I hear frequently that birth photography is too expensive. I understand that not all people can afford to hire a photographer and that’s ok! What I value {photography} may be different than what you value. Others assume that photographers just have a nice camera, point the camera, snap a quick picture and that’s all there is to it. Oh friend, there is so much more though!

Most people don’t consider what all goes into birth photography. The obvious things are taxes, equipment, liability insurance, education/training and professional organization dues. These things alone cost more than a few thousand dollars. For sake of discussion let’s assume that most photographers have invested $5000 at a bare minimum. This number doesn’t take into account any future equipment upgrades, editing software or new lenses. Add in marketing costs for things like brochures, price lists, business cards, and sample costs for products I offer. For this discussion let’s assume $1000 is spent a year.

Next let’s discuss the actual birth. I am on call from 37 weeks until delivery so that can be 5 weeks that I am glued to my phone waiting expectantly for your call. When that call comes, whether 2am or during business hours, I drop everything and run to your birth. As we all know, all births are different and can take a few minutes or a few days and I am there the entire birth. After the birth, I will edit EVERY image to present to you. Depending on how quick your birth was or wasn’t, this could be up to 200 images.

I’m going to get personal now. I’m a mom of 3 kids – 8 1/2, 6 1/2, and 16 months and one of my children has medical needs. When a client goes into labor, it doesn’t matter when or where I am. I have to quickly arrange for my kids to get dropped off or picked up from school or therapy and call a babysitter for the baby. I am still nursing, so I have to always have milk pumped and ready for the baby. I also have to bring the pump with me so that if I’m at a long birth I don’t get engorged, because let’s face it – mastitis sucks. When I’m at a birth I may be missing a birthday, holiday, school event, or simply not getting to tuck my kids into bed at night. I may not get to see my husband more than a quick kiss hello/goodbye. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make because I love being able to document birth stories and creating those images for you to cherish.

Let’s get back to the numbers. I take on 2 sessions a month, or 24 session a year. If each birth brings in $1500 I pay $600 in income tax. That leaves me $900 dollars of each birth to pay for expenses and my salary. If I take the $1000 in marketing and approximately $1000 for insurance and professional fees, divided between 24 session that’s another $83 of each session leaving me $817. I have to pay for childcare, so take out at least another $100, bringing my total to $717. Think about it – $700 is all I make to capture memories you will always cherish. As one client stated, it’s the only way to be able to tell the story in the future.

$700 may not seem like a lot to you, but to me it’s a therapy visits, or doctor’s bills. It’s a vacation for fun instead of an out of town doctor’s appointment. It’s a way to provide for my family. And you know what else it is? PASSION. I love it. I love watching new lives enter the world. There is something so magical about birth that nothing else can duplicate. The bond babies have with their mom is just amazing. I am so thankful to those who have allowed me to be a part of their birth team and capture these fleeting moments. <3

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