Why birth photography? Most people hire a photographer for their wedding day. It’s a beautiful, momentous occasion that marks one of the biggest days of your life. I think giving birth is just as important an event!

Birth photography documents the work, the excitement, the anticipation, the support and tender exchanges between you and your partner during labor. It documents that precious moment when you finally meet your baby. It documents all the exciting post partum moments following birth… breathing your baby in, learning to breastfeed, meeting family members.

Birth photography empowers. It’s easy to forget how strong and amazing you are in the moment. Looking back on your birth photos reminds you. Birth photography heals. If you’re looking to have a different birth experience that you have in the past, or need reassurance in processing a difficult birth, your photos can be a source of comfort.

These precious moments are so often missed because there’s just not enough hands. I want to capture these moments for you. They cannot be recreated and they should be celebrated and remembered forever!

* Servicing Auckland Hospital, Birthcare Parnell/Howick and Papakura Maternity Unit* - If you are planning on giving birth at a different location let me know as it can still be an option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of photos do you take?

I like to tell a story with your photos. From arrival at your hospital to me leaving. I try to capture the weather on the day, the time of day or night we arrive at the hospital, the clock as the day progresses, your labour

When should we book?

As early as possible! The day you get that positive pregnancy test even. Due to the nature of the business, I only take a limited number of birth session each month. Leaving it to the last minute can mean you may just miss out.

Birth is such a private moment, how do you manage that?

Yes, birth is a very private moment and very special for you as a couple – I am totally respectful and conscious of that. As a result, I work hard to ensure a discreet presence in the birth space by taking a “fly on the wall (with a camera)” approach so that you barely notice that Iam there. We discuss your preferences for interacting with you during the birth and in most cases, it's limited to moments when you address your photographer first.

I don’t want a stranger present

Neither do I. That just makes for an awkward day. It is important that you feel like you have a support person or a friend with you during your birth. I work hard on getting to know you and part of the purpose for your pre-birth consult is so that we can feel comfortable with each other. We will meet as little or as often as you’d like during your pregnancy until you reach a point where you feel comfortable with your photographer.

What if I don’t want the “birth” photos?

I realise that some people feel confronted by the actual birth itself. And that’s perfectly OK. There are ways in which we can avoid those altogether. There are many different shots and angles that we can take during birth so if you would prefer the family moments without the birth, then we can make that happen.

What payment options do you have?

Payments are made in a series of instalments to help break up the cost. A $250 booking deposit is taken at the time of booking to secure your date and place in our schedule. The balance of the birth session fee is then due at 36 weeks.  I also offer payment plans and work with you to put together a payment schedule that works for you and your budget.

How long do the photos take?

I try to get through our shoots as quickly as possible. During quieter times this can be as soon as 2 weeks after the birth. For busier periods, allow up to 4 weeks. 

How many photos do you produce?

Birth sessions can produce anything between 80 - 150 photos. The amount depends highly on how the day progresses, how long we are with you and how long we stay post-birth. We will always guarantee to create a minimum of 80 photos from the day.

Will my photos be colour or black and white?

Yes, you will receive both sets.

Do you share photos publicly?

My business is built on imagery. It is how you find us and how other people will find us in the future. As a result, I need to share images from my shoots in a public forum in order to continue to market my services and grow my business. If I can’t use photos, I can’t market myselves. When doing so however, I am always mindful of the private and sensitive nature of birth and the content shared is intended to be respectful of my clients whilst still sharing photos. I am very cautious over the content that I share and the nature of my business is built around the beautiful moments rather than anything graphic or highly private. This is an area that we discuss in depth at your pre-birth consultation.

Do you direct us or pose us at all?

No, the inherent nature of birth is documentary style. I capture things as they happen and find angles and compositions to suit based on what I’ve got to work with. I may direct you to sit together at the end to capture your first family portrait but that is the extent of our involvement.

Do you interact with us during the birth?

Not a great deal no. I only really do so if you want me to or you instigate it.

Do you meet with us before the birth?

