Should I hire a birth photographer?

If you’re pregnant, you may be curious about having a professional birth photographer at your birth.
birth photographer

There are some absolutely beautiful images of babies being born out there on the internet, so maybe you’rve considered hiring a birth photographer.

Here are some things you might like to consider…

Costs of a birth photographer

At first glance, having a professional photographer at your birth sounds expensive. Usually, a birth photographer costs $1000-2000, and it’s not rare to pay up to $3000. If you’re already paying out of pocket for other birth preparation programs or supports – such as a private midwife or doula – it may become pricy to have a birth photographer as well.

However, it’s important to consider that most photographers’ birth packages include a lot! They often put their lives on hold to be on call for you, will meet with you before your birth to get to know you and what you want from them, and may be at your birth for hours and hours. Sometimes they even include “extras” like mini maternity or newborn photo shoots. A good birth photographer will be a supportive part of your birth team.

The impact of having a birth photographer in your birth space.

On that note, it’s important to consider the impact of having a photographer in your birth space. It’s hard to know in advance how you’ll feel, but you may like to consider whether you’ll want absolute privacy, or whether you only want immediate family members at your birth. Some women find that having a birth photographer present is distracting or unnatural. There is no right or wrong; it’s different for everyone – and different photographers have different energies that they bring to the birth space, so it’s always worth meeting someone in advance.

It’s also hard to place a real “value” on having photos of your birth. Some women love looking back on these moments, while to others it just isn’t important. Some women want to share their birth photos with their friends, families, and online communities – and others want them just for themselves. Still, many would prefer to share newborn photos instead!

If affordability is the only thing holding you back, you could chat to a birth photographer about the possibility of being on a payment plan. You could also ask your doula (if you have one) to take some amateur photos (though some doulas take amazing photos!), or even a friend or family member. You could let this person know in advance of anything you definitely do or don’t want documented.

Sharing birth photos

If you’re considering sharing your birth photos – whether with your close family or even more widely online – it’s important to think about the implications. On a very positive note, it’s wonderful that there are so many photos of all different kinds of birth out there normalizing the range of birth experiences that women have. Birth photography celebrates women’s power and this transformative rite of passage.

However, it is perfectly fine if you keep your birth sacredly private. There are many reasons that you may wish to keep any birth photos just to yourself, and you can trust yourself to make that decision.

Whatever you decide about birth photography, there is no right or wrong choice. It’s worth considering if you’re curious because you’d rather not regret missing out.

Photography is a way we can almost step back in time to witness ourselves becoming mothers. And it’s a compelling way to show the power and beauty of birth.

A  Byron Bay local, trusted birth and maternity photographer and midwife of 10 years  Kate Elise

An Ocean Shores local, trusted birth photographer, birth doula, and breastfeeding counsellor Zandra Warland

International Association of Professional Birth Photographers