Melissa Wilson is a Danbury, Connecticut based Birth Photographer, with a resume of 34+ Birth Day Sessions. As an admin and active member of the birthphotographers.com community, Melissa takes this part of her business very seriously and finds birth photography to be her first love. Melissa was awarded runner up in the birth image of the year for 2011 and has been capturing the births of babies for over 2 years. One of Melissa’s long-term goals is not only to document an international birth but also to create a strong network of birth photographers in the state of Connecticut.
Birth Photography is a way to document the miracle of bringing a new human life into this world, and a type of photography that only happens once. Due to the sensitivity this type of photography entails, it is very important the photographer hired has the experience necessary to deliver what the client expects and has invested in. Birth photography is a journalistic/storytelling way of documenting this amazing event. No birth is ever the same which makes the story unique and different for each client.
As a birth photographer, there is a very big time commitment, and the time is very unpredictable. You are on call 24/7 as the new mom comes close to, on, or past her due date. There are different types of birth photography; Home births, C-sections, Hospital, natural childbirth centers and adoptive birth situations, just to name a few. Each different type of birth shoot comes with its own rules, procedures, time frames etc., and this is why hiring an experienced birth photographer is very important.
Some helpful tips for getting into birth photography are as follows:
1. Build Your Portfolio:
A birth happens ONLY once and you want to make sure you feel confident that you will be able to capture this amazing event for your client. Some of the ways to do this is to research birth photography, shadow an experienced birth photographer, and work with local doulas to shadow them on a birth. I would suggest when working with a doula for the first time you leave your camera at home, as this would be a way for you to visually see what a birth is all about and take it all in so that you will be prepared for your first real client.
2. Get Your Name Out There:
There are many ways to do this. Try working with local OBGYN offices, natural childbirth centers, Doulas, and new parent educators to help promote your passion. This can also lead to new parent referrals which can further build into booking a maternity session, newborn session, and eventually becoming long time clients. I always book maternity sessions with my birth clients since it is a GREAT way to both meet the parents together, and make sure you will work well together. Trust me it makes for the actual birth session to be that much more comfortable.
3 Join Birth Photography Facebook Groups:
I am currently one of the administrators for the www.birthphotographer.com and this group is an awesome way to meet other birth photographers and have a huge wealth of knowledge to learn from.
4. Offer Fresh 48 Sessions:
Another great way to begin is to offer Fresh 48 sessions (or you can name it what ever you would like). These are sessions where you visit the new parents right after, or within 48 hours at the location of the birth and capture moments with the new parents and the baby. This is a great way to get your feet wet in this type of environment and working with these types of clients. I highly recommend starting with these. It also helps you better understand your lighting and exposures.
These are just a few ways to get involved, and fully understanding all the commitments that go into being a birth photographer. Birth Photographers capture moments for the mom and dad that allow for the new parents to be involved in all aspects of the birth of their child.
I have found birth photography is something that I was meant to do, and I am very passionate about being a birth photographer. I truly believe all new parents should retain the services of a birth photographer simply because babies are born once and capturing those first moments for your clients is one of the best gifts they will ever receive.
If anyone has any questions, or would like to know more please feel free to contact me via my website. See some examples of my work below: