Some commonly asked questions
These are things you may want to know when considering whether you want to book with me. Once we have decided to secure your due date we will plan a consultation to go over more information such as how/when to call, how I will interact with you/your support during the birth, and much more! This consultation is completely free so if you want to discuss more before securing your due date that is fine too.
Why should I consider hiring a birth photographer?
There are SO MANY reasons why you should consider hiring a birth photographer. I am so happy that I have professional images from 2 of my births and regret not having any with my 1st. To learn about my top reasons why everyone should hire a birth photographer check out my blog post here. I felt like this question needed it’s own article to help more people understand how important is is to document this personal and life-changing moment in time.
What do you mean when you say you are on-call from 37 weeks until delivery?
During this time I am available 24/7. You may call me anytime day or night and expect me to be able to get to your birth in the time-frame we discuss during your consultation (depends on how far I am travelling). I am agreeing not to go out of town or make any plans that could prevent me from being able to attend your birth. Being on-call is a huge commitment and is is very important that you discuss what it includes when you are looking for birth photographers.
What do you do if you have two clients in labor at the same time?
Due to the unpredictable nature of birth, I limit the number of births I take per month to reduce the likelihood of having two women delivering at the same time. However, in the event that I cannot make it to a birth I do have a backup photographer in place to assist. I also believe in community over competition and have several other local photographers I could reach out to for help if needed.
How do you handle emergencies or not being able to make it in time?
As stated above, in case of emergency I have a back up photographer that I partner with to ensure someone is always available no matter the circumstance. However, in the case of a very fast birth or something else outside of our control that prevents me from attending the birth, the family may transfer any money paid to a Fresh 48 Session, in-home newborn session, or family session within 1 calendar year of the birth.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes! I require a flat fee of $350 to secure your due date and then you may pay the rest however you choose until 2 weeks before your due date. The full amount must be paid prior to the beginning of your on-call period. I also now offer a registry so your family and friends can help you with a meaningful gift. You can learn more about that here. If these options do not work for you but you really want to have your birth photographed, send me an email or call me so we can discuss other options or even trade/barter agreements.
When should I book my birth session?
I only take a limited number of births each month so that I can ensure each client receives their birth story in a timely manner and so that I do not risk missing anyone’s birth if I can help it. Therefore, I do ask that you book your birth session as soon as you are able to. I love when clients contact me (sometimes before anyone else) to let me know their exciting news and get their due date secured.
How far are you willing to travel to document a birth?
I am willing to travel up to 1 hour (with a little wiggle room) to attend your birth. The prices I have listed include travel time within Wayne County and there will be a travel fee added outside of 20 miles from my home address. This is to ensure that I have enough time to make it to where you are delivering and to make sure I have everything in order such as childcare arrangements if needed.
Will you be taking pictures of EVERYTHING?
As a mother of 3, I have learned that sometimes things that we once found insignificant can become quite meaningful once we have children. Using my experience as a mother and a photographer, my goal is to capture every part of your story so that you can remember everything as often as you life. However, if there is anything specific that you do NOT want photographed, I do provide a space for you tell me about it on your contract and always discuss this during our consultation. I can take pictures as modestly as you like but I believe there is nothing more beautiful and powerful than a mother giving birth so I do hope you will allow me to show you what I see by documenting it all.
Will you post my images on the internet or social media?
We can discuss what you are comfortable with at your free consultation but I do ask that my clients sign a model release giving me permission to share their images and use them for my business. However if you are not comfortable with images being shared, I will always respect your privacy.
What is lifestyle photography?
Lifestyle photography is "a style of portrait / people photography which aims to capture and document real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday."
For me, this means capturing your authentic self doing things that you would normally do whether that means having a family snuggle session on your couch, enjoying an after-dinner treat at a local ice cream shop, or going on an outdoor adventure at your favorite trail or park.
What if we don't want to take pictures at our home or in public?
I am always wanting my clients' input on a location that speaks to who they are. I do understand that not everyone is comfortable taking pictures in their home or a public place though, so sessions could also be in a beautiful location that is not some place you go frequently. We will still aim for genuine feelings and warm memories to help you capture your life and who you are at this present time.
So we picked a place, now how do we prepare for our lifestyle photoshoot?
