Why is birth photography so expensive?

Mcallen Birth Photography | By: Norma Hess

When we are planning to grow our families, cost is a big factor. Let’s face it. Babies. Are. Expensive. So I totally understand when a client reaches out and is a bit shocked by the price of birth photography.

Birth photography is unlike any other style of photography. As a photographer, planning a portrait session is fairly predictable. You book your client, set a date, find the right venue for your portraits, and pray for good weather. Sometimes, the unpredictable happens and weather acts up… but for the most part, your portrait session will be quite uneventful.

Then there’s birth photography. If you’re familiar with birth, you know that there’s very little predictability when it comes to birth and babies.

I’ve gotten calls where mom says “I think I may be in labor? I will call you when it picks up…” and then I find myself rushing on over because her doula says “I think she’s about to push…” (That was a wild ride! lol)

Then there are the steady labors that progress a little slower and require me to be around for 18+ hours. (Totally normal by the way.)

Believe me when I say that no birth is ever like the other and that I’m totally ok with being by your side no matter what the circumstances may be at your own birth.

I love what I do. I signed up for this on-call and unpredictable life. I’m so happy to join you on this adventure and document all the details for you.

So, back to price. Due to the amount of time I spend on-call, my lifestyle is different. I keep my phone at my side for weeks at a time while we both wait for your little one’s arrival. Sometimes that means that the ringer is on the loudest setting when you call in the middle of the night and say it’s time! I hop out of bed at the sound of that phone and I’m ready to go…

Sometimes your call comes when I’m in the middle of my daughter’s dance recital. I gracefully excuse myself and make my way to you while my sitter makes her way to pick up my kiddos. (That brings me to my on-call sitter. The bones behind my business. With out them I wouldn’t be able to function. Believe me when I say they totally earn every penny I pay them. )

At times, I have to coordinate kids being picked up from various schools, at various times, and I have to reschedule super understanding clients that may be waiting for their scheduled sessions that same day. It all happens so fast but by charging what I do, It allows me to coordinate everything so I can be by your side during this very important time.

I will stay by your side as long as you need me and document your story.

A lot of people aren’t aware of how much goes into this niche of photography. Maintaining the proper photography equipment and understanding the birth space are things that require time, patience and investment on the photographer’s part. It’s so worth it to hire an expert. I never take my role lightly.

I not only want you to have beautiful images to look back on, I want you to feel supported and to feel like you made the right choice in selecting someone who understands the sacredness of your birth space. I’ve spent years learning from others in the industry (doulas, midwives, nurses, birth photographers) to ensure I don’t interrupt your labor and birth.

If you are still thinking birth photography is not possible for you and you’d like to explore other ways to make it happen, please reach out to me. I have set up easy and flexible payment plans for many of my clients. I’ve worked with others to trade services which my family may need. I’m down-to-earth and very approachable about this. I understand what having a budget is like (raising 5 tiny humans here) and I am sure we can find a way to work together.

~Norma Hess

Reach out to me! Let’s chat.