Birth Photography FAQ’s

You may have many questions about what  birth photography is and what the experience is like.   So, I have put together some of the most common questions that I have been asked. If you have any other questions that haven’t been answered below, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Why hire a Birth Photographer?

For most people, hiring a professional photographer to capture the memories of their wedding is one of the first things that they do. After all, it is one of the most important and significant day’s in ones’ life.  The day your child is born is no different. The first time that your new baby looks at you. Your babies first breaths. The expression of love and adoration on your partners face, looking on with amazement. The strength that you showed in your amazing effort to bring this beautiful life into being. Imagine having all of those amazing, real moments captured. Photographing your birth story is not only a gift to you and your partner, but to your child to share and treasure for a lifetime.

Can’t my husband or family member take photos?

With JMS Reflections Photography present at your birth, Dad and your support people can just focus on being a part of this momentous occasion, without worrying about fumbling for a camera. Having a professional photographer who is comfortable, discreet, and unobtrusive means that you can focus on your most important task-bringing that beautiful life into this world.

Often times lighting is unbalanced and poor during a labor and birth. Because of this, it is difficult to get clear images from a point-and-shoot camera. As a professional, I have the equipment necessary to handle any lighting situation.

When should I book your services?

I highly recommend that you contact me as soon as you think you may be interested to check my availability. Because labor is so unpredictable, I am limited to accepting only two births a month. Once you decide to hire me as your photographer, I require a 50% deposit to hold that tentative date. The remainder is due by your 36th week of pregnancy.

Will we meet before the big day?

Absolutely!  I feel that it is very important to have the right person and energy surrounding you at your birth. Who you have present at your birth will affect your feelings and memories of that transformative time. I want you to feel completely comfortable with who you are hiring for your big day. I will visit you in your home during your third trimester so I may become acquainted with you and your partner, your home, your birth plan, and your desires and wishes for what you want documented.

Do I need  to get approval from hospital staff?

Before you decide to hire me, you will need to verify that I am allowed to photograph at your place of birth. Make sure you ask about hospital policies and any provider that may not want a photographer there. If you are having a home birth, you should also check with your midwife.

When do I call you?

I ask that you call me once you start showing any signs of labor. As a mom myself, sometimes it will be necessary for me to arrange child care, so the earlier the notice, the better. Keep in touch with me during early labor and we will decide when the best time for me to come is. I usually come once you are in “active” labor, after you have been admitted to the hospital or when the Midwife goes to your home.

What do I do if I go into labor in the middle of the night?

I am on-call for your birth 24 hours a day. If it’s in the middle of the night, call me as you would during the day. I just ask that if you do go into labor in the middle of the night, that you do not text me, as I may not hear it when I am sleeping.

How far do you travel for a birth session?

I am willing to travel up to 45 miles from Buffalo, NY. Because labors are so unpredictable, it is too risky to travel any farther than that.

How long will you stay at the labor and birth?

All labors are different. I could be there as little as a few hours or as long as 30 hours.I have cleared my schedule for you, so I will be there however long it takes. I stay up to two hours after your baby is born to capture bonding family moments. If you are having a long, early labor, I will step out from time to time to allow you some privacy. If your labor is very short, I usually will stay longer after your baby is born.

What if I have a c-section?

If you are having a planned c-section, you need to check with your provider about having me in the room. Some hospitals allow one person in the room, and some allow two. Also, ask about what anesthesiologist is ok with having a photographer present. They are much more willing to allow a photographer if they know in advance.

If you have an emergency c-section, I will be waiting outside to take pictures of your baby as soon as I can.

When you are photographing a birth, do you talk and interact, or are you quiet?

That is totally up to you and what you want. We can talk about that when we meet. I usually tend to stay pretty quiet and out of yours and your support’s way, but if the situation feels right, I have no problem interacting.  I also have no problem putting my camera down and lending a hand when needed, whether it is to hold your hand if your partner steps out, if you need a sip of water, or a cool washcloth on your face.

I’m worried about photo equipment being in the way and taking away from my experience-what do you bring?

Good question!  I bring my professional camera, a back-up camera, some lenses, a portable flash, and lots of batteries and memory cards. I do not bring tripods, lights, or anything else that gets in the way.

Will you use a flash?

I do my best to not use a flash at all, but under certain circumstances, it may be necessary. If you absolutely do not want a flash used, I will of course honor that wish. We will discuss this when we meet and what it ultimately means for final image quality.

What if you are sick, or otherwise can’t make it to the birth?

I clear my calendar one week before and two weeks after your due date. In the event of a personal or medical emergency within that time frame, and I miss the birth, your deposit will be refunded 100%. If you go into labor outside of that time period, I cannot guarantee my attendance and your deposit will not be refunded. However, I do my absolute best to make it to your birth should that occur.

Will I receive prints or a CD? How many pictures will I receive?

The session includes 100-150 high-resolution images are offered from your birth story on a CD. However, this number is not a guarantee. There may be less images if your labor and birth are very quick, but often times there are more. Every image that you receive is individually hand-edited. The session also includes a print release for you to use to copy and print the images for personal use.

Will my images be black & white or color?

The majority of your images with be black & white. Black & white images portray a more emotionally true experience, and minimizes distracting elements such as blood or medical equipment. The focus is on you and your family. I usually include some color images as well, usually after your baby is born.

How soon will I receive my pictures?

I will email you a sneak-peak within 24-48 hours after your baby’s birth. Feel free to use as birth announcements and share these images with your friends and family. The remaining images will be available within 4 weeks after the birth.

Are you going to post my pictures online?

Your privacy is of utmost importance to me. My birth photography package comes with the option to sign a print release. If you sign a print release, I will post a few discreet and beautiful images of your birth story on my Facebook business page/blog. Please feel free to share with your friends and family!  Occasionally I may use images from birth sessions for marketing purposes. I will never use any images of a sensitive nature without your express permission. Even with your express permission, it is in the best interest of my business that my marketing and advertising material be PG-Rated!

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes!  They can be purchased for any amount toward any service, including birth photography. Gift certificates make wonderful shower gifts!