Frequently Asked Questions

"Why birth photography?" This is the question I am asked the most when I talk to people about my passion for this type of photography. Birth photography is a rapidly growing field because of the incredibly powerful, emotional, and meaningful photos it produces; but many people still aren't familiar with what it is and how it works. In these FAQs I hope to answer any questions you may have about birth photography; but if I've missed something please feel free to contact me so we can chat!

Email: emily@grasshopper-studios.com | Phone: 619-300-9619

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Why should I hire a birth photographer?
Birth photography can seem a little strange to some people, especially husbands and fathers, if they aren't familiar with what it is or if they have never witnessed the miracle that is a baby being born. However, when asked what the best day of their life has been, any mother or father would answer: the day they got married and the day that their child was born. We don't think twice about paying big bucks for a wedding photographer because that is such a monumental day -- so why should the birth of a child be any different? I'd say that's a pretty monumental day as well! 
 
Hiring a birth photographer frees up your partner or support person to focus on their most important job for that day - to be there for you, to encourage you, to bring you ice chips, to hold your hand. They've got quite a lot of duties during labor and delivery -- don't give them the added stress of trying to handle a camera too. As you can read in my Letter to Expectant Moms, my husband was awesome during the birth of our son... but we have maybe five photos of the whole day and that's only after he was born because that wasn't my husband's top priority, nor should it have been. There were so many moments that I missed out on because we didn't have a photographer there to capture them for us and it is such a regret of mine!
 
A professional birth photographer has the expertise and the equipment to be able to work in tight quarters and with tricky lighting in order to capture all of the details and fleeting moments of the day. The end result will be your child's birth story told in beautiful, touching, high-quality images. You won't have to worry about missing out on anything -- it will all be there for you to look back on afterwards and for you to share with your children as they grow up. Each family is unique and each birth has a story behind it. It would be an honor for me to be there to document yours. I promise you will never regret having those moments captured.

 

 

How much does birth photography cost?
My rate for births booked through the end of 2015 is $600. This rate is good for births occurring within a 30 mile radius of Jackson. This is a flat rate so all photos and unlimited hours of coverage are covered with this one fee. You will not pay extra for anything listed in the package.

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Do you offer payment plans?
I realize that birth photography is an investment, so I do offer two ways to pay. The first being that half of the fee is due upon booking with the other half being due four weeks prior to due date. With the second option, half of the fee is still due upon booking but the rest of the fee can be broken up into smaller payments over the remainder of the pregnancy, with all of it to be paid in full four weeks prior to due date. 

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When should I book with you?
Because of the need for me to be on call beginning two weeks prior to your due date, I ask that you book as early as possible in your pregnancy so that I can be sure to have a clear calendar during the time I'll need to be on call for you. 

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How far will you travel for a birth?
My coverage area includes Jackson and surrounding areas, Memphis, and Nashville. My travel rate is an additional $100/hour for travel outside of Jackson. 

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How, um, "graphic" will my photos be?
This, no doubt, crosses everyone's mind when considering birth photography. I will never be unnecessarily "all up in your business" but I am up for capturing whatever you want me to. We will discuss your preferred level of modesty prior to your due date. Many moms want to have photos of baby crowning but for the most part I will be positioned behind your shoulder to document the moment of birth from your perspective. I've found this is an ideal vantage point for capturing both baby's first breaths as well as your and your partner's first reactions. 

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When should I inform my doctor about you?

I encourage you to discuss your plans to have a birth photographer present during labor and delivery as early on as possible with your doctor so there are no surprises on the day of. If they or any of the other staff do not want their faces shown in photos, I can certainly work around that. In addition, if they have any other concerns about my being present, I will be happy to speak with them and answer any questions they may have. 

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What is hospital policy regarding photography in the delivery room?

The two hospitals in Jackson do allow photography in the delivery rooms. They just ask that you let the L&D director of your hospital know about your plans beforehand so that they can give the delivery staff a head's up. Both hospitals have a limit of two people allowed in the delivery room and the photographer counts as one of them so if you want more than one other support person in the room we will need to do some switching out throughout the day. Obviously you will want me in there to capture the actual birth so you will need to decide which other support person will also be in there during that time. As far as hospitals in other surrounding areas, Memphis, or Nashville, it will be your responsibility to inquire as to what their policies allow. 

