Appletree Photography BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY FAQ 2016

Where do you go to photograph birth stories?

Currently I attend births in Edmonton and Area including, St. Albert, Stony Plain, Spruce grove, Leduc, I am willing to travel further distances depending on my schedule, for additional travel fees.

Why would we want a birth photographer?

Apart from your wedding, The birth of your child is one of the most import and best days of your life! Having professional photographs from your labor and delivery is a meaningful keepsake of meeting your little one and watching them take their first breath! 

Having the Dad or other support person free to be in the moment with you instead of trying to participate looking through a cell phone or trying to capture a shot with their camera takes the pressure and stress off of you and your loved one and means that the wonderful connection of Dad supporting Mom can be captured. These are always some of my favorite shots.

When is it best to book you to capture our birth story?

As soon as you decide to hire a birth photographer! Usually the earlier the better, some dates will book up faster than others. I can only accept a certain number of births within a month so that I am available to my clients and can create the personalized experience I want them to have whether they deliver early, on-time, or late. BUT even if you have decided late that you want a birth photographer- reach out, I may have a spot for you at a special off-call rate!!

Once you decide you’d like me to be your birth photographer, it’s best to sign your contract and pay your retainer, so I can schedule your due date and on call time into my calendar. 

What does on call mean?
On call means I am never more than an hour away from where you plan to deliver, whatever I am doing when you call I will head to the hospital to capture your birth story, whether it be in the middle of the night, the middle of a child’s performance or birthday celebration. I keep my photography equipment, my “go bag” and cell phone on me at all times ready to come to you when called. As of 2016 I do also offer “off call packages” ask me for more information.

How much do you charge?

I do have different packages for you to suit all needs and and custom a la carte option if you prefer to build your own package. You may choose from digital, print, album, slideshow or hybrid (photo and video) options.

I usually chat more in depth in our pre-consult so I can help you decide which option is best. Contact me to schedule your complimentary consult.

What forms of payment do you accept? Do you take payments?

I take Cash, Credit Card, EMT.

I fully understand that professional photography is an investment. I also want everyone who values quality images to be able to have them. Yes, I do offer no-interest payment plans. The retainer is due at contract signing and the remainder of the package fee can be broken up into payments the final one usually due a month before your due date, if you do need to extend this let me know in advance.

Do you offer discounts?

I do have a referral program where you can earn cash back or credit towards your Birth session. I do take a couple sessions a year at a reduced or complimentary rate for extra-ordinary circumstances. If you believe that you would qualify for this program please send me a note explaining why.

Do you charge a retainer?

Upon signing our agreement, I require a $300 non-refundable retainer fee to hold your due date in my calendar.  This is a promise to you that I will be on- call for your birth & that whatever I am doing when you call and say “its time” I will head to the hospital or place of birth to capture your birth story, whether it be in the middle of the night, the middle of a child’s theater or school performance or birthday celebration.

What if my birth ends in a C-section?

Whether it’s a planned or unplanned C-section, In Alberta it does depend on the hospital and individual doctor & anesthesiologist. I have been able to document C-sections before (at the Royal Alex) and Would be happy to document yours. You can certainly ask for me to be in the operating room with you (and your partner).  If I’m not able to be in the operating room with you, I can certainly document the time before your surgery and wait & meet up with you as soon as you are in recovery to capture many of your babies first moments and your bonding as a new family.

My partner isn’t too sure about hiring a birth photographer.  Is there any advice you can offer?

For many years birth has been something hidden behind closed doors 40 years ago dads weren’t even allowed in the room! I think because of the perpetration of this style of thinking a lot of Partners are unsure at first of why you or they would want a “stranger” or someone else in the room. I find that once we meet at a consult and can chat a bit they are put more at ease because they see I truly believe birth is beautiful & want to capture your connection, birth and meeting your new little one.  If you would like more information for dad/ partner let me know and I can send you some helpful information there are some great slideshows and articles. If he still remains unconvinced perhaps consider a fresh 48 session or a birth session to happen once the baby is earthside.

Will you post any graphic photos of me on your blog or portfolio?

The simple answer here is no, I respect my client’s privacy and check in with them about any photos you may not want seen. This is the most private and intimate style of photography and you get to say if you want it seen. I will use my favorite images in my portfolio for promotion and in my advertising and informational materials. Nothing of a sensitive nature will be used without your say so.

I will mention also I never sell my clients photographs to stock photography.

How many images will I receive?

Depending on how your chosen package and how fast your labor progresses, I will provide the number of images that best tell the story, in a mixture of colour or B&W depending on what best suits the moment and feeling of the photograph.

When should we call you and when do you arrive at the birth? How long do you stay?

I ask that you keep me in the loop, if your Doctor or Midwife says it looks like it won’t be much longer please send me a note or a text! At the onset of labour (Strong braxton hicks, water breaking, contractions, etc), no matter what time it is, call me so that I can prepare!  Birth can be very unpredictable so keep in touch. If there are any changes in your body let me know. I will aim to arrive when active labour begins (around 5cm dilated or when your contractions have consistently been 4-5 minutes apart) You will not be charged more if your labor is 8hrs or 18hrs.  If you know you labor fast or slow we will take that into consideration, these are not rules, just guidelines! I will stay for up to two hours after your baby is born to capture all those special first moments and connection and bonding between your new babe and your loved ones. 

Do you offer newborn photography?

I do offer lifestyle newborn photography, samples can be seen on my website. My Birth families do get a special pricing on these when booking together with a maternity session or birth story.

These sessions take place at your home within the first 10-12 days of life they capture you and baby interacting and bonding. I will so some lightly posed photos of the new family & do some individual shots of baby to capture all the unique tiny details.  If you do prefer more posed photographs I have partnered with another studio who specializes in the posed newborn style. Her studio is stocked with a wide selection of wraps, hats, headbands, props and outfits, that she customizes for each session based on your tastes and decor/colour styles.

When can we see our images?

Within 48 hours of the birth, I will provide you with a sneak peek of edited images. With your permission, I will post them on my Birth Photography Facebook page and/or my blog.  These images are perfect for sharing with friends and family and will not include anything of a sensitive nature.  The remainder of your images will be edited and you can come for your viewing appointment in 6- 8 weeks of the birth.

What if you miss the birth?

If, for some reason, I miss the birth because of my own fault (say I went out of town for the weekend during on callPS I would never do that!) and had no back up scheduled to cover your birth when baby came I would refund your package in full and I would still come as soon as possible to take photos or do a mini fresh 48 session.

But If I miss the birth because you fail to give me enough notice (I ask for 2 hours but usually only need an hour) or your if baby decides to join you super quickly, or if you do not believe you are in labor and do not want to bother me for a false alarm (it has happened!) your retainer will not be refunded.  Your remaining package fees will go towards my coming ASAP to capture your baby’s first moments (or a fresh 48session at your place of delivery within 48 hours of the baby’s birth. If neither of these are possible say you gave birth early while on a babymoon in Mexico We would roll your package into a day in the life session or other equivalent package.

Let me just add it is this birth photographers worst nightmare to miss a birth for any reason. I do my best to be there as soon as possible after you tell me it is "go time" I even slept in my car once so I was close for a fast birthing momma!! So as long as I am kept in the loop I always hope I never miss the birth of one of "my babies"


Lastly the question no one wants to ask what if something happens with the pregnancy?

In this profoundly sad instance, you are given a full refund and my deepest condolences.
There is also the choice in late pregnancy to switch to a bereavement birth session where I would come to capture the memories of the birth and the goodbyes between you and your angel, I fully feel the weight of the trust and honor these families give me.