birth is unlike any other photo session

There are no forced smiles, no posing, no directing - Birth is a documentary session. Think of me as a National Geographic photographer - hiding in the bushes, far back, to capture nature doing its thing (only in a less creepy way since I was invited to be here...)

Your job is to be present with your body, your partner and your baby so you can do the work of bringing life into the world. Fully surrender to each present moment, knowing your story will be expertly documented.

During Pregnancy

preparing for birth day

We'll meet at least once during your pregnancy, typically over coffee (on me!) to discuss all the things - from your photo preferences to communication and logistics on labor day. If you’ve selected doula support, we’ll also discuss your birth plan, including comfort measures and interventions.

Closer to your due date (from 36 weeks on), I'll ask that you keep me updated via text after prenatal appointments or if you have any signs of early labor.

I'll arrive at your birth location within 2 hours of your call, ready to stay as long as needed, from hours to days. My approach is low-key, capturing the beauty of quiet moments and the intensity of birth, blending into the background yet engaging when fitting.

After delivery, I'll stick around for 1-2 hours to document all the firsts - like feeding, your partner holding the baby, and baby's measurements.

*If I'm with you as a doula, you can expect more active support. Based on our prenatal talks, I can offer massages, suggest productive positions, guide your partner on comforting you, or just provide quiet encouragement.

After I go home...

After your session, I’ll head home to back up and start editing your images. Within 24-48 hours, you’ll get a few sneak peek photos, perfect for those first baby announcements and chosen for their modesty.

Your full gallery will be ready in 3-4 weeks. First, you'll enjoy a slideshow to relive your birth through my lens. After viewing, and upon your final payment, you’ll gain access to download all images, including a special "Artisan Edit" set for my portfolio use. You can approve these or specify any you’d prefer kept private.

If you’ve added videography, your birth video will be available for download after the final payment as well.

*Your final payment is dependent upon our payment schedule agreement made at the time of booking.


What if you aren't available when I go into labor?

I organize my life and business to be available for your birth, anytime—be it 3am on a random Tuesday or the wee hours of Christmas morning. I'm ready whenever you need me.

However, birth is unpredictable. If I'm unable to attend due to illness or other unexpected events, I have reliable backup photographers ready to step in. They will capture your birth, but I will edit and deliver your images. You won't have to worry about switching photographers mid-process; I will ensure the continuity and quality of your photographs.

What if you miss my birth?

Knock on wood, I have never missed a birth I was scheduled to attend.

However, the only guarantee in birth is that it is unpredictable. If I miss your birth due to circumstances out of my control (ie: inclement weather that prevents travel, precipitous birth, etc.) then your birth package can be transferred to a newborn/postpartum session or a baby's first year package.

What if my birth plan changes due to an emergency?

Birth is unpredictable. It’s wise to check the hospital’s current policies regarding who is allowed in the OR for a c-section so we can prepare ahead of time. If I can't enter the OR, I’ll document everything before and after the surgery, and I can edit any photos your partner takes to complete your birth gallery.

Regardless of how your birth unfolds, my aim is to capture as much as possible, prioritizing the safety of you and your baby. In emergencies, I will follow the medical team's guidance.

What to Wear

Yes...even for birth

What to Wear

Yes...even for birth

It might seem weird to talk about what to wear for birth. I mean, you'll be naked from the waist down - at least for the big moment. But you're spending good money to have these memories documented - you might as well feel comfortable and beautiful in them. Here are some tips for choosing clothing pieces that will be both functional and beautiful in your birth story images. 

**Caveat - I literally do not care what you wear for your birth. This is YOUR story. These tips are simply meant to be a guide for things to consider based on your own comfort level and what you do/do not want to show in the photos of your birth. 

1. Bring your own clothing to wear at the hospital - Something a lot of people are surprised to learn is that you do not have to wear a hospital gown when you deliver at the hospital. The way I see it is you are not a sick patient - you are healthy person having a baby! Even though it is standard procedure to be handed a hospital gown to change into when you get to the hospital, you can decline that and wear your own clothing instead. Most providers and nurses are happy to accommodate this small request!

