Maiden, Mother, Crone Photography

Birth photography in San Jose is still a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s one that is growing in popularity fast. Many pregnant people are deciding to have a birth photographer capture their child’s birth story, and rightfully so! A good birth photographer can help you remember the moments of your child’s birth forever.

But how do you choose the right one? Here are a few tips to help you out:

What to look for in a San Jose birth photographer

There are a few things to consider when looking for a birth photographer in San Jose

Take a look at their portfolio. Do their photos reflect the kind of birth experience you want to capture? Are their galleries consistent? Will they let you see a full gallery so you know what your images will look like?

How much experience do they have? Of course newer photographers can typically cost less and more experienced photographers will likely cost a bit more. In addition to how long they have photographing professionally, birth photography calls for additional consideration. Do they have any training that is specific to birth and being around birth the info people? Is there something specific to you and this pregnancy and birthing experience that requires everyone on your birth team to have experience in? Which is most important to you?

Birth photography is a delicate art, and you want someone who knows what they’re doing. Look for a photographer who meets your needs and don’t be afraid to ask to see examples of their work.

Another really important question to ask them is how long they will be on call for your birth. My on call period is six weeks, matching the window a home midwife would have, from your 36th week of pregnancy to your 42nd. I want you to feel relaxed knowing that as a member of your birth team, I will be there for you when your baby decides to arrive.

Meet in person or via video chat – and choose someone you feel comfortable with! This is someone who will be in the room with you during one of the most intimate moments of your life, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them. Meet with the photographer beforehand to get a sense of their personality and make sure they are someone you can trust.

Is the photographer comfortable with your birth plan? Discuss your expectations for the birth beforehand so that the photographer knows what to expect and can be prepared accordingly. For example, if you are planning a home birth, make sure the photographer is comfortable shooting in that environment.

How to find a birth photographer in San Jose

Of course, you’re on the website for one right now 😉 {optional: if you’re not a birth photographer– you can skip this link or include the links for who you do recommend} but here are some tried and true ways to go about finding a reputable birth photographer!

Start by, of course, asking family and friends. If they have personal experience using the photographer, that’s even better!

Look at professional associations like International Association of Professional Birth Photographers or resource lists through your local birth center. Blossom Birth and Family and Casa Natal are two that you can look at and reach out to for their recommendations.

There are also certified birth photographers. You can find a list of certified birth photographers through The Beauty in Birth®. Certified birth photographers have gone through training in not only photography but how to behave in a birth space. Many (like myself) have also undergone doula training, sometimes multiple times and each with a different focus. You can rest assured you’re hiring a true professional when you hire someone who has taken the time to learn the ins and outs of birthing space and the sacred ground it weaves.

Lastly, when trying to decide how to choose a birth photographer in San Jose, there’s always trusty Ol’Google. Be sure to read reviews, look at portfolios, and have conversations before making your final decision!

What to expect from your San Jose birth photographer

You should expect your birth photographer to be professional, compassionate, and discreet. They should make you feel comfortable and relaxed, while still being able to capture all of the special moments of your labor and delivery.

You can expect them to be respectful of your privacy and space, while still doing their best to get the shots that you want. Most importantly, you should expect them to be there for you – to document one of the most important days of your life. Remember what I said about their on call period? They need to be ready to drop what they’re doing to come to you when you go into labor!

To help you in your search, here are a few additional questions to ask your birth photographer:

  • How many births have you photographed?
  • Have you completed any training as a birth photographer or birth worker?
  • What happens if you miss my birth?
  • Is there a time limit to how long you’ll stay at my birth?
  • What are your packages and what’s included?
  • Can I see a copy of your contract?
  • Are you comfortable taking photos in low light?

Tips for working with your birth photographer

Of course, there are a lot of unknowns in birth photography which makes it even more important to discuss expectations beforehand!

Be clear about what you want and don’t want captured. Is there an image from their portfolio you’re hoping to get for your birth? Make sure to tell them! Is there something you’d rather not have photos of? Communicate that, too!

Are you ok with your images shared online? This is an important one to discuss. When working with birth clients, I have around two or three galleries – one with all their final images, one for private potential client viewing, and one for posting publicly on my website and social media. Often, I will combine the last two, depending on the client’s requests. I will always be willing to remove posted photos if you choose at a later time that you do not want them made available publicly any more.

Most birth photographers in San Jose have a photojournalistic approach to birth photography which means they’ll capture moments as they happen. This can make it a bit challenging to guarantee certain images, but it’s still important for you to communicate your vision for the photographs.

What style do you prefer?

“Raw”?

Emotional?

Do you want candid shots of labor?

What types of moments are you hoping to capture?

What kind of emotions do you want to capture?

The more specific you can be, the better-as long as you understand the photographer can’t guarantee anything because it’s birth!

Ultimately, the best way to choose a birth photographer is to trust your gut. Go with someone whose work you admire and who you feel you can be yourself around. With the right photographer by your side, you’ll be able to look back on your birth story with joy and pride.

I hope these tips have helped you in choosing the perfect birth photographer in San Jose to document this amazing moment in your life. Birth photography is a unique and wonderful way to capture the beauty and intensity of childbirth.

Click here to see my images of San Jose Birth Photography to understand even more about birth photography.

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