Yes, we organise a pre-birth consultation at approximately 36 weeks. In this consult, we go through your plans for your birth, discuss any issues that may impact on our involvement, talk about when to contact us, discuss your preferences for the day and find out what type of photos are most important to you. This meeting goes for approximately 1 hour and is usually our last meeting before you deliver.

Are you up to date with your vaccinations?

Yes, all photographers are up to date with their whooping cough vaccinations and each receive the flu shot every year to assist with protecting the families and baby’s I work with.

When do we contact you on the day?

Communication is the key to being there at the right time. You will usually contact us at the first sign of labour or if you have made the decision to be induced or have a c-section. Contacting me early increases your success of being there in time (particularly if things move fast). As a general rule, I aim to be with you when you head to the hospital or when contractions are approximately 3-5 minutes apart. However, things can go super slow or change really quickly so I gauge each situation on a case by case basis. Such is the nature of birth.

How long do you stay?

Once I am with you at the birth, I will stay with you until you deliver and for up to 2 hours post-birth. This could be 4 hours, 14 hours or 24 hours. So long as things are progressing and your baby’s arrival is pending, I will stay.

What if I go into labour in the middle of the night?

Such is life. Babies are born at all times of the day – not just between office hours. So whether you go into labour at 1pm or 1am, you will still ring me. It’s what we do and all part of the job.

 

What if I need space?

That’s fine. I am more than happy to step out of the room at any point during the labour and post-birth if you wish. I will often take short breaks during long labours anyway to allow time to eat and use the bathroom.

What if there is an emergency?

Unfortunately emergency situations happen. In these cases, I may or may not continue to photograph. A lot of it depends on what is happening in the room and the nature of the emergency. If you or your baby needs help, I refuse to get in the way of the medical staff’s ability to do so. Your lives and health are always more important than photos – as is the need for the staff to do their jobs. If I stop shooting, I will begin again once the emergency situation has settled and there may be a gap in the photos. These situations are always case by case and we follow my professional judgement on how to approach them.

What if there is something wrong with my baby?

As with emergencies, I do my best to be perceptive of how people are feeling in these situations. I may or may not decide to continue photographing. These situations can be difficult as there are often many people in the room and alot going on. If your medical staff need to access the baby (thereby meaning that we can’t) then we will respectfully step back to allow them to do so. I use my best professional judgement in this situation.

What happens if you miss the birth?

Birth can happen very quickly so communication is key to not missing the birth. However it can and does happen – thankfully not very often. If I miss the birth, I still come in afterwards. There is always lots to capture after your baby arrives so we usually still attend and will often stay a bit longer than normal to keep photographing. Depending on how long this ends up being, I may offer you a Fresh 48, newborn, or lifestyle family shoot after the day. I am keen for you to feel like you are getting value for money from your investment.

What if I have to have a caesarean-section?

If you end up needing a caesarean-section, I work with you to seek approval from your OB and hospital before the day. If you end up requiring an emergency caesarean section on the day, we will work with you to get access to theatre. However, it is never a guarantee and sometimes we are refused access. In the end, you as the patient have the power and need to fight for me to be in theatre with you. 

Do I need approval from the hospital?

You do not need “approval” per se because as the patient you have a right to have photos from the day. However, it is professional courtesy to let the hospital and any private medical staff know that you will be having a photographer and including this in your birth plan is a great start.

What if I go into labour early (i.e. before 37 weeks)?

Premature labour and delivery happens. If it does…..just ring me. So long as I’m still available, I will come. If you aren’t comfortable with having photos taken during this time, we will instead offer you a session in the neonatal intensive care or special units, a Fresh 48 or newborn shoot. These photos are just as important as the birth images and can be quite important for you to process the event afterwards.

Request full price list

We only take limited bookings each month, so it’s a good idea to secure your spot in advance.
simply let us know your details and due date then we will send you a full price list for you to look over.

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fresh 48, newborn, maternity and family photography.

hello@renayemclachlan.co.nz  |  021 029 54086   | 103 Atkin Avenue Mission Bay Auckland New Zealand

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