Frequently Asked Questions

LeyaCarlsonBirthWebSize-116 So much more than “taking pictures”! As a professional photographer, I will bring my extensive training and expertise, professional grade gear, and my years of knowledge about birth to your labor. I will do more than shoot random images, I will document your birth in a way that tells the story. I can create a photo essay slideshow and/or photobook to help you remember the story as more than just isolated moments. I can guarantee no red eyes or grainy orange casts.

How much does your photography cost? I have several packages available for each kind of session, you can view them by clicking the session information in the menu above.

What does the fee include? It varies by the type of session, please view the session information page for the kind of session you are interested in to see what is included with each package.

Will we meet before the birth? Yes, for births, I’ll insist on it! I think it is very important for us to get to know each other a bit, and for me to learn more about your birth plan, your support team, etc. We will also go over your preferences for photography. For other kinds of sessions, we probably will not meet in person before the session, but I’m happy to visit by email, text or phone with you.

What if I go in to labor in the middle of the night? That’s not a problem at all! I’ve been attending births since 1999, and middle of the night phone calls are the norm. If you need me in the middle of the night, I come! I can often come faster during the night because I’m not in the middle of anything when you call. (Except sleep, and you already woke me up, so I don’t need to do anything to wrap that up.)

I like the idea of birth photography, but I’m concerned about keeping my body private. I understand. One of the reasons I like to meet with clients before the birth is to get an idea of what they are – and are not – comfortable with having photographed. Some of my clients want photos of absolutely everything, some only want photos from the waist up. Your call.

What if I don’t want my photos on the blog? That’s fine, too. Less than half the births I’ve shot are posted to my blog. Some of my best work is not available publicly, and I’m OK with that. (Well, I do like showing off my work, but I really do respect your wishes!) It is YOUR birth. Some of my discounted packages do require that clients be willing to share in order to receive the discount, but if you’d prefer not to share, you can pass on the discount.


How long will you stay at the birth? Each of my packages has a set maximum number of hours of coverage. I will work with you and your labor support team to help determine the right time for me to come in your labor.

What about c-sections? I can still be there for your birth. I may or may not be able to be in the operating room for the birth itself. It will be up to you to make arrangements with your doctor and hospital to have me be there. If I can’t be in the room, I can still do quite a bit to tell your story.

What if I give birth prematurely? While I only guarantee availability from 37 weeks on, you can certainly call me if you begin laboring earlier than that. I may still be able to attend or send a backup! The earliest baby I’ve helped welcome into the world was 30 weeks.

What if you can’t make the birth? I’ve been doing births since 1999, and have rarely missed a birth. I do have a backup photographer who may be able to cover for me. If I or my backup is not able to attend your birth due to a problem on our end, you will receive a refund of the majority of the fees you paid.

Do you offer family or children’s portraiture? At this time, I do not. I can refer you to excellent photographers who do.

When I go into labor, when should I call you? As soon as you realize “This is it!” I probably won’t actually come that early, but having advance notice that labor has begun does speed my response time when I do get the “Come now!” call, by giving me time to get things in order, make sure all my other responsibilities are covered or canceled, etc.

How do you handle it if I decide I don’t want you in the labor room with us for a period of time? I leave and come back. How far I go depends on the situation. If you want a few minutes of privacy, I’ll take that time to grab something to eat and rest in the waiting room. If you’re planning to take a nap, I may go home if you’re not too far from my home.

I don’t want naked photos of myself on the internet!! You won’t do that, will you? Nope. I have a rule that all the photos I post online have to be “safe for work.” If you want photos that show more than that, you will get them, I just won’t share them. We’ll discuss your preferences at the consult before you have your baby.

How long do you stay after my baby is born? Generally 1-2 hours, but usually I play it by ear. I’ve stayed longer to shoot the first bath or the siblings meeting the baby if there is time remaining in the coverage the client has paid for.

How soon do I get my pictures? If you give me permission, I will post one photo of the baby on my business Facebook page within 24 hours of arriving back at home, so you can share this with family and friends. The remainder will be ready in 4-6 weeks. Birth story books generally take 3-5 weeks of that because of the production and design involved.

What will you do if something is wrong with my baby? We can discuss this at our prenatal meeting. Generally, I keep shooting until asked to stop.

Do you use flash? Because many moms and care providers think they would rather not be flashed, I avoid flash when possible, when I do use it I bounce it to soften the effect, and have invested in a professional grade camera that can handle low light well without a flash. However, I do carry a flash, and I know how to use it! However, I have had moms tell me later that they we glad I didn’t need the flash, when I used it for every shot! It’s not as noticeable as you might think.

Do you offer discounts? I do occasionally offer discounts to clients who are using a preferred professional doula, and to clients of some birth centers and select care providers. Clients who are willing to share their photos on my web site also receive a slideshow of select photos set to music.

How far do you travel? I work in Salt Lake County, Summit County, and the northern part of Utah County. (Pleasant Grove to Eagle Mountain) I would consider births farther than that, with an additional travel fee, on a case-by-case basis.


Do you need to get approval from the staff? I strongly recommend that my clients tell their care providers that they will be bringing me to the birth. It is up to my clients to make arrangements with their care provider and birth place.

Do you interact at all or mainly stay quiet? Depends on you. I try to take the lead of the clients. I can do both chatty and fly-on-the-wall styles, and sometimes even use both at the same birth.

Will you wear a mask if needed? Absolutely! I don’t love wearing a mask, but I care about the health of you and your baby and am happy to wear a mask if either of us think it is appropriate. (I’m good about hand washing, too!) Along the same lines, some hospitals will ask for a vaccination record for visitors during flu season, and I carry and am happy to show mine.

Do you pose? Are you just catching photos at the right time, or trying to let us know where to be, etc so that we can have better shots? No, my approach is very photojournalistic. I don’t interfere. Most parents do want a few posed family photos after the baby is born, and I’m fine with that, but I won’t be distracting you during labor or the first few moments of bonding with your baby with requests to pose.

Will my photos be in color or black and white? I prefer black and white. I think it looks better, especially when mom is flushed, baby might have vernix or blood on the skin, etc. I have occasionally done color, but black and white is far more common. If you have a strong preference either way, let me know.

JacksonBirthWebSize-71How many images will I receive? Hard to say. While you won’t get every single image I shoot (I delete the blinks and blurs immediately.) you will get at minimum the amount of photos in your package. Most of my clients who book the package with all the gallery images have at least 100 images from their birth, and often more!

When should I book you? As soon as you know you would like my services. I’ve been booked as early as 12 weeks and as late as 40+ weeks. I do limit the number of births I do, so the later you wait, the more likely it is that I will be booked. I usually am booked 3-4 months in advance.

If you have a question you would like to suggest for inclusion in this FAQ, please click the email icon under the header to send it to me. Thanks!

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