Beth Skogen Photography offers birth photography and videography during the birth of your child whether your birth takes place in the hospital, birth center, or your home. Though based in Madison, Wisconsin, I travel up to one hour for a birth.
As a documentary photographer who loves capturing people’s joy and the special events in their lives, there are none I love more than photographing where life begins . . . at birth. The arrival of a baby is one of the most memorable moments a family can experience: a child’s transition from womb to world, the intimacy between a couple, a father reaching out to hold his newborn. These brief and amazing times in life are worth documenting. My goal is not only to document the birth of your child, but to capture the intimacy and unique moments you share before and after your child is born. I use available light and adapt easily to any birthing environment.
I appreciate that each birth is an incredible and exciting experience, and I feel honored to share that with you.
Why hire a birth photographer?
Hiring a birth photographer allows you to fully participate in the birth of your child without worrying about taking photos. Because I shoot documentary style, I’m like a fly on the wall; I’m there to document your birth. Families whose births I‘ve photographed say they didn’t even notice me photographing because my style doesn’t interfere with their focus on the delivery. Having professional images from the first day of your child’s life is irreplaceable.
How much do you charge for your services?
Session pricing information is located on the investment page. Please contact me via email (email@example.com) or phone (608.575.8207) to reserve your date or if you have questions.
How long in advance should I reserve my due date?
I only book two to three births a month to ensure my availability. As soon as you are considering having your birth photographed, please contact me. The sooner I know your due date, the more likely I will be available. I will have you sign a contract and pay a deposit to reserve your date. The remainder is due on the day of your birth. Supplemental products, such as birth announcements and books, can be ordered and paid for separately after the birth.
Worst case scenario: What if you can’t make it to my birth?!
I clear my calendar and guarantee attendance at your birth one week before and one week after your due date. In the event that I experience a personal or medical emergency within that time frame, I will call my alternate photographer. However, even outside the two week window, I will do my absolute best to make it to your birth. In the ten years photographing births, I have never missed one, in or outside the two-week window.
If both myself and the alternate photographer can’t attend the birth within the two week window, I will either provide a full refund, or a credit, at your choosing. If we both are unable to make it to the session and you go into labor outside of the two-week window, I will issue you a credit.
When do you arrive and how long do you stay at my birth?
Ideally, I arrive around three hours before you deliver. I stay after the birth for about an hour, and longer if family and friends are there to meet the newborn. If you deliver overnight, I will come back within the next two days to photograph your baby with family and friends. I want to capture those special moments for you. My services include up to 6 hours of photographing. If we need more time, I’m willing to work with your needs. You never know what’s going to happen during birth!
How do you know when to arrive at the hospital?
As soon as you are on the way to the hospital, you should call me. Sometimes you will be at the hospital for many hours before actually giving birth (especially for first-time parents). In this case, talking with the doctor, midwife and nurses will help determine when exactly I should arrive. With one birth I photographed, the woman was induced and in labor for over 24 hours; she kept me updated on her progress and I arrived to photograph the last three hours, which was perfect.
Should I ask my care provider if a photographer can be in the delivery room ahead of time?
Yes, asking permission from your doctor or midwife ahead of time would be great. I haven’t run into a situation where I wasn’t allowed in the room to photograph, but just to make sure, I recommend asking. If you supply a birth plan to your medical professional, you can include my services in your requests for care.
How do you interact with care providers (doctors, midwives, doulas, nurses) and with family who are present for the birth?
My approach is to remain in the background as an observer. Aside from assuring their approval of my presence during delivery, I ask for permission for their image to be used in any photographs in which they appear. Except at your discretion or the care provider’s direction, I don’t generally need to interact with the personnel assisting your birth.
Do you need special equipment or space?
No. As a documentary-style photographer, I don’t use special equipment like tripods, backdrops, or lighting. I also refrain from using flash photography so as not to distract from your focus on the birth.
What if I live outside the Madison area?
I would love to photograph your birth if you are within an hour from Madison, although mileage will be added to the price. If you are within 30 miles of Madison, there will be no additional cost.
Do I receive the digital files from my birth?
I think it’s very important for you to have images from your birth, especially in digital form. Some photographers will never hand over digital files, but given the intimacy of birth, you deserve to have the images. If you choose to purchase the digital files, you will receive a flash drive of around 150 edited, high resolution images printable up to 11×14. A print release will also be given to you so you can print them on your own. If you would like larger prints, I ask that you have them professionally printed through me.
Can I specify which photos I do and don’t want?
I typically select around 150 images that most tastefully capture the special moments of your birth experience. If there are any images you’d prefer I don’t include on the flash drive, that is okay by me!
Will photographs from my birth be posted on your website?
I will only post images on my website and on social media of families who have given me permission.
Should I be concerned about privacy or sensitive parts of the birthing process like bodily fluids or nudity?
I use the highest levels of discretion when photographing, editing, and producing images. I understand that personal preferences vary regarding, for example, breastfeeding or a naked infant. The images you receive will reflect my discretion combined with your own preferences.
Do you document other family additions, such as adoption, surrogacy, or gestational carrier births?
Yes. I love to document family in all of its forms, plus the joy of welcoming children into a family in the many ways that may happen. Please contact me to discuss how I can be of service.
Do you take maternity photos or family portraits?
I do take maternity and family photos. Please contact me for more information.