Category Archives: Photographers

Go Get Censored!!!

It’s inevitable…. posting images of child birth are going to be revered, judged, reported and then torn down from the online social media world. There is so much to consider as a birth photographer, holding the rights to your images, but not always the right to share the story. There is something outrageously tempting about wanting to spread the visual word, promote informed birth choices, empower and entice others with the reality of birth. Sometimes I do feel it’s becoming more about the photographer than the woman and child in the images. The irony is that my very success stems from an act of censorship gaining large scale social media exposure and bolstering my presence into the public eye.Censorship Outcry

Every woman has a precious and powerful story to tell and share, if she wants to. These moments are intensely personal, and are taken at a time when a woman and child are at their most vulnerable. As is the balance of life, it’s the decisions which involve risk that bring about the greatest impact on your journey.

As photographers, the risk of censorship (getting banned and ridiculed) seems to bring about some kind of reward, somewhere in the vicinity of industry fame and popularity. So as birth photographs become accepted and birth itself normalised, censorship reduces, and the waves that photographers ride will become smaller and less helpful in thrusting our agenda into the limelight. Some days it feels like the race is on!

If you are a woman, giving permission to share your most private and powerful moments, consider how you and your child might feel reading the good, bad and ugly comments and opinions of strangers. Consider your emotional state and how you will balance and ground yourself if an image of you and your child goes “viral”.

If you are a photographer, read the above comment and put yourself in your client’s shoes. Then make sure your client understands that too. No matter what, this isn’t your story or your birth, it is hers. And it is your job as a birth photographer to hold that birth space, not just as it was happening, but forever more.

Here are a few special moments shared with full and informed permission. Each birth has its own story and celebration. Consider them all with honour and compassion in your heart as you play your part in normalising birth and helping us talk about the lessons we learned and wisdom we have to share as mothers.

 

The Business of Birth Photography – The Book!

I’m super excited to be launching my new book – The Business Of Birth Photography

I began writing the content for this book in 2013 and I’m thrilled to finally have it published for the world to see!

Through this dynamic collection of photographs and written concepts, The Business of Birth Photography is a guided glimpse into the emerging genre within the professional photographic industry, drawn from the experiences and insight of Australia’s most recognised birth photographer.

This well-equipped book contains vital information about photographing birth from a conceptual, technical and social point of view, with a business management guide to help you plan and build your photography business.

This resource serves as the foundation of The Business of Birth Photography Online Course and Workshops.

Book Contents include:

  • The value of birth photography
  • Your reason
  • Your client’s reason
  • Etiquette – societal
  • Etiquette – photographing birth
  • Client meetings
  • Contracts
  • Client questionnaire
  • Products
  • Client faq’s
  • Managing your health & safety during births
  • Birth shoot checklist
  • What’s in the bag?
  • Technical tips – composition
  • Technical tips – cropping
  • Technical tips – lighting
  • Birth scenarios – home birth preparation
  • Birth scenarios – hospital birth preparation
  • Birth scenarios – foetal demise
  • Birth scenarios – crowning
  • Professional practice verses awards
  • File backup system
  • Workflow
  • Time evaluation and scheduling
  • Time evaluation and scheduling
  • Financial evaluation
  • Pricing
  • Business
  • Online presence
  • Client satisfaction

 

The Business of Birth PhotographyWant to buy the book? CLICK HERE

Want to learn more about birth photography? CLICK HERE

2014 Canon AIPP Australian Birth Photographer of the Year – Victoria Berekmeri

Sincere thanks and appreciation must go to the AIPP members and in particular the Awards crew who have made this event such a successful one. This birth category could never have existed if it weren’t for the wonderful AIPP members who joined forces to define this genre within the industry. The category finalist, friend and amazing photographer, Selena Rollason (http://www.brisbanebirthphotography.com.au/) is a driven and valued member of the birth photography community who played a pivotal role in making this genre recognised as an APPA category. It is an honour to have her stand beside me in this inaugural year as her images help set the standard for birth photography in Australia.

