- Do you have backup equipment in case something malfunctions?
Let’s face it, anything can happen and you need to know that your photographer can still capture your birth even if they have a gear issue. Every birth photographer should have at least 2 cameras that have similar capabilities in the event that one breaks.
- What is your policy if you can’t make it to my birth?
This needs to be discussed during your consultation but also clearly written in the birth contract. There are usually two scenarios related to this. What happens if you do not contact the photographer as agreed which results in them missing the birth and what if they miss it due to their own issues (illness, lack of childcare, vehicle issues). Which brings me to the next question.
- Do you have a backup photographer that can attend if you can not?
This is important because things happen. Your photographer can get the flu while on call for you and obviously they likely can not attend nor would you want them to. So it’s always good if the photographer has a backup that is within the same skill level and comfortable taking over for them.
- When do you go on-call and what happens if I deliver before that?
Typically birth photographers will go on-call for you between 37-38 weeks. If you deliver before that, most photographers will still try to make it but it’s always good to talk about this and have it written in your contract.
- What if I have a change in the method of birth (c-section)?
Most birth photographers will not offer refunds for a change in your method of birth, even if they are not permitted to go into the operating room. This is because they have usually already been on call and made it to the birthing center before that decision is made. They will still capture your birth story as it unfolds but details of this should always be discussed beforehand. If your method of birth changes before you go to the hospital (medical issues resulting in the need to schedule a c-section etc), it is best to get prior approval from your doctor for your photographer to attend. Sometimes hospital policy prevents your doctor from deciding if that is possible so this should be discussed in advance with your doctor and the hospital staff upon arrival.
These are just a few of the most important questions to ask and will get a conversation started between you and your potential birth photographer.