We absolutely LOVE when we can highlight photographers in our San Diego community! We're always looking for our peers who have something special to share about themselves & their businesses, so we were SO thrilled when we landed an interview with the amazing Catie Stephens of Vuefinder Photography
! Catie is a birth photographer here in San Diego & has photographed 66 births in 5 1/2 years! We had tons of questions for Catie about her job because it's SO different from a regular family or wedding photographer. Some of our favorite talking points are listed below... tune in to the episode to hear even more fascinating birth photography stories from Catie! Our Favorite Questions & Answers from Catie:
- What makes birth photography different from a regular session? For starters, you don’t know when the session will take place. You have a window of time, about 3-4 weeks. I officially go on call at 38 weeks, but have my phone on from 37. Imagine if you were a wedding photographer, and had to be on call… You know where the wedding takes place, but you don’t know when, or how long you’ll be there. And sometimes, they even change the venue on you
- What types of things do you have to do to prepare & plan for a birth?First things first, I always have to have gas in the car!! Also, you have to plan the spacing of clients a bit. When I first started out, just over 5 years ago, I wanted clients who were due 2 weeks apart. As I soon discovered, due dates are guess dates. So now I prefer to take clients with close guess dates, as they’re less likely to go at the same time. With 2 weeks apart, one could go a week late, and one a week early – you get the picture? Also, any camera maintenance needs to be planned out. Lastly, family dynamics are super important to the planning process. Your family needs to be onboard with this lifestyle, being on call. It’s not easy on the family members, as you may miss birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. Family vacations need to be planned 6-9 months in advance. As for family events or parties, the most frequent sentence that comes out of my mouth is “I’ll be there, unless I’m at a birth”. Any birth worker will know that sentence, and have used it frequently. With small children, reliable childcare, available 24 hours a day, is a MUST, and making sure to take that cost in to account in your pricing.
- What goes through your head during a birth photography session?First things first, I have to have my gear ready to walk out the door at any moment. Closer to the due date, I make sure I stay closer to home, especially for 2nd time moms, who often go really fast, and after a long first labor may be in denial about how fast things are actually moving. On my way TO the birth, I honestly just hope to get there in time. Depending on the time of day and the location of the birth, traffic is something I’m always aware of. I don’t really think too much about what kind of shots I want to get, as everything is so unpredictable anyway. I never guarantee certain shots, but once I'm AT the birth, I look for light and the way I can use it to my advantage. I love silhouettes, and always try to get at least one.
Catie has SO much more to share with you guys; you just have to listen to her episode to find out more! Do you have any questions for Catie about birth photography? Feel free to reach out to her at her contact info below, or leave a post for her on our Facebook
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