The work I do, the people I meet and the births I capture have all changed my world into one filled with gratitude, joy and meaning. Birth Photography started out as a path to healing some of my own deep wounds, but it has now turned into something profoundly powerful. I have witnessed the work I create and share change social opinion on what is natural and worthy of true celebration. Passion and knowledge fly together as this documentary genre continues to act as a visionary voice, celebrating of the natural beauty of human life along with the power of a woman’s body and soul.

Special and sincere thanks go to all of my clients – you are all in inspiration to me! And to my parents and their precious babies who feature in this collection of award-winning images, thank you from the warmest place in my heart. Not only was it an honour to capture and share these moments, but it was a gift to all those who loved and appreciated them along with me.

There is also another group of people involved in the production of these award prints. To prepare these images for print, I worked with the best in the industry – Atkins Technicolour. http://www.atkins.com.au/ Atkins helped transform my images into art pieces that reflected the right tone and sensation needed to win. Printing is a whole other discipline so it goes without saying that having a great relationship between photographer and printing technician can’t be underestimated. I’m thrilled to say that I use the same printing lab my Grandfather used so I do feel an extra special connection with Atkins.

Without further ado – here are the 4 award winning images that saw me win the 2014 Canon AIPP Australian Birth Photographer of the Year.

 

Silver with Distinction

Silver with Distinction

Silver Award

Silver Award

Silver Award

Silver Award

Silver Award

Silver Award

If you’re interested in learning more about Birth Photography, please check out the upcoming workshop dates here: http://www.eventzilla.net/user/birthphotography

or contact Victoria to discuss mentoring options: victoria@adelaidebirthphotographer.com.au

Australian Birth Photography Workshops and Mentoring

Hello Friends!

If you are interested in attending one of my birth photography workshops, please head over here: http://birthphotographyworkshops.com/
Birth Photography Workshop
This week was a big “WIN” for getting the celebration behind the genre of birth photography out into the public, with this news feature which aired on Channel 9 News here in Adelaide.

There are so many important people who helped make this news story happen.

My first acknowledgement goes out to my birth clients, the families who hire me to capture their baby’s birth days. All of my experiences and the honour I have of doing this job continues to culminate into wonderful things, not only for me personally, but for women and families all over who cherish their stories.

I must specifically thank Tania and Steve for being so open to share their deeply personal experience with the news crew, and the public. I will always be so grateful to them for being such passionate advocates for not only joyfully intuitive birth but also birth photography! And of course my deepest thanks to little Ronen who really was the star of the show.

Birth Photography Workshop

My clients and models for the workshop, Sashini and George were so accommodating with not only the news crew but also me muddling away with running the workshop practical and getting paparazzied by my attendees. They were so generous and relaxed throughout the session and it was such a lovely experience working with them and having the opportunity to get to know them even more in the lead up to the arrival of their own special day.

Birth Photography Workshop

My midwife for the session, Kristy Cook – mother, midwife and hypnobirthing practitioner (Instinctual Birthing) was wonderfully kind and presented beautifully for the hospital birth simulation and news crew. Kristy has always been an advocate for birth photography and it was a blessing that she could take the time out to assist me.

All of the women who attended my birth photography workshop – to all of these talented photographers who share this passion, trusted in me and helped shine a light on why birth photography is not only a precious gift, but also a challenging genre worth extending their skills for. Although perhaps a bit difficult to balance practical learning with camera interviews, it was so humbling to see everyone get onboard with the situation of filming and share in the comradery to help spread the story out to the wider community. Special thanks to Belle Verdiglione (Belle Verdiglione Photography) and Selena Rollason (Brisbane Birth Photography) for being super brave and submitting for an interview with the crew!

I’d love to thank Brad Gustafson, the Senior Producer at Channel 9, Adelaide for contacting me out of the blue. His interest in the workshop and my work as a photographer were evident from the beginning and I was instantly put at ease by his motivation to hear the reasoning behind my work. The feedback from my clients Tania and Steve was that Kate Collins conducted herself so wonderfully during their interview and her genuine, kind nature was so freely evident when watching this story. I loved talking to Catherine Kennedy at the skills lab during my interview and her questions really had me getting emotionally connected, which I think came across in the story. The Channel 9 team really did justice to the story we had to share, and this was an opportunity like no other to promote awareness which I’m so very grateful for.