2. Bring something that is comfortable to wear in water - You may choose to use the shower or birth tub as a comfort measure during labor (most hospitals have luxurious labor tubs - take advantage of that!). I recommend bringing something that is comfortable to wear in the water - such as a swim suit top or sports bra. Dark colors or swim suit tops photograph best, since they show less contrast of the dry/wet spots on the garment. It is not a bad idea to bring several - since you may be in and out of the water, and will likely want to change into something dry after being in the water. Neutral colors are best. Super bright and/or neon colors are a big no-no...they will cast funny colors on your skin in photos. 

3. Pick a top that is easy to remove after birth - Most moms choose to do immediate skin to skin contact after birth (and thankfully our hospitals are super supportive and encouraging of this!) You will want to pick a top that is easy to remove after birth so you can expose more of your skin for contact with baby, and make initiation of breastfeeding easier (if you are planning to breastfeed). A stretchy bralette, a swim suit top, or a bra with a front zipper/clasp works great. 

4. Pick something pretty - because why not?! Again, you're spending good money on these photos - why not choose something that is comfortable, functional, and pretty! You deserve to look and feel beautiful, so choose something that you really love.

5. Makeup - First - I don't care if you wear makeup or not. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant/birthing person, so I will be swooning over your photos either way. BUT, If you are someone who doesn't leave the house without makeup, or feels much more confident with makeup on, then it is 100% okay to get dolled up for birth! I would recommend choosing as many water-proof products as possible, since water, sweat and tears are often part of the birth experience. 

6. Consider a pretty cover up for after the birth  - Since I stay for 2 hours postpartum, we often are able to get some photos of you and your baby together, as well as a first family photo. Many moms choose to bring a pretty robe or kimono to put on after birth. This can help you feel a bit more modest and put together, and creates a great opportunity to capture photos you can use to announce the arrival of your new squish - without feeling completely exposed and vulnerable. 

7. A note for partners -  I like partners to wear a dark colored shirt, preferably a solid color with no words or logos on it. Neon or super bright colors are a big no-no. I also recommend that partners do not wear a hat, as it can often hinder capturing the emotion and reactions in their face as they meet the baby for the first time. It's also a good idea for partners to bring extra clothes, and even a bathing suit in case you want them to join you in the tub or shower for support. 

After your session I will get to work on choosing the best of the best images (typically between 100-150) and edit them to perfection. Once they're ready and uploaded to your gallery, I'll send you your gallery along with your slideshow set to music. (*payment must be received in full prior to release of any images/slideshow) 

Your Slideshow:

When you get the slideshow link, I encourage you to make an event of it! Put it up on the big screen, grab a yummy beverage, turn the volume up and snuggle up on the couch to watch it together. You only get to see these for the first time once, so make the most of that experience!

The Artisan Edit

Your gallery will include a set of images titled "Artisan Edit". These are my favorites from your session that I have chosen to use in my portfolio and marketing materials. I will ask that you either approve all of the photos, or let me know which specific images you do not want me to share at that time. Any photos you do not want me to share will be removed from the artisan edit and will not be shared as a part of my portfolio or marketing. 

Downloading your files:

I encourage you to download your images right away before life happens and your gallery expires. Once you've downloaded them, I highly recommend backing them up to a cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive. 

Copyrights (and wrongs):

Once you've got your digital files in hand, you are free to print them when, where, and as often as you wish. You can use them for birth announcements, share on your social media, or send personalized gifts to friends and family. The only thing you can't do is resell them for commercial or business use - for example, you wouldn't be able to enter them into a contest to win prize money, or use them on the cover of your novel.

Printing your images:

While everything I offer in my store is printed in professional labs and guaranteed to be beautiful and long-lasting, I also recognize that you may want to print your images yourself for future projects, gifts, etc. - and thanks to those digital files, you can! However, not all photo printers are created equal. For the best quality and color accuracy, I recommend Rockbrook Camera (in Lincoln), and for online printing. Be sure to de-select any "color correction" options, and upload the original files you downloaded (not copies of the files). The files you receive from me should allow you to print as large as you like.

Are we hanging out on insta yet?

Come find me @novitabirthstories!