edited images.  The length of your labor, the number of family and friends there, and if there are any restrictions put on photography could affect that number. 
 

How long will it take to receive the images?

With your permission AND with a signed model release AND permission given for a Sneak Peek, I would be happy to announce the birth on the Augusta Birth Photography Facebook page and start posting a few sneak peeks of the baby so you can share with family and friends awaiting the news.  The remainder of your gallery will be finished in 3-4 weeks and will be added to a password protected gallery on my website.  After you review your gallery, I will place orders for any items included with your Collection and those items should be available in 4-6 more weeks after the order is placed.  We will discuss specifics when you choose your Collection.
 

How much does this cost?

Please see the {BIRTH} and {FIRST8} session investment pages.
 

What about payment plans? Do you accept credit cards?

I work with you to create a payment plan that works for you.  There is an initial "save-the-date" fee which is non-refundable and the balance should be paid by 36 weeks in your pregnancy.  I offer an extended payment plan option and gladly accept credit cards. Contact me if you have questions about my payment plan options.
 

Do I have to share the images you take?

Since birth photography is a private event, you will have the opportunity to decide if you want family friendly images shared in a sneak peek gallery on my Facebook page.  You can choose if you want to invite family and friends to view your online gallery with your final edited images by sharing your password.  The final online gallery stays up for one month.  
 

What if I lose the disc with my images or it is damaged?

Upon delivery of the image disc, or after you download any digital images that come with your collection, it is your responsibility to make sure your images are backed up.  I do not store your images for any period of time after they are successfully downloaded.  I cannot stress enough the importance of copying/backing up the images upon receipt, and in multiple places!!  Be sure to keep up with technology as it changes over the years as well.
 

I am concerned about sharing this day with a stranger.

I have had 4 babies - I had an epidural with 3 of them, 1 baby came too fast for any pain medication, labor started on its own with my oldest but my last 3 were induced.  I had pre-term labor and multiple L&D stays with one and limited bed rest.  Everything except a c-section!  I have also had the privilege of photographing {BIRTH} and {FIRST48} sessions since 2011.   All of this does not come close to making me an expert but I am comfortable with birth, and I'm a mom too, and I've been where you are.  You probably won't know your L&D nursing staff in advance but you trust their expertise.  I want you to put that same trust in me.  Meeting with you when we book your session and keeping up with your during your pregnancy is also meant to help us get to know each other a little better so we are not strangers on the day your baby is born.  I love getting to know my clients and keep up with your progress as the weeks go by.  Many of my clients ended up being friends for long after their baby was born.

I will come and go from the room to give you and your partner plenty of time to yourselves while still capturing the moments that make up your story.  Because birth is such a private and intimate event, I take extreme care in protecting the family’s privacy.  You are free to ask me to step out of the birth area at any time and I will remain nearby to return as soon as you are ready.
 

I’m worried about “too much” being photographed.

Without approval from you and your doctor, I don’t take photos from the "doctor’s point-of-view" during the delivery.  I usually photograph from near your shoulder or by your hip.   We'll review what you want and don’t want when we meet and I’ll do my best to make that happen.  Put your trust in me to take the photos that I feel you will love but remember, it is always easy to delete a photo you don't like.  No one will see the photos unless you share it with them or give me permission to. 

Your friends and family attending the birth are welcomed to take pictures but I ask that they give me priority so I can do what you’ve hired me to do.  Please talk to family beforehand so they are aware that you have asked me to be there.  I cannot be responsible for missing shots because family or friends interference.
 

I feel so fat and swollen now.  Why would I want photographs of me in labor?

I completely understand!  I have “been there, done that”, four times!  With my first baby, my nose felt as swollen as my ankles!  It was not pretty.  My ankles and my knees were the same size, BUT, this is another perfect reason to have a photographer who understands these concerns.  I want you to love your photos and I do my best to photograph at angles that showcase everything beautiful of this day.  I want you to look your best and love your photos.  Also remember that your photos will focus on your baby and all the firsts.  It will also highlight your support team and family and friends there with you.  Pregnant women are beautiful by default!  I promise you don’t look as bad as you might feel.  And black and white make most images look beautiful!
 

Do you offer any other types of photography like newborn or maternity sessions?

Augusta Birth Photography offers a {FIRST48} newborn session, as well as Family Documentary sessions.  A {FIRST48} session is taken at the birth location within 48 hours of your baby's arrival, hence {FIRST48}.  It is a lifestyle-type session where I photograph you and your partner bonding with your baby, cuddles, and counting fingers and toes.  You can have your other children in this session too!  This is a 60 to 90-min. session in your hospital room before you are discharged.  This gives mom a chance to shower and eat and feel a little refreshed.  Documentary sessions are also available for all stages of your growing family's life.
 

Is there a chance you won’t make it to the birth?

Yes, there is a chance.  I am the only photographer with Augusta Birth Photography but I do have a talented and experienced photographer who is willing to be back-up if she's available, but since I never know when a baby will arrive, there is always a chance that two babies could arrive at the same time at different hospitals and I cannot get to you in time.  There is also a chance that I could be sick, or that your baby comes outside of the "on-call" time I am not in town.  Because of the on-call nature of birth photography, I only book a limited number of births each month to minimize conflicts, but it could happen.  In the event I cannot make your delivery for *whatever reason* that is not your fault, and you have kept me updated on your labor as it progressed, and I cannot provide you with a back-up photographer, you will be given a full refund of any fees you paid to date. 

On the flip side, it is your responsibility to call me as soon as you think labor is starting, even if it ends up being false labor, and keep me posted of your progress.  Since it may take up to two hours for me to situate things at home and travel to the hospital, I need a head up as soon as possible.  If you do not call to let me know you are in labor early on and I miss the actual birth, the session fee is non-refundable but I will still come to the hospital as soon as I can and have an extended “post-delivery” session to capture many of your baby's "firsts" and family bonding.  In this scenario, there may be less than 125 edited images in your portfolio.
 

What if I change my mind at the last minute and don’t want pictures?

No problem at all. If you decide to forgo birth pictures for whatever reason, I completely understand; however, any fees paid to that point are non-refundable and non-transferrable to another person or another session since that date was held for you, but you will not be liable for any more payments.  We will review this in more detail when we initially meet.
 

How far will you drive?

I will travel to any hospital in the Aiken-Augusta-Thomson area and will travel to Columbia, SC depending on how many births I already have for that month.  I may consider driving further for special circumstances or on a case by case basis which will just depend on how busy I am around your due date.  For births outside of a 45-mile radius of Augusta, GA, there will be a travel fee.  There is a better chance that I can photograph out of the Augusta area if an induction is planned and I can schedule driving time.
 

I hope some of this helps!  If you have any questions not covered here, please feel free to contact me!