The photographs displayed in the story were taken by attendee’s Selena Rollason (Brisbane Birth Photography) and Caroline Kaeser (Labour of Love Photography).

Australian Birth Photography Workshop Australian Birth Photography Workshop Australian Birth Photography Workshop

The Birth Photographers who attended my workshop and played an important part in their own right deserve credit for their support and talent:
NSW: Anna Todd – https://www.facebook.com/AnnaToddPhotography1?fref=ts
WA: Belle Verdiglione – https://www.facebook.com/BelleVerdiglionePhotography
SA: Billie Wallace-Yarrow – https://www.facebook.com/billiebuttonphotography?fref=ts
VIC: Cazz Kaeser – https://www.facebook.com/LabourOfLoveBirthPhotography
QLD: Karen Day – https://www.facebook.com/karendayphotog?fref=ts
QLD: Renae Lorraway – watch this space!
SA: Samantha Cranwell – https://www.facebook.com/LilCranny.Photography.Handmade?fref=ts
VIC: Sarah Murnane – https://www.facebook.com/SarahAnneBirthPhotography
QLD: Selena Rollason – https://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneBirthPhotography?fref=ts
QLD: Valerie Orreal – https://www.facebook.com/myfamilyrocksphotos

I’m very much hoping this approach to “exposing” (pun intended!) birth photography to wider audiences will be a benefit to all of us in the industry but more importantly will benefit all women who feel the deep-seated sense of ceremony and celebration surrounding birth. Through sharing our stories in a positive way, we will begin to shift the unreal perception of labour and birth, with better outcomes for both mother and child. That’s my dream!

Birth Photography Workshop

An Insight Into Why Women Want Their Birth Photographed

I wanted to share with you a quick little insight into the reasons my clients chose to hire a birth photographer – knowing why is so important! I’m so blessed to know these strong, amazing women who were so in touch with their reasons behind the choices they made surrounding their births.

Tania, Mother of Ronen – born 1.2.2014

Adelaide Birth Photographer

First Breast Feed After Birth

“Truly, I will be forever grateful for this one captured moment alone. It speaks so much to me: it is everything I ever desired in birthing my children — the opportunity to experience the bliss following the birth, of being fully present and grateful for this new life.

 I recently read that birth being the momentous event that it is in a woman’s life, actually imprints on her brain, rather than existing merely as a memory. The imprint left on my mind throughout Ronen’s birth and post-birth is so beautiful, and an image such as this will be so treasured because it captures and reflects what my soul remembers — thank you. It is so beautiful and so healing to me in so many ways.”

 

Kellie, Mother of Rhys, born 20.4.13Adelaide Birth Photographer

“Being in labour and birthing means being completely in the moment, concentrating all my attention and effort on bringing my baby safely into the world, there’s no awareness of time or space and nothing else matters in those moments. Having it captured by a professional photographer allows me to look back and remember or even notice for the first time what was happening. I wanted to see how I looked in labour, the face of my husband and his reactions while he supported me, that first breath of my baby, those first cloudy moments made clear through the photos.
I can now look at my photos and remember clearly how/what I was feeling. I can see the moment I first thought to myself this might be transition, the moment my midwife was telling me how things might progress quicker this time, the moment my vocals changed to prepare for pushing, the first time I felt my baby’s head, that I did it! moment, all things I’m not sure I would remember without having the photos to look back on.
We paid thousands for our wedding day photography, but to me, the birth of my babies is something equally if not more important to capture, I will only give birth to my babies once, that moment when your family grows from 2 to 3 or 3 to 4, perfection!
I couldn’t recommend having a birth photographer more, having a professional there means those precious memories are captured as best they can be while my husband can support me and my care providers can care for me.
I love birth photography, I am so grateful for it and Victoria!! x”

 

 

Questions to ask a Birth Photographer – What’s really important to know!

