Birth PhotographyCapturing your birth story through photos
Birth is transformative.
Birth is not only the moment your child is born but also the moment you’re born a mother for the first time or again. These moments only happen once.
Why Birth Photography?
The treasured moments happen so quickly that it’s such a blur. It’s hard to remember it all.
When it’s over, the memories of what just happened can get muddled and lost in the wave of joy and relief that comes with holding new life in your arms. When you’re in labor, give me the honor of capturing your story.
You just enjoy the story as it unfolds – I’ll document the labor, the delivery, the first looks, the kisses, snuggles and the tiny toes.
Every birth story is different but every single one is a testament to the strength of the mother and her love.
You can count on me.
I am reliable.
Part of the reason why birth photography is an investment is it requires the photographer to be on-call. I’ll be on-call starting two weeks before your estimated due date until your baby is born. That means I will have my phone with me at all times for up to a month so you and your partner can keep me up-to-date on what your body is telling you. Yes, even if it’s 2am! And it also means that I will not be more than one to two hours away from where I live. This ensures that I will be ready to leave for your baby’s birth at a moment’s notice when I get “the call.”
I am knowledgeable.
I have a full-frame camera and skills to handle low-light and unpredictable lighting situations (which is most places). I have an understanding of the birth process to know when and where to stand in the birthing space so that I can be a quiet ninja in the room. I’m also a birth doula.
I take the honor of being a part of a birthing space very seriously. Let's chat virtually to get to know each other a bit to see if we're a great fit!
What does "on-call" mean?
What areas do you serve?
I serve Southwest Michigan only – Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, South Haven, Holland, Kalamazoo and their nearby surrounding areas.
Wouldn’t it be just as good to have my partner, parent, friend, or doctor, nurse, midwife take pictures for me?
You could do that, if they are willing and remember, but
Also, birthing rooms often have low-lighting situations that smartphones or even consumer-level cameras just can’t handle as well as a professional photographer with professional equipment.
Doctors, midwives, and nurses are really good at ushering babies into the world, but photography? They are trained to care for the health and safety of the birthing person and baby. Not photography. Let them do what they do well, and let me do what I do well.
Are all photos in black-and-white?
No, you’ll get both versions of the photos – color and black-and-white.
I’m having a c-section. I shouldn’t have the birth documented, right?
I’m a strong believer that all birth is birth. Regardless if they come out vaginal, c-section or teleportation. (Teleportation sounds nice.)
Every birth story is valuable. Keep in mind that some hospitals have restrictions on who can come in the operating room. So if you get permission for me to be in the room, I’ll capture when they lift the baby up and you meet your baby face-to-face. Super precious. If I do not have permission, I will still capture the laboring process, when you return from the c-section and do a Fresh 48 session.
Why is birth photography such a big investment?
Birth is a once-in-a-lifetime event that will never happen again for this tiny human. It’s not unlike a wedding, except they won’t remember it.
A big difference between birth photography and wedding photography is that you generally know when you’re going to get married and how long it will take. Babies are unpredictable and can arrive at any time. Even when they do decide to come, sometimes they take their sweet time. I’m there for all of it, capturing your hard work and general badassery.
So you’re not just hiring me to photograph an event that will happen at a predictable time for a predictable amount of time. You’re hiring me to be on-call for four weeks, ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and go document your baby’s arrival for as long as it takes. Because of the unpredictability of birth, I only accept two to three births a month to make absolutely sure I can
Are you taking pictures of my vagina?
Girl, don’t worry about that. In our consultation appointment, we’ll talk about your level of discretion you would like the photos to be. If you want have pictures of the baby crowning from your vagina – I got you. If you’re like “WHOA, LADY!” And you’d rather have me take pictures of the birth from behind your shoulder – I got you. We will discuss all this.
Who Is Kristen Schell?
I am a certified Birth Doula and Photographer serving families in Southwest Michigan. I'm based out of Benton Harbor, MI and I serve families in the Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, South Haven & Holland areas. I can also serve Michigan City and South Bend area.
I am an LGBTQ+ friendly and transgender safe space. All family types are welcome here.
Meet with me virtually.
Let's chat. There's no pressure. Let's see if I'm the right person for you.