Birth Photography FAQ

birth photography frequently asked questions

So you're considering hiring a birth photographer, and probably have a billion questions!

First off, if you're expecting CONGRATS- there's nothing more exciting than finding out you're carrying a little one. Here are some common questions and procedures for birth photography- if there's anything you'd like to know that isn't covered, please contact me or comment below.

Q. What is birth photography?

A. Birth photography is a way to remember your labor (celebrate the end of pregnancy!) and capture those sweet first moments of your newborn's arrival. 

Q. When should I book my session with you?

A. I sometimes book 5-6 months out- so the sooner the better! Many moms chose to book as soon as they've confirmed the pregnancy. Even though, please contact me no matter how far along you are- I might just have an opening.

Q. Will you take pictures of... down there?

A. Nope! Unless requested, I tend to aim from mom's shoulder. Most hospitals frown upon any photographs taken from that angle, especially because it's a sterile area. I try to keep my photographs fairly modest when possible, and while crowning is the big event, it's the moments before and after that carry the most emotion.

dad helping mom labor oahu hawaii birth and family photographer candice macdonnell

Q. We have a camera, wouldn't it be easier for my partner to take the photos?

A. Hiring a birth photographer frees up dad to support you and help you through labor- no worries about being distracted taking photos (or forgetting to snap any). 


A. Absolutely! I request a meeting with mom and dad around the beginning of the third trimester, but it can be earlier if you'd like. We can grab ice cream or hang out at the park.

Q. When are you considered "on call"?

A. Typically from 38 weeks, unless you have a atypical labor (early induction, history of early labor, etc). We can discuss this further in person.

Q. When will you arrive at the hospital/birth center/my home?

A. I aim for about 6-7 cm and active labor. Sometimes moms won't be checked frequently, so I typically judge it by the sound of mom's voice and if she can talk and walk through contractions. It takes me 30-60 minutes to drive to any of the hospitals on Oahu, so the further in advance I can be prepared the better. I love being kept up to date by dad while mom labors! We will discuss all of these details in person and have a plan ready specific to your labor.

Q. What if I go into labor in the middle of the night?

A. Pretty common- whether it's 2 AM or 2 PM I'll be there!

Q. How long will you stay?

A. As long as your labor lasts- no time limit there. If we've been hanging out for a while and labor has stalled (and no signs of picking up soon) I might excuse myself for a short while. Usually I stay in the hospital with you until baby is born- and about an hour after to capture those sweet first moments.

woman holding husband during labor contractions oahu hawaii birth and lifestyle family photographer

Q. Will you be a "fly on the wall" during labor/the birth?

A. This depends on you. If you're in the zone, I'll keep quiet. If you're feeling chatty, we can enjoy a conversation :)

Q. What if you miss the birth?

A. It's highly unlikely, and currently my track record is 9 for 9. If there's a horrible emergency where I can't be there (I plan my life around due dates), I have two backup photographers available. If I do not make it due to not being notified or insanely fast labor, I'll arrive as soon as I'm alerted and still photograph those early moments, and stay for an extended period of time.

Q. What if it's really really dark?

A. I have two amazing cameras that handle low light pretty well. If the situation calls for it, I have a small flash I can aim at the ceiling to add enough light to ensure I catch the delivery photos.

Q. Do you deliver photographs in black and white or color?

A. I edit in a mix of both. Birth is beautiful, and I want your gallery to match it.

Q. How many photographs will I have?

A. Depending on your labor, between 100 and 300. Your album will include your favorite 30, and you'll receive digital copies printable to 8x10 of the rest.

mom holding newborn girl moments after birth oahu hawaii lifestyle photographer candice macdonnell


Do you have any questions I didn't answer? CONTACT ME or comment below!