So, you’re interested in having a birth photographer document the arrival of your little one. I get many enquiries into my services, but the line of questioning I’m asked straight up is “How much do you charge?”, followed by “Are you available in ….?”.

I believe this is a standard consumer approach to enquiries across industries that have failed in educating their clients about the real value of their services. Also, considering birth photography is relatively unheard of by the masses, it’s quite understandable that people who might be interested in it simply don’t understand the full scope of its value to them.

I’ve pulled together a list of questions you should really ask when looking into engaging a birth photographer to suit YOU. Never underestimate the value of having a photographer you “click” with. Having that free-flowing connection will be reflected in the experience you share together along with the photographs you receive.

And if you’re a birth photographer reading this, I push you to be able to confidently answer every question with openness. It’s the best way to get the type of clients suited to you and your business and a great start to an open and honest client, photographer relationship.

  1. How many births have you photographed?
  2. What makes you different to other Birth Photographers?
  3. Do you offer maternity and newborn sessions also?
  4. When is the best time to book during pregnancy?
  5. Do you have insurance to photograph births?
  6. How far will you travel & how long does it take you to get to my hospital?
  7. What is your cancellation policy?
  8. What’s included in the booking fee?
  9. Do you offer payment plans?
  10. Do you offer a gift registry?
  11. Why have you chosen to offer the products you have available?
  12. How many images will I receive in the digital collections?
  13. How long will it take to receive my final order?
  14. When do you arrive for the birth and how long will you stay?
  15. What happens if you’re in attendance but labour stalls?
  16. Do you have a backup photographer and can we meet them?
  17. What happens if you don’t arrive before my baby is born?
  18. Do you already have a good rapport with the hospital staff, midwives and birth workers likely to be attending my birth?
  19. Are you aware of the policies surrounding photography at my hospital?
  20. What if I have a C-Section? Can I still have a birth photographer?
  21. I want shots of …… and …….  Can you show me examples of these shot’s I want to have at my birth?
  22. Why are some birth photographs bright, sharp and crisp while others are dark, soft and grainy?
  23. I am concerned about “private shots”; I don’t want graphic pictures, what assurances can you give me on this?
  24. Have you been in a situation when things go wrong, what did you do and how did you cope?
  25. What if I change my mind and don’t want the actual labour and birth documented, but I do want pictures of those special first hours?
  26. Will my images appear online anywhere – website, social media, etc?
  27. Is there anything we can do that makes the photography easier for you?
  28. Can we arrange a time to meet in person to discuss my expectations?

Adelaide Birth Photographer

AIPP Birth Photography Special Interest Group

At the end of last year, I was personally invited to help kick off and contribute to an AIPP Special Interest Group (SIG) focused on Birth Photography in Australia. The group is flourishing as passionate birth photographers around Australia join the AIPP’s goal to help promote standards of professionalism for this genre. There is a wealth of experience, backgrounds and insight within the group and with the guidance of the AIPP’s Executive Officer, we are able to delve right into the important issues and achieve beneficial outcomes.

We are currently collaborating on the following:

  • Defining the contents of a specimen birth photography contract that will be reviewed by AIPP solicitors and available to all members.
  • Creating a Standards of Practice / Code of Conduct appropriate for birth photography.
  • Identifying ways of promoting the genre and building relationships with birth centred organisations.
  • Defining the point of difference of an AIPP Accredited Professional Photographer providing birth photography services.
  • Considering the genre in regards to the AIPP awards.
  • Working on a dedicated Birth Photography website that serves as a resource to both client and photographer.

I’m so excited about what’s ahead for this genre I love so much. Those who know me, know I’m passionate about raising the bar and providing the best experience possible for each and every women who chooses to have her birth photographed. If you’re interested in learning more about the SIG or want to be involved, please contact me or head to the AIPP Blog. The AIPP are a fantastic organisation opening the doors to new endeavours and helping photographers bridge gaps often too vast to do so alone.

Best night of my life!!