The Cost of Birth Photography | Denver Birth Photographer

As June 1st approached, I decided to raise my prices of my birth photography package. After shooting a minimum of 2 births per month (which yes, may not be as much as other birth professionals), I have noticed an increase of interest but a lot of what I like to call "sticker" shock lately. 

I have felt extremely discouraged when it comes to advertising my births and even continuing with them. I get it, I do. Not everyone's budget is set up to be able to afford a birth photographer. I know that birth photography is not a "need" but more of a luxurious "want". I also know that many of the times we have "family" or "friends" who can help us out, when we are in a bind. 

I have noticed lately, as I am trying to educate on why potential clients get "shocked" when I send my pricing. I am trying to educate on what the cost is and how much I truly "pocket", etc. I believe that my clients and potential clients should know what all goes into birth photography, so I do not mind taking the time to meet and have a consult to explain. However, I also wanted to take some time here, to educate other potential clients for myself and for other birth professionals. 

In many senses, birth photography should be on the same level as wedding photography. These are two very beautiful and priceless moments. You can not get either moment back, regardless. You can always get re-married or have a second baby but that is not the same, as we all know every birth + wedding is different. 

As a birth photographer, you are ON CALL. Yes, that means at any given moment of the day, your birth photographer drops everything, whether that means you're in a swim class with your little one or you're spending a holiday with your family to head straight to your birth. This means that you are sleeping with your phone on 24/7 for the weeks leading up to your birth. You are cautious about how far you can leave or how far you are from the hospital/birthing center/home birth location, because births can go extremely fast. Your photographer can be called ANY time of day. 

Now, you know a little about what goes into a PORTION of being a birth photographer. Let's get into the "behind the scenes". 

C H I L D C A R E. . . 
If your birth photographer has KIDS and a husband like mine, who is in the military and cannot always stay home when that "I'm in labor" or "I'm being admitted" call is received, than your photographer is paying someone to be on call for them to watch their littles. Your photographer is now, not the only person on call, but so is the sitter that is watching the photographer's littles. As a birth photographer, you want to be valued, so guess what? We value our child care provider. I pay them to be on call for me, so that I do not have to miss a birth. 

T A X E S. . . 

Now, there are several amateur photographers. There is nothing wrong with being amateur, we were all there as photographers when we started. However, as someone who has a business licensed, licensed in the state, as well as insurance I pay taxes. As a professional, well established photographer we put about 30-40% of what we make a session away to pay for taxes. 

E D I T I N G. . . 

Now, I am personally an over-shooter. Births can be as short as 3-4 hours or as long as 24+ hours. During this time, when you're shooting, you're capturing emotions, labor + delivery plus those first moments. Your photographer can easily take 50+ digital images per hour. Let's say, 5 hours. That's 250 images. Now, to go back home and let your photographer edit those images. 

D E L I V E R Y. . . 

Many people don't realize how much we pay for our galleries. We do not have a "free" gallery to deliver images. We, as photographers regardless of what we specialize in, have to purchase our galleries to be able to deliver our images to our clients. 

Over all, when all is said is done, I know that many people know what goes into a photographer's cost of doing business. Think about how much your photographer is R E A L L Y making after everything is paid. 

Example:

$1000.00 for a birth story. 

40% for taxes: $400. 

Childcare: $250.00.

Remaining: $350.00
Divided in half 50% for business and 50% for personal. 

Now add in the gas to & from your birth. The food/snacks purchased. The time at your birth and the time editing. Don't forget the gear and the editing software plus gallery costs.

I get that some people just cannot see paying a photographer $1000+. Some people do not think that it's possible. Some people think it's too much, because someone whether a friend or a family member can do it for free. However, there is a difference between a friend and a professional with thousands dollars in gear and knowing how to edit a photo. Also realize that many photographers allow payment plans and planning accordingly, will truly help with capturing your birth story. We as photographers are not expecting anyone to come out and just spend $1000+ without blinking an eye. We know that we all work hard to make a living. <3

I hope this helps educate you, if you were unsure of all of the behind the scenes or costs of a birth professional. I know I personally love birth stories and hope to that birth photography can continue to evolve here in the U S A! <3