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Omaha Birth Photography FAQ | From McKenzie’s Point of View

McKenzie telling a Birth Story...photograph via Doula Danielle Miles cell phone. :)

While we’re on a roll with birth story publishing, hospital visits, and baby happenings…I’m going to use this as a segway for some FAQ’s about birth photography.  I know this list will get longer with time…but I wanted to share some answers and my point of view on birth photography…

JM Studios Birth Photography FAQ’s…McKenzie’s Point of View.

So…you shoot, like…the birth?
Yes.  I shoot the actual birth.  Not just before the birth and after the birth…the real deal.

Do you shoot “down there”?!
No…not really.  For me…that’s not what’s interesting.  We all know what’s happening down there…there’s no guessing about that.  The good part is documenting the relationship of the parents…and that’s what I’m good at.  Documenting relationships.  The instant a new dad see’s that baby…that face.  I want to capture that face.  The look the new mom gives her husband.  The “I did it…I actually did it” face.  Capturing the instant protectiveness that a parent develops.  For me, that’s the good stuff.  We all learned how a baby comes out on the school bus in 3rd grade…but nobody can ever really express the moment you see your baby for the first time.  And that’s what should be documented.

I guess I’m not sure why you like to shoot births…they’re so unpredictable.
You are correct.  I get asked this probably once a week after I mention it’s one of my favorite things to document.  I think because they ARE so unpredictable.  I can’t plan ahead and over-prepare myself.  YOU can’t plan ahead and over-prepare YOURself.  I love them because it’s real life stuff.  It doesn’t require rentals, and reservations, and special outfits…it’s not glamorous.  Just the way I like it.  And I get to wear yoga pants and tennis shoes…and sometimes have bed head.  But really, I love them because I truly love documenting relationships, as stated above.  It’s my passion.  I love documenting the bond that has developed through the mother and baby growing together.  I love documenting true love at first sight between the baby and father.  That might sound cheesy…but it’s true.  The face of a man before the baby is out…and the face of a man after the baby arrives…two very different faces.  It’s quite amazing.

Do the doctors care?
Generally not.  I always make sure my families make their doctor aware that I will be present.  I’m also not in the way….or I don’t think I am anyways. :)  The doctor also needs to know I’m in for all of it.  If they boot me out and I miss something important, I’ll be sad (read: upset).  Every doctor I’ve shot around  is always excited to see the final product, because it’s a rare thing to shoot here in Omaha.  BUT, if your doctor does care, and says no…we must respect their wishes and come up with a plan B.  First priority, ALWAYS, is a safe delivery.

What if something goes wrong?
Interesting enough, I’ve been in on more than one rushed c-section and a crazy delivery procedure last minute.  As long as there is no insane risk, I’m shooting it, unless deeply expressed prior to or by the doctors.  My job is to tell your story…and if it’s happening, I’m telling it.  Which brings me to…

What if I’m having a c-section?
If you end up having a c-section, I’m suiting up, and going in.  You generally are allowed 2 people in the OR.  Guess who #2 is?  Me.  The anesthesiologists always have a couple places for me to stand and shoot so that I’m not in the way, and can get what I need.  Once I took 3 steps in the wrong direction, turned around, and saw a whole lot of what I didn’t want to see…I’ve been pretty aware of my surroundings ever since.

What if I’m having a PLANNED c-section?  Can you still do a birth story?
Of course!  A baby is still happening!  You’re still going to go through all of the same emotions as a non-planned birth!

Have you ever missed a delivery?
Yes.  I want to say no…but, I did.  The baby came INSANELY fast.  It basically came as soon as the couple got to their delivery site. I rushed into the room…and out they walked with a baby.  I’m telling ya…it was crazy.  So I documented their first moments and a week later, an in-home session lifestyle session with their whole family.  BUT…in all honesty, there is always a chance that I could miss the birth, however I do EVERYTHING in my power not to.  I’m human…I’m a mother…I shoot weddings…I live outside of Omaha…and sometimes babies SPRINT out.  There are factors, and I like setting realistic expectations…but aside from the above birth, I haven’t missed one.  In the event I do, we have a contract in place with all of our clients that protects them, and us.

I think I want to do this…
Awesome!  First things first…email me (  I need to know your due date and a few other things so we can start building our relationship!  Yes.  It’s a relationship!  :)  I will be able to answer any other questions you have easily via email or a phone conversation.  There are a few months out of each year that I must turn down births, due to work load and travel.  I want ALL of my clients to have my best self…you deserve that…and the rest of them deserve that too.

Do you have any questions that you’d like to see added to the FAQ here?  If so, add a comment below and we’ll keep adding to this!

Now…let’s go have a baby!  (Or just you…you have a baby…and I’ll watch.)

Coming soon…a blog post from someone who had me tell their birth story, and their experience…

  • April 1, 2014 - 1:06 pm

    Danielle Miles - As a doula, I share birth with many couples, witnessing the transformation of people and relationships, the blend of physical emotional and spiritual experience and the complex blend of raw power and vulnerability. It is sacred space a and McKenzie has a gift for capturing it all. I am approached often by photographers making their way into the birth business. McKenzie is the gold standard by which I measure their work. No one yet, has compared.

  • April 1, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    admin - OH Danielle! That is honestly the nicest thing you could ever say! I appreciate that so, so, so much.

  • April 4, 2014 - 6:15 pm

    Omaha Birth Photography | The Mom’s Perspective » JANINE MCCLINTOCK STUDIOS - [...] « Omaha Birth Photography FAQ | From McKenzie’s Point of View [...]

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