Frequently Asked Questions for Birth Photographers
How did you get started?
I started out photographing motherhood when my first child was 6 months old. I specialized in maternity, newborn, family and breastfeeding photoshoots. August of 2014 one of my maternity / breastfeeding photography clients invited me to attend the birth of her second child in Miramar and the moment I started taking pictures of her labor and her meeting her baby in such a beautiful and supported way with a midwife, I knew this was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What equipment do you use?
I use a Canon 5D Mark IV and my backup camera is a Canon 5D Mark III. I mainly use two lenses during birth stories, I have my 28mm 1.8 out for 95% of the birth and on occasion I use my 50mm 1.4. I have never used flash during a birth, and I don’t bring in any other kind of gear with me.
What settings do you use?
This really changes depending on time of day, location, and what is happening. I like to keep my lens aperture as close to 2.0 - 2.2 as possible, but sometimes I push it to 1.8. I prefer never to go below a 1/200ss, but a slower shutter speed is sometimes unavoidable. I typically set my ISO somewhere between 400-1000 when I have great lighting, but during the night, it can be as high as 32,000.
How do you photograph and film at the same time?
I started practicing four years ago and didn’t charge for film for a couple of years. Now I am able to seamlessly transition from photography to film without compromising one or the other.
What Advice Would You Give New Birth Photographers?
Leave everything at the door when you walk into the birth space, this is her journey, not yours. I attend every birth with the full intention of it being a silent retreat for me unless mom or someone on the birth team asks me a question.
Know your gear before you ever walk into a birth, especially if this is a paid birth. Practice at home in the worst lighting conditions.
Find support. Working as a photographer in general can be very lonely but once you step into the birth world, it can be very isolating. Find your community of people who can support and lift you up in everything you do.
Do you offer mentoring?
Yes! I offer one on one mentorships. We can either pick one topic and discuss it on the phone for an hour, or schedule several days of calls over the course of several weeks.