Use the weeks and days before your shoot to choose your outfit(s)/hairstyle(s), book any appointments you find necessary in the appropriate time frame before your session (ex: eyebrows waxed the day or two before, manicure/pedicure or paint your nails yourself the day before, etc.), and take time to relax and pamper yourself. I will be writing a blog post to give more details about all the ways you can get ready for a photoshoot but the most important thing is to show up well-rested, hydrated, and ready to have some fun! As the mom of 3 young children, I know it can be stressful trying to coordinate outfits, get everyone to sleep good, eat good, take a nap, and just hope they cooperate for a few minutes but I can promise you this session is not about trying to get your little ones to sit still and say cheese. We will be playing, laughing, cuddling and creating fun memories so leave the stressing to me and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything I mentioned above! I love helping with the planning and styling as much as you want/need as well so I hope to make this a really enjoyable experience for your whole family so we can work together for years to come.
Why do I have to sign a contract?
A contract protects you, the client, as well as me, the photographer, in the event that something doesn't go as planned before, during, or after your session. I use a contract to ensure that everyone I work with knows what they can expect from me and that even though I strive to make everything fun and enjoyable for everyone, there are certain things that will always be out of my control. I try to outline what you can expect from me and what I expect from my clients in those situations. I always try to be as accommodating as possible with booking, rescheduling, deposits, and payments but in order to continue to operate a successful business and provide photography services for my clients, I do have these guidelines to help keep things running smoothly.
What happens if the weather is bad for our outdoor session?
In the event of rain, snow, hurricanes, or any other fickle North Carolina weather I offer a few options. I always wait until 8 hours before your session to make the call because we know how quickly the forecast can change and I will contact you to discuss our options the night before if your session is in the morning or the morning of your session if it's in the evening.
1. Keep it as is and add in some weather gear if necessary. As long as conditions aren't dangerous, sessions can be fun, beautiful, and true-to-life in various weather conditions! I have a clear umbrella and a love of rain boots so if you don't mind getting a little wet I am happy to continue as planned.
2. Change location. We can always go somewhere you frequent indoors such as a favorite store or donut shop. If you aren't opposed to an in-home session I can travel to you and document your time cuddled up together on the couch, in bed, playing games together, etc.
3. Change your time if there is a break in the weather and no other sessions scheduled then. It's always a good idea to try to keep your day freed up if possible when you plan a photo session so it may be possible to just change the time of your session and keep everything else the way it was planned.
4. We can reschedule if we need to but keep in mind that it may be up to a month before I have availability again and it is usually inconvenient for everyone to have to re-coordinate plans for a new date so I try to avoid this whenever possible.
Do you edit and re-touch all of your photos?
Like most photographers, I shoot in RAW format which is a file format that captures all of the data recorded by a camera's sensor. This format requires editing in order to achieve the look and feel you want to remember. It is very important when looking for a photographer that you know and love their style (I will write a whole separate blog post about this soon) before booking them so that you know what to expect. You would not want to hire someone who shoots dark, moody images if you want your photos to be light and airy.
When it comes to re-touching, I try to keep it to a minimum. I believe there is beauty everywhere and it is my job to capture it naturally and in it's purest form. I may do some basic things to make you feel your best (eye and teeth whitening, blemish correcting, skin smoothing, etc.) but I try to capture you at your best in the moment so I hardly ever do any major photoshopping. If there is anything you are particularly sensitive about please let me know before your session and I will do everything I can to accommodate you so you can love your photos.
Can I have the RAW files and/or the photos you did not choose?
No, I do not provide the RAW files or additional photos for a few reasons. First, a lot of them are bad. RAW files are flat and a lot are test shots to adjust settings and other things you do not need to see. The RAW files and photos I do not deliver are not what I consider my best work and therefore I do not want them to represent my business or you. Part of hiring a photographer is trusting them to capture what you want and provide those images to you. Also, I currently do not limit the amount of pictures I send. In some sessions I may only get the minimum number promised while in other sessions I may send several more. At this time I provide you all of your final images at no extra charge instead of letting you choose your favorites and have to purchase any additional ones you want. Finally, choosing the photos that best represent you is part of the creative process that I particularly love and want all of my clients to trust me with.