Why hire a birth photographer?

 

The short Version

 Gorgeous birth photos to document your family's love story.  Book Norma Hess Photography Today!  Mcallen Birth & Documentary Photographer.

 

You deserve to be able to look back at your baby's sweet just-born face anytime you wish. You deserve to be able to look back at how her wrinkly hand held your finger. You deserve to be able to revisit your birth story and the expressions on your and your partner's face when you held your 1st, or 5th baby for the very first time.

Each birth is equally important and beautiful. Your partner deserves to be completely in this moment with you and your baby.

I'm here to document it all for you. So you and your birth team can fully immerse yourselves in the moment.


 Gorgeous birth photos to document your family's love story.  Book Norma Hess Photography Today!  Mcallen Birth & Documentary Photographer.

My sweet Ben ^ 

Keep scrolling to see a gallery of birth photos & films. :) 

The Long Version: 

 

Stay with me here… I have to take this back to the day I became a mother for the first time in 2001… 

I was quickly approaching my due date and Christmas was less than a week away. My OBGYN and I decided to move forward with an induction one day before my due date. I couldn’t wait to finally meet the little guy that caused all those flutters for so long (and all that heartburn too!) I really was so excited and beyond ready to meet him, my first baby!

To make this story short, my 26 hour induction wasn’t going so well and my son was born via emergency caesarean… There wasn't much time to think about taking out the camera or snapping photos while we prepped for that big change in our birth plan. I remember feeling scared yet relieved when our sweet boy took his first breath. I also remember the nurses whisking him away quickly and well, everything else is pretty much one huge blur. There are no pictures, everything happened so fast, and I missed those first few hours with my first baby. Birth haze is real. 

I share this story with you not to scare you in any way... (gosh I hope I haven't) but rather to remind you that every birth story is different. My birth story happened to be one where I missed so much (and I truly hope your story is different) in those first few hours and I have no photographs or recollection 16 years later. (I also can't believe he's 16!!! Ahhhh!)

I want more for the families I serve. I want you to always remember your baby’s first cry. I want you to always remember how her wrinkly hand held your finger. I want you to remember the expressions on your face when you held your 1st, or 5th baby for the very first time… Each birth is equally important and beautiful. Your partner deserves to be completely in this moment with you and your baby.

These are moments we never get back and I want to provide you with photographs & video that you and your family will celebrate for many years to come. 

I'm here to document it all for you. So you and your birth team can fully immerse yourselves in the moment.


 Below, you can also find some frequently asked questions.

 



Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Why hire a professional birth photographer?

It's go time! You may be in the  middle of breakfast, a grocery run or a PTA meeting. You grab your hospital bag, emotions are running high, your spouse is hoping they are doing everything to keep you comfortable. Sure, your partner/doula/or other support person can grab the camera to take the photos, but wouldn't it be so much better to have them by your side?

The truth is, labors can be quick, labors can be unpredictable, details get forgotten, hands get shaky, and rooms can have some funky lights. I've got you covered! I have  equipment in my hands that can handle all of those challenges, I've been there many times before and I will work with your birth space despite the many odd challenges. I will remember to capture the details of your story, so you can focus on your very big day... so your spouse can take it all in... and so grandma (sister, cousin, best friend, or doula) can be there, holding your hand (and not the camera) along every step of the way.

I know my place in the birth room, I respect your professional medical team, I will work my hardest to forever preserve this special day.


2. What if I go into labor at 2am?

I'm there. 24/7 on-call from 38 weeks until your baby decides to meet you. I welcome your call/text at anytime. I stay in town, have my sitters on stand-by, and am prepared to go as soon as you need me. 


3. Isn't this graphic stuff? What exactly are you going to take photos of? 

Your birth story will be your own. There's never two alike. When we meet (usually during your third trimester), we discuss your birth plan, your level of comfort, and just how modest you'd like your story to be. 

These are not crowning shots of your baby but rather emotional, storytelling and beautiful images of your baby entering this new world. (Now if you want those crowning shots, I can certainly comply as long as your birth facility allows.) I will take a photojournalistic approach to your story.

You get to decide what images (if any) can be shared on social media. These will always be your choices. This is your birth story and I'll respect your wishes. 


4. Will my hospital allow birth photography?

This will vary from hospital to hospital. You'll need to talk to your provider and confirm that you'll be allowed a birth photographer on your big day. I've been graciously invited to several RGV Hospitals and each have their own guidelines. Always talk to your provider first, if they'd like to meet with me for details, I'd love to chat with them. I believe in keeping a professional & respectful relationship with your birth team and welcome any questions they may have regarding birth photography. 

5. I'm not sure I want to have an extra person in the room with me... 

Birth is intimate. I've attended multiple births and have experienced 4 births myself as well. My role is to be as un-intrusive as possible. My goal is to arrive at your birth space once you have reached active labor. At this point, you'll likely not be too bothered by anyone else because you'll be focused on the big task at hand. I will do my best to read the emotions in the room, give you space when you need it, and capture details that will make up your story without interfering in any way. I'm truly humbled that you are considering welcoming me on such a special and intimate day, and will do my best to respect your birth space and your wishes. 


6. Will you be using flash?

I do use an external flash which is bounced off ceilings and walls (never pointed at your or medical professionals.) I alternate between flash and no flash while capturing birth stories. You and I will discuss this on the day we meet and I will show you samples of what my work looks like with and without flash. Most of my clients have not noticed the bounced flash since I try to use it as little as possible, but you also have the option to have me stop if you are bothered by flash at any time. 


7. We are ready to have our birth documented, how do we get started? 

Birth Stories are booked on a first come first serve basis and are limited to 2 per month to ensure I can be present at your birth. You'll find a contact form below. Send me your questions, and let's set up an appointment. I'd love to treat you to coffee or tea to answer all your questions, so you can meet me and decide if I'm the right photographer for you. Once you are ready, I'll have a contract ready for you, and invoice will be sent. Your payment plan or birth registry can be established at this point! It's never too early (and sometimes never too late)  to book your birth session.  


8. Do you accept payments?

Absolutely! I have conveniently included information about payments in the pricing section. I also accept Paypal, Credit Cards (via Square), and have a Birth Registry option so friends and family can contribute to your session! Please reach out to me if you would like to further discuss this and I'd be happy to arrange a plan that works best for your family. I accept cash and all major credit card via Square or Paypal.