WHAT is birth photography


The moment your child comes into the world and breathes his or her first breath is unparalleled by any other experience, an event that is both all-consuming and often an overwhelming blur of activity. It only happens once, and you want those minute details— that precious first moment you hold your little one, the wrinkles and tiny toes, baby’s first measurements, dad’s first moments with the baby, grandmas and siblings on the edges of their seats in the waiting room—preserved forever. You’ve photographed your bump and carefully chronicled your pregnancy milestones. Why stop at the most pivotal moment?

Many moms now wish to capture every moment of labor and delivery, right down to the sweat and tears. When you hire Katie Mathis as your birth photographer, you are guaranteeing that you and your partner, family and friends will be able to revisit these irreplaceable moments whenever you  desire, and thanks to your choice, child will someday be able to visualize his or her own special birth story.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT


I encourage you to contact me early on in your pregnancy if you are interested in getting more information, simply fill out my booking form & I will contact you within 24 hours. Because of the unpredictable nature of birth, I can only “schedule” 2-3 births a month at this time.

When you contact me for more information, we will schedule a time to meet in person or on the phone, where you can get to know me, ask any additional questions you may have, discuss my client contract, & make note of your labor & birth desires. At that time, I will hold your spot in my books for 24 hours. During the holding period I will send you your client contract and you can either book your due date with me by paying the session in full or retainer. I will have to give the next mother the spot if you choose not to book during the 24 hours hold. 

Once you have hired me as your birth photographer, we will stay in contact. It is helpful for me to hear how your pregnancy is progressing & how your appointments go with your care provider. After that point, I wait to hear from you that you are in labor. No matter if it turns out to be a false alarm, if it’s just Braxton Hicks, or if you simply want to talk, please give me a heads up. Earlier notice is always better than an unexpectedly quick labor and delivery & I miss the birth.

Depending on your package choices, I may or may not be seeing you again for more photos after your baby is born. You will receive your first image within 72 hours, and your image gallery will be uploaded for your approval within 6 weeks and an additional 6 weeks for your video if you purchased a video package. 

I am so honored & overjoyed to work with each of my birth clients, and to give them the best photography service possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have!

FAQ


Why should I hire a birth photographer?

Birth is a beautiful and intense whirlwind. Many mothers find that after giving birth, they only have a few concrete memories of the experience. Birth photography allows mothers to see and remember all the big and small moments of their journey. The tenderness of your partner, the intensity in your face, the beauty in the struggle to hold on when everything inside of you wants to give up. And, of course, those first miraculous moments when you finally meet your baby.  There is something so powerful about reliving your birth experience. Like a wedding, a birth is a day you'll remember for the rest of your life. Having professional birth photographs can help give those memories more shape and power. 

 

When should I book with you?

Because of the unpredictable nature of birth, the immense amount of editing work afterward, and being a mom to two tiny tots, I can only schedule 3 births a month at this time. Please keep this in mind to reserve the time around your due date as early as possible! 

 

How far away will you travel to photograph a birth?

I will travel up to 40 miles away for a birth. 

 

How “graphic” will my photos be?

I am an extremely modest birth photographer in general. We discuss all of this at your client meeting, but from my experience, most moms like having some graphic photos taken at the moment of birth, but only modest photos are used in your slideshow and used in any online publication. We will talk about your preferred level of modesty & I will make note in your contract of specific things you would/would not like me to capture.

 

Can I be nude?

Of course, this is YOUR birth. However, I do suggest using some coverage. These are your images that you are investing in and have the intentions of sharing with possibly everyone on Facebook or just with your little ones one day.  Wearing a bra or bralette will keep you cool and classy. When it's go time for all your necessary skin to skin, I will help you remove whatever you choose to wear for an easy transition to kangaroo time.

 

Do you use flash during a birth?

I absolutely use flash during births. I absolutely do not flash it directly at my subjects. The light bounces off the walls and/or ceilings. I would not be the quality storyteller that I am if I didn't.  I find that moms who are investing a substantial amount in professional birth photography are okay with the lights being raised. If you know that you like to labor in pitch darkness, then I am not the birth photographer for you.

 

Will you be interacting with us at all during labor?

It all depends. In the time leading up to your due date, we will be in frequent communication to establish a relationship so that it does not feel like you have a stranger in the room. I believe it is essential for you to have your perfect, peaceful birth space with the least amount of uncomfortable or negative influences as possible. That being said, I am perfectly content to stand back in the shadows, but there may be times that we will have more interaction. I do not do any posing or adjusting, unless it is for modesty purposes, helping you to fix your hair if it has gotten a little crazy, or quickly getting a great first family photo. 

