To book a birth photographer … or not?
Rather than wait until their baby is a few days old, expectant parents are commissioning photographers to join them in the delivery room to witness and document family moments. This trend is especially interesting as not too long ago, many fathers did not dare enter the room, let alone a “stranger” with a camera (conservative blush!). Our readers asked professionally trained and licenced birth photographer Lise-Marie Eksteen some questions.
I love the idea of birth photography; how do I prepare for the shoot?
(First fall pregnant?) You really do not need to dress up, wear any make-up or do your hair. If, however you prefer to, it is always a great idea to add some make-up and a brush to your hospital bag.
How do I ensure the photographer will be available and on time on the day?
Your birth photographer should always be on standby, even for scheduled c-section mommies, as babies sometimes decide their own birth date. Your photographer will make sure their camera's batteries are always charged and memory cards are emptied. When my family and I go out, we travel with two cars, in case I get called for a birth. I also have a back-up photographer on standby.
Do you photograph everything, I mean like down there?
During your "meet & greet" beforehand, you can discuss this. With natural birth, these are some of the most important questions I ask my clients. Do they want to see the crowning … placenta … cord cutting, etc? A photographer can also just focus on the emotions and stay “on the other side of the bed”.
Are you going to post my photos on social media?
Your privacy is priority, so only if you consent to it, or some of it.
Can anyone take photos in hospital?
No. Hospitals are very strict about who is allowed in the room during a birth. I am registered with the South African Birth Photography Association and we have a code of ethics and guidelines we adhere to, to ensure that we protect our industry and other medical professionals during the capture of your birth story. If your doctor knows your photographer is part of our association, they are more prone to allowing the photographer in the theatre/labour ward.
Birth photographers are happy to be the “fly on the wall”. There is no need to pose for, look at, or talk to your birth photographer. Your focus will be on your loved ones and the baby. We aspire to capture all the "realness" and emotions in a documentary way that’s non-obtrusive and will provide memories for a lifetime.
About Lise-Marie Photography, Cape Town
I'm Lise-Marie Eksteen, and I am a Family, Baby, Maternity, Newborn and Birth Photographer. I love every minute I spend taking photos and the more creative I can be, the better. I always challenge myself to improve my photography and to create those special moments when I take those pictures. I have a beautiful family of my own, so I know how quickly time goes by and how important it is to capture those moments because our kids grow up so quickly. I would love to meet you and your family.
Read more about interesting Things to do With Kids in our Proudly South African Magazine.