I met up with Megan several months ago at Compadres downtown. We discussed our lives as photographers while enjoying the lunch buffet of quesadillas, tacos, and such. Megan recently moved to the Greenville area and comes with over six years of experience as a photographer, two of which she has specialized in birth photographer. Many of my newborn families inquire about birth photography but at this time my schedule does not allow the flexibility to provide these services. Megan has agreed to join Seek Joy Photography in offering these services. If you have booked a newborn session with Seek Joy Photography, be sure to let Megan know when discussing your birth session to receive your discount.
I asked Megan to share some information about birth photography. You can see her amazing work at www.snaplifephotography.com
Why hire a Professional Birth Photographer? Why not have Dad or Doula be the photographer?
Megan: You not only get the benefit of having awesome images, but your partner can focus on you and be in photographs too. No one has to be worried about taking out the camera and making sure settings are correct. Professional birth photographers not only have the proper equipment, but know how to work in harsh lighting conditions, capture quick moments, and respect the birth process in its entirety. Having knowledge of the labor and delivery process means when the most important moments are happening, I’m not missing a beat. Dad’s and doula’s best perform their roles when they can solely focus on helping Mom and Baby, and not fumbling around with a camera.
Will we meet before the birth?
Megan: Yes! Meet and greets are so important to me as an artist for interpreting your day. We will review your birth plans together and come up with a plan for how you would like your birth story documented.
When should I hire a birth photographer?
Megan: It’s never too early or too late to hire a birth photographer but I do only take 2-3 per month to keep the chances of births overlapping at a minimum. It is best to book early during your second trimester but to make sure that your baby’s birthday is covered please inquire as soon as you can. When contract and deposit is in, then you are officially booked and your estimated due date is covered.
When do you arrive to start documenting a birth?
Megan: I typically arrive when active labor begins which is about 5-6cm or when contractions are steadily coming about 8 to 5 minutes apart . When I should come will also depend on your birth plan, as well as previous pregnancies, as this can change when I should arrive. This is also based on your feelings going into labor as well. I do not want Moms to feel like a pot being watched for boil as it could stall labor.
What if my labor is super long?
Megan: Once I arrive at a birth, I typically do not leave unless your labor allows for it. I may take breaks and give some alone time, but I am there to document the story of your birth and labor process. Breaks are only taken at an appropriate time of course. Essentially, I’m in it for the long haul. It’s part of being a birth worker.
Exactly how much do you “show” of the birth?
Megan: This completely depends on you and we will discuss this in your meet and greet. I will document the birth to whatever extent you are comfortable with or would like to see. When displaying my work on my website or marketing pieces, or in a video, I only display modest photographs and video clips.
My ultimate goal is for you to be able to show your child their birthday as well as the wonderful memories you don’t want to forget.
Do you interact with us at all?
Megan: I generally act as a “fly on the wall”, but if I am talked to I will converse and chat. I go with the vibe of the room. I very much respect a parent’s birth space and choose my actions wisely to not disturb the birth process. We will have a good bit of time to get to know each other so you do not feel like you have a complete stranger with you in the delivery room.
What happens in cases of a cesarean or a scheduled cesarean?
Megan: All birth, no matter what form it takes, is beautiful and deserves to be documented. It is ultimately your decision if you would like me in the OR with you to document the arrival. Sometimes photographers are not allowed in the OR depending on the Doctor, Charge Nurse, or Anesthesiologist. No one can advocate for my presence in the OR better than you and your spouse.
In my experience, the charge nurse or anesthesiologist will be the one to deny a photographer into the OR. You will not know who these will be until the day of your birth. If I am not allowed in, I can send my camera in with Dad, or a willing nurse, on auto and document as much as they can. We will set up a plan for unexpected situations during the meet and greet.
About the Photographer:
Hey there! I’m Megan Bowen, and I have the utmost joy for what I do. I have a great passion for learning the complexities of the human soul and revealing personalities on film. Everyone has a beautiful story to tell and its a complete honor to document the ever fleeting moments of life.I got to witness my first birth at the early age of 10 and was memorized by the whole experience. I attended college in hopes to become a midwife, but poor course counseling pushed me back to focus on photography. Let me tell you, that was the best thing that ever happened.
I have spent the last 6 years educating myself in photography, birth and newborns. I completed my doula training from DONA international in 2013. The birth of a child into the world is a miraculous event. I am completely honored to capture each and every one of the miracles I get to meet.
Snap Life Photography LLC
Owner & Photographer