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! I cannot stress the importance of this enough. It is always better to err on the side of telling me way too early than to tell me too late. I have a young son I may need to find care for and may need to move around my schedule. With that being said, I will head to your place of birth when you are in active labor. Please designate a support person to stay in contact with me and keep me updated on where you are in labor. When you are about 5-6 cm dilated, that is generally a good time for me to join you. This is not a fail-proof rule, but 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.

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Will you be interacting with us at all during labor?

We will be in regular contact in the months leading up to your birth to establish a relationship so that you do not feel as if there is a stranger in the room during labor. And if, on the day, we are playing a waiting game in the delivery room I do like to chat with you and offer little encouragements while taking advantage of the downtime to photograph details around the room. I like to maintain a positive vibe in the delivery room so I will certainly not be sitting there like a bump on a log. However, when it comes down to time to push, my goal is for you to not even notice me. Your partner's and the medical staff's voices are the only ones you will hear because I do not want to intrude or interrupt anyone and also because I will be focused on the job at hand.

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What if my birth takes a really long time?

The birth of my son took 32 hours so I certainly know how that feels and I would never want you to worry about paying for extra hours. My birth photography package includes unlimited hours so I'm with you until the end! However, I do reserve the right after 10 hours, if labor is at a pause, to step out and make arrangements for my son and/or freshen up and grab a bite to eat. 

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What if I have a C-section? 

If you know in advance that you will be having a c-section, I encourage you to speak with your doctor beforehand to advocate having me in the OR with you. Every hospital's policies are different regarding photography in the OR and it is ultimately the doctor's and anesthesiologist's decision, but your voice carries a great deal more weight than mine would when asking to have me present. You can let them know that I have been in the OR for multiple C-sections and know the rules and protocol. I will say, however, I have attended a c-section where I was not allowed in the OR and was still able to capture memorable moments that the couple treasures.

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How long do you stay after the birth?

Each birth is different but I usually stay about two hours after to capture those first snuggles, the first bath (if possible), and the family meeting baby for the first time.

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How many and what types of images can I expect to receive?

I usually deliver 75-250 depending on the length and circumstances of labor. Images will be delivered in jpeg format on a USB drive for long-term storage. See my Birth Story videos for examples of images - these include just a fraction of the total images from these births but will give you an idea of how birth photography can tell the story of your child's birth. 

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Will my images be in color or black and white?

I prefer black and white images for births because they create a timeless effect and also because the "colors" of birth and the lighting are not always very attractive. Therefore, most images will be in black and white. However, if there are certain images where the colors are important these will be in color as well as some of the images of your sweet newborn. 

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Do you use flash during a birth?

I prefer to use available light for births in general, although I do always have a flash on hand should it become absolutely necessary. Because flash photography can be so distracting and I never want to use it in a new baby's eyes, I will do everything in my power to avoid using it by simply opening a shade or turning up other lights in the room. I usually do not want to interrupt labor to ask permission to turn lights up but if, at any time, you want them turned down I will certainly oblige -- although you should be aware that extremely low light will affect the quality of your photos. 

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Will you post my photos on the internet?

Because birth photography is still unfamiliar to some people, posting beautiful examples of this type of photography is a great way to make it more commonplace. In addition, having these images in my portfolio helps future parents who are considering hiring me for their births. However, only modest photos will ever be posted and you will be consulted before I post anything. If you do feel very strongly against having any posted at all, a privacy fee will be charged. 

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Do you offer gift certificates?

Absolutely! What an awesome gift for expecting parents to receive coverage from a professional photographer at their birth. Please contact me for more information.

Do you do other types of photography?

I currently do newborn and family photography as well as birth photography; however, my goal in time is to transition to only births and newborns as these specialties are my passions. I do offer a discount if you purchase my birth and newborn combination package at the time of booking. See my Packages page for more details.

 "I have fallen in love all over again with my precious little family thanks to Emily Taylor, the owner of Grasshopper Studios, who was able to capture such a monumental time in our lives! I would highly recommend anyone that is pregnant or plans to have a family in the future to consider having a birth photographer! It is definitely an investment you will not regret!"

- Kaeli Powell, 2015 Birth Client 

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