As photographers, we have the unique privilege of giving our clients the availability to look back and share images of their engagement (in some cases even the proposal), when they said “I do” to their soulmate, and even their children’s different stages of growing up. Additionally, with the popularity of birth photography, our clients can now also share with their children the actual moment that the child entered the world through beautiful and powerful professional photo book.
I know that birth photography isn’t for everyone, but I was still surprised to see that according to birthphotographers.com there are only 860 birth photographers in 24 countries (compared to 170,000 professional photography businesses in the United States alone, according to ISBISWorld’s Photography market research from May 2015).
I was also surprised that when I spoke to fellow photographers who do offer this service, they don’t sell albums with their birth photography sessions! If you aren’t already offering these events with an album, let me highly recommend why it should be a necessity for these special clients and how it can grow your business as well!
As personal as the events we photograph are – I cannot think of anything more personal and intimate than a birth photography session. Due to this extreme intimacy of birth photography, I could not imagine why the mother would want these images showcased in anything other than an album. This is an album where she can look back and remember in the privacy of her own space, without the worry of these images on the Internet or flipping through the session only on a computer through a storage device.
I personally used a birth photographer for my own birth of my first child, and it was the most incredible experience that I would highly recommend to other mothers wanting to document that special time. However, it should only be done by a professional photographer familiar with hospital protocol and harsh lighting conditions (doctors aren’t too keen on using a flash while they are trying to bring a baby out), and the care of these images should be done with the utmost sensitivity.
Thus, these sessions usually can bring quite a bit of revenue to your studio – the client realizes not just anyone can do these sessions so there is an understanding upfront as to the higher photography cost, and you can offer these in a package with a nice professional photo book and explain why this is not the type of session you can do a “shoot and burn” for. Due to the intimacy of the event, the mother will only want to go through you if she does want to print images; this is not the type of thing you want to send to Walgreens Photo!
I would think the ideal package for a birth photographer to offer would be: 10×10 Lustre Book with a Full Leather Cover, full coverage of the pre-labor/labor/and up to 2 hours after birth, and consultation with the mother (and birth partner) before birth. An add-on would be an online gallery (privacy protected) where they could add prints if needed. This would also be a great opportunity to bundle this with an infant session for a discounted price if you like.
Birth Photography is a really beautiful art that needs to be handled with sensitivity, experience, and patience – but for the right photographer it could be lucrative and add even more depth to your studio portfolio. From a mother’s point of view, there is nothing quite like opening up the birth album with your child years later and explaining their birth story with pictures from every moment. It’s a very moving experience and I wouldn’t want it on any other format, and neither should your customers.
Photography by Oscar Setiawan