 

Can my spouse/partner/ mother-in-law/friend/doula photograph me while in labor?

When I was shooting weddings I always requested an "unplugged ceremony". Seeing the images of the bride and groom kissing from behind the crowd was the perfect shot, but then I could see the guests holding up their iPhones and iPads to capture the moment themselves. I was quick to make this a rule then, and after my first birth session, was quick to make it part of my birth photography contract as well. Let's make these images timeless and in return I promise to get you a few images to share within the first 48 hours. 

 

When should I call you if I go into labor?

As soon as you feel ANY changes at all, please give me a heads up! Even if it's possible that your contractions are only 10-15 minutes apart, I prefer to be aware and alert. I have two young daughters I need to find care for, and may need to move around my schedule. That being said, I will head to your place of birth when you are in active labor. Staying in constant communication is the best way to ensure I get there in time for your birth, while at the same time not hovering around you needlessly and making you feel like a watched pot. If you have purchased a photography and videography package, I ask to be there as early as possible to capture you on every bit of your roller coaster to come. 

 

What if my birth takes a really long time?

I’m in it for the long haul! I don’t want you to be worrying about how much you are paying hourly after a certain point. I do request taking a 15 minute break every few hours to check on my kids, step out to nibble of some food, and stretch my legs (all of this depends on your labor status. All packages include unlimited coverage.

 

How long do you stay after I give birth?

2 hours. I do charge $50 an hour If you request more hours on top of the 2. This would be ideal if you want footage of family meeting the little one. If you would like me to come back the following day you will receive 20% off the Fresh48 session. 

 

What if I require a Cesarean birth?

It is your responsibility to communicate with your care provider & to advocate to have me in the operating room if you wish. If it is an emergency situation, there is no time for communication, and I am not allowed in the OR, if possible I will hand my camera to someone who will be there so that they can capture the birth as best as they can, and I will resume taking footage as soon as baby has been stabilized and with dad.

 

What if I schedule a Cesarean?

I am overjoyed to be present at every birth experience, from home birth to scheduled c-section. Again, it is your responsibility to communicate with your care provider & to make sure it is okay for me to be present in the operating room. I cannot stress enough how important it is for YOU and YOUR PARTNER to be the ones to request my presence should you need to enter the OR. It is ultimately your doctor & the anesthesiologist who make the decision, and your request weighs infinitely heavier than mine.

 

What if something goes “wrong” during the birth?

We will discuss this during your client meeting, but unless otherwise specified, and if the situation allows, I will continue shooting. If a loss of life occurs, post-birth photos will be put into a separate folder and saved on my personal computer until you request them, in case you are not quite ready to see them when they arrive. While hard to see, these photos may be very helpful during the healing process after a traumatic birth experience.

 

How many images can I expect to get?

Usually 100-200 edited images, depending on the length of your labor. 

 

What is the length of video I can expect to get?

4-8 minutes, all depending on the length of your labor & what you want included.

 

Will my photos be in color or black & white?

All of your photos will be come in both color and black & white versions.

 

Can I get copies of the raw video you take?

Sometimes it is great to see & the experience the raw moments I have captured for you, without any editing or music overlay. I take this footage primarily for use in your slideshow, but you can purchase a flash drive with 10 raw video clips on it, in addition to a personal file copy of your birth film. 

 

Are you going to post my photos on the internet?

You will make any decisions regarding publicity and marketing permissions during our client interview, and reserve the right to change your mind after the birth. Only modest photos will ever be posted. However, if you choose to keep your photos private, a privacy fee will be charged. I build my portfolio and receive subsequent business most of the time from my work published online following a birth.  If you would like to decide after your personal viewing of your video if you would like to keep it private, I only ask that you write me a separate check to hold onto in your file with your contract by 4 weeks before your EDD, and depending on your decision, I will either tear it up or deposit it then. 

 

Do you have doulas/midwives that you recommend?

Yes & please ask!

 

Do you offer payment plans?

I currently accept non refundable retainers of $475 to hold your estimated due date. Final payment due by the 36th week. 

 

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes of course! What a wonderful gift it would be to receive coverage from a professional photographer at your birth! Until I have an electronic system set up, please contact me for more information.

 

How can I create a gift registry listing?

Creating a gift registry is a great idea and an easy way for friends and family to gift any amount  towards your birth photography. You can easily create a registry by clicking on the button below.