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How to Afford a Birth Photographer

So you want one, but you aren’t sure how you can afford a birth photographer. I get it, birth photography can seem expensive and can be a big decision in a lot of people’s lives. But before I jump into ways to afford a birth photographer, I want to give a little spiel about WHY birth photography is priced the way it is! It’s so important to understand the time, effort and expenses behind something before being ready to fully invest into it!
 

The Why

Birth photography is *kind of* similar to wedding photography, but it comes with a lot more obstacles than a typical wedding will. When you hire a wedding photographer, you schedule them for a specific date, a specific time frame (that’s ALWAYS during the day. I’ve never heard of a 3am wedding!) and a detailed timeline of how the event will unfold.
 

Midwife does a newborn check on twin B and hold his hand with her finger

 
But birth isn’t so predictable. You’re given an estimated due date, but it isn’t uncommon for someone to go into labor late or even a couple weeks early and your birth photographer must make sure they are available during the weeks surrounding that date. A client can go into labor two weeks early at 3am and we must make sure we are available. We can’t plan vacations during our on-call time, we have to be prepared to leave appointments, leave or miss our kids birthday parties, leave half-filled shopping carts at the grocery store, miss holiday parties, etc. at the drop of a hat and since birth is so unpredictable, we have to be prepared to be gone for an unknown amount of time – some birth stories take 4 hours, while others take 20 hours.
 
In addition to all the unpredictability mentioned above, we also spend hours traveling to your birth space, consulting, communicating, editing your gallery and have other common business expenses.
 
The birth of your child will likely be one of the most important days of your life and it’s so important to hire a reputable, experienced photographer to capture that day for you in a way that’s authentic to your story.
 
The average amount in the US someone spends on wedding photography is $2,000 and the average cost for a wedding in the US is $25,000. But it’s not uncommon for someone to spend up to $4,000 on an experienced wedding photographer (and this doesn’t even include videography!)
 
Birth photography requires a huge amount of dedication and love. I absolutely LOVE what I do and really pour my heart and soul into the services I provide my lovely clients. There is no doubt in my mind that THIS is what I am meant to do in my life and I knew what I was signing up for before I decided to specialize in birth photography. But with all of that being said, I still think it’s important to help my clients understand the WHY behind birth photography pricing.
 
Now I will step down from my soap-box and explain HOW you (and everyone!) can afford a birth photographer!
 

The How

 

Dad admires his son in hospital after his birth

 

1. Payment Plans

 
Luckily, most people find out their pregnant with in the first couple of months, which leaves a good amount of time until your estimated due date. Most birth photographers offer payment plans. We really DO understand that it’s an investment and we want to be able to make it work for everyone. Every photographer handles payment plans differently, but I personally offer extremely flexible payment plans. Basically, I require a 25% down and the rest can be set up in anyway that works for you – seriously!
 

2. Cut Out Extras

 
A Starbucks coffee costs about $5. Getting Starbucks on a daily basis can cost $100-$150 per month. Cutting out extras like that can really add up and you’re able to put that extra money towards something that will last you a lifetime!
 
You don’t totally have to cut out all enjoyable things, but can you start making coffee at home for a short time? Can you go out to eat 1-2 times less per month? Can you skip the gas station treats and just snack at home?
 

3. Ask Friends and Family

 
Okay, so you may be saying “well Rowan, I don’t spend money on extra things. I don’t drink coffee, go out to eat or stop at the gas station for treats. What can I do in that case?”
 
Well, your friends and family WANT to celebrate your new pregnancy. Even if you don’t have a baby shower, your close friends and relatives will still likely buy your babe something – why not ask them for something that you truly want?
 
I try to make this step as easy for clients as possible, so I have set up a gift registry option. That way, people can go online and make direct contributions to your session regardless if you chose to have a baby shower or not.
 

4. Barter

 
Not every birth photographer will like the idea of a barter or partial barter, but there are a lot of us who are totally okay with it! If you can offer something I planned on buying already, then heck yes! Let’s figure it out. Accounting services, décor, massage, cleaning services, etc. are all things worth mentioning to your birth photographer. They may not have a need for it, but you’ll never know until you ask!
 
I have no doubt in my mind that you can and will make birth photography work! After all, it’s something that is important and valuable to you. You understand that this is something that only happens once in a lifetime per child. I see YOU and I want to help YOU make birth photography work – Always feel free to message me and ask how we can make this work for your situation!
 
To get in touch, fill out this contact form here!