I am Jennifer Crow and I am the person behind the camera for all Augusta Birth Photography and Documenting Everyday sessions. I have been Augusta's only photographer specializing 100% in birth photography since 2011. You get good at what you focus on! I expanded outside the delivery room in 2018 and offer documentary sessions for all the other stages of your family's life too. I have lived in Martinez/Evans over 40 years, I'm married to a high school teacher, and we have 4 adult kids.
Why should I hire a birth photographer? "My family can take the photos."
The birth of your baby will be a more important day than even your wedding. You probably had a professional photographer, or even two, at your wedding. Why didn’t you have a neighbor, family member, or your husband-to-be take your wedding photos? Probably because you needed to trust the final product and you wanted all those important family and friends to be IN your photos and not behind the camera!! Having Augusta Birth Photography at your birth will ensure your have an experienced professional documenting the *story* of your baby's birth. 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. No posing. To prevent any possible disruptions and to capture the mood of the room, I only use the available window and room lighting - no flash. Your photos will be edited in black and white which softens the scene and helps tone down any graphic images of birth and medical equipment in the hospital. Black and white images are classic and timeless and let you focus on the people and emotion in the photo.
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 so let's get you scheduled as early as possible. A $500 non-refundable hold-the-date fee will add your due date 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 let's us get to know each other and put a face with the voice. I'll bring album and print samples for you to see what's included with your session. We'll go over all the "what if's" and talking with your doctor about photography. I'd love for your husband to come with you to our first meeting since dad's often have more questions that moms!
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. We will discuss this at our first meeting. What if I'm having a planned c-section, or need an emergency c-section? C-section moms need a birth photographer the most! You'll miss so much from the OR and while in recovery, and you will be pretty groggy for a few hours after. I'll be your eyes so you don't miss a moment. Normally only 1 support person is allowed in the OR with you but at the discretion of your doctor, the anesthesiologist, and charge nurse, exceptions are possible. I have been fortunate enough to be allowed in the OR with every client who has needed a c-section. 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. We'll talk about all these scenarios at our first meeting.
What if I go in to labor at 2 am? Will you be there?
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.
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. I also offer a FIRST48 newborn 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 so consider adding this session to your birth session.
Heaven forbid my baby goes to the NICU, what happens then?
Depending on your baby's health and 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 has to spend an extended time in the NICU, if it's possible, I will 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 to tell the story. 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 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 about 4 weeks and we will meet for a Purchasing sessions to view your images in person. After that Purchasing session, I will place your order and those items should be available in 4-6 more weeks.
How much does this cost?
Please see the BIRTH and FIRST48 session pages for session fee options. The session fee covers being on-call and the time at your birth as well as our face-to-face meetings and editing time. All prints and products are purchased separately at your Purchasing session a few weeks later. Clients typically spend $1000-$2500 on prints and products from their session. Please visit the PRODUCTS tab above for some starting prices on items I offer to showcase your images.
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. That holds your date on my calendar. The balance should be paid by 36 weeks in your pregnancy. If you want an extended payment plan option up to 12 months, I offer financing through Square. I also accept credit cards, offer a free Baby Registry so family and friends can give you gift certificates toward your session, and I offer a referral credit.
Do I have to share the images you take?
No. Since birth is a private event, you decide if you want a sneak peek gallery on my Facebook page. You do not have to share your images.
Do you offer digital images only from my session?
No, you are cannot buy digital images on their own BUT, you can add on a digital package to your print or product purchases to have as a backup. My focus is getting actual professionally printed items in your hands for you to see and enjoy everyday. If you have invested in professional images, you don't need to take these private images to a big box store and hope for the best. I do not want your memories to be stuck in a desk drawer and forgotten.
What if I lose the digital images that I purchase?
Upon delivery of any digital files that you might purchase, it is your responsibility to make sure your images are backed up, and in multiple places! Remember the old 3.5 inch floppy discs? Computers won't open those any more. CD drives are being faded out too. Be sure to keep up with technology as it changes in the future. I do NOT keep images long term.
I am concerned about sharing this day with a stranger.
I have had 4 babies - with and without an epidural, induced for 3, pre-term labor with multiple L&D stays, been on limited bed rest... everything but a c-section. And I've been photographing birth since 2011 and have seen a lot. 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. We'll meet for a consult before you hire me and we'll keep up with each other by text and phone throughout the final weeks of your pregnancy. I love to get updates of how you are progressing. I am so excited for you. We won't be strangers by delivery day. I want to become like your favorite sister-in-law!!
Will you be with me all the time?
I will be with you from active labor until about 2 hours post-partum but I may come and go from the delivery room to give you and your partner some time to yourselves while still capturing the moments that make up your story. I will also go to the waiting room to photograph family and friends there waiting. If labor is progressing slowly and I've been there a while, I may go to the vending machine or walk down to the cafeteria for a quick sandwich and be right back, but I'm only a text away. 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.
We'll review what you want and don’t want when we meet. Put your trust in me to take the photos that I feel you will love and remember, it's 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.
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. But oh how I wish I had more photos of the day she was born. I can't remember many details after 24 years. I wouldn't even care that my nose was swollen! 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. But birth is more graphic by nature and your images will have that element. Also remember that your photos will also focus on your baby and all the firsts. It will also highlight your support team and family and friends there with you. It's a full story. And pregnant women are beautiful by default! I promise you don’t look as bad as you might feel. And black and white photos make most images even more beautiful!
Do you offer any other types of photography like newborns, maternity, or family sessions?
YES! in 2018 I expanded to offer documentary sessions, also called storytelling sessions, outside of the delivery room. Documentary photos are like birth in that they are real life, un-posed, and your life in motion. I would not ask the doctor in a delivery to move over so the light is better, I move around and find the details to tell the story of the day. The same thing happens for my non-birth sessions. Your family will go about their normal routine and I'll document it all happening. I do not offer posed, smile-for-the-camera, photos but during your session, I will take a couple casual relaxed family photos of everyone huddled up on the couch or sitting on the front porch but the focus of these sessions is what your life feels like today and the relationships between everyone. I promise you will love them!
If you still have questions, jot them down and call me or I can answer them when we meet. So the next step is to call me and let's find a time to meet! 706-394-3731.