International Multi Award Winning
Birth Photographer covering the South Coast
"I'm so glad you were there, I wouldn't have wanted it any differently. I feel so passionate about birth like you so it's exciting to get the photos out there and dispel the myths. I feel so lucky to have had you there & it's so awesome to have the pictures to look at whenever I want too" - Robyn
"You photograph births? Like the actual Birth?!"
That's the most common reaction in response to me talking about Birth Photography.
Yes, yes I do. I photograph Births!
I don't see Birth as 'just' birth.
I see it in it's entirety.
Much like a Wedding isn't just about the ceremony, it's about the preparation and celebration. Birth photography is about the story.
Sometimes when I discuss birth photography with people they say something along the lines of "Why would I want photographs of me at my worst?" And this one gets me all fired up (in a good way!) because this is not you at your worst, this is you at your absolute, undeniable BEST! It's strength overcoming vulnerability, adrenaline overcoming fatigue, and power overriding fear. It's the emotional journey of meeting this baby who you already love so much and seeing them for the first time. It's time to change the narrative of birth.
You my darling are a warrior.
And Birth, no matter what opinions people may have of it, is absolutely beautiful And it is my mission to spread the word of Birth Photography on the South Coast so that birthing people know they have an option to document one of the (if not the most) important day of their life.
Frequently asked Questions
Can I meet you before booking you?
Absolutely! The most important part of booking a Birth Photographer is being able to feel comfortable with them and bond in a short amount of time. I normally shoot newborns and families that I have never met before and very quickly have to build a rapport and make people feel at ease in order to make the most of their 60 minute time slot so I'm pretty confident that I'm easy to get along with! We can meet, together with your partner and chat through any worries or concerns you may have. I like to meet my birth clients at least twice before being on call for them.
There are certain things I don't want photographed, is that ok?
Once you've decided to book with me I go through a questionnaire with you about what you want & don't want photographed. These are YOUR pictures. Not mine. I can be positioned so that I am photographing the baby's entrance into the world or up near your shoulder witnessing baby being passed to you. We will also talk about different scenario's and what you would like me to do if they occur but generally if I feel the need, I will step outside and return when I feel it is appropriate.
"Sophie was incredible and so welcoming and reassuring - I was unsure with the idea to start with due to my anxiety and shyness" Hannah
What knowledge do you have about labour and delivery?
Firstly, I am a Mum of 3 children so I can empathise with you on a maternal level but when I throw myself into something I'm passionate about I like to go as far as I can!
I decided I needed to know more , so I trained to become a Doula and have now willingly become a Birth nerd! I now have a deeper physiological understanding of Birth itself, the whole process including the physical & hormonal changes and also how somebody's presence if birth photography is not done properly (which is why you need to chose your photographer carefully!), can have an impact on a person's birth space. I am there to hold space for you. You are my first priority always. I may eventually offer Doula services further down the road but for now, it will just be of added reassurance for you that I know what I am doing whilst I am with you. I am also a DoTerra Wellness Advocate & have a good knowledge of essential oils during pregnancy & labour and am currently studying a HypnoBirthing practitioner course - again so that you can feel safe in the knowledge that I am not 'just' a photographer - you are in very safe hands with me when you decide to include me as part of your birthing team.
What equipment do you use?
I have a full frame Sony A7iii which is terrific in dark lighting. I am upfront & honest about the use of flash. Without a doubt it will give you a better quality picture and I tend to use it 60% of the time. My flash is a bounced flash so it bounces off the wall behind me as opposed to you being blinded each time I use it. I promise you that you will not feel like you have a member of the paparazzi in your birthing space! I am quiet and discreet. I tend to start off without the flash & with my shutter sound off but as you hit the transition stage & you become more unaware of me that is the point where the flash and shutter is used. There is no staging or getting anyone to look at the camera. It is purely documentary based. A lot of my clients commented after their birth that they didn't notice either me, the flash or the shutter sound.
Can't my partner just take the photos?
Definitely! But I'm not bias when I say that they won't look the same as mine! When I look back at the photo's my husband took of our babies.........well..........yeh! Don't get me wrong, they're precious because they are all I have but if Birth Photography had been a thing 17, 9 or even 7 years ago I absolutely would have booked someone. It takes the pressure off your partner, they can concentrate all their energy into supporting and guiding you without worrying about having their phone or camera ready for you. It's my job to pre-empt what situations will come next and be ready to capture them.
"If you want someone to capture the raw beauty of life please use Sophie. We are so grateful for how wonderful she has been throughout this whole journey and honestly cannot credit her enough" - Charlotte
Do I need to gain permission from my Midwife?
If you are having a home birth then no, you do not need to ask permission but it is a courtesy to inform them that I will be there. If it is a hospital birth then yes, the responsibility is on you to ask your midwife and have them check hospital policy. I always ask consent from staff when I am there as to whether they mind being in photo's. If they say no I make sure they are not photographed. In America, most Birth Photographers are allowed in to photograph C- Sections as no matter what anyone says this is still a birthing process. In the UK, we haven't quite reached that stage yet but I am happy to come along to one of your Consultant appointments and help advocate on your behalf. If not I can be there before and immediately after theatre.
Obviously in the current Covid-19 climate the above may differ slightly. I have been to home births this year (2021) and last year with no problem but some home birth teams may differ with policies depending on where you are so it is always advised to discuss birth photography with them. And with hospitals at it currently stands (although this decision fluctuates from time to time and from hospital trust to hospital trust) I am allowed as a second birth partner and support person.
Why does Birth Photography cost so much?
Birth Photography on average is equivalent to the cost of Wedding Photography as it is documenting a pivotal day in your life. The added parts of a job for a Birth Photographer come in being on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for up to 4 weeks at a time. In reality for me that means always having emergency childcare in place. On weekends, we cannot travel too far in case I'm called back or if we do, we have to go in separate cars. It means not booking a holiday a few months in advance. It means possibly missing a Birthday, a sports day, a school performance, a special assembly. Huge sacrifices for me as a parent. I also have no idea how long I will be with my clients -I 've been with them for as short as 4 hours and as long as 27 hours and then I need to go home and edit (and sleep and be a Mum!) My passion for Birth Photography is my driving force but in turn my prices have to reflect the sacrifice. I offer instalments to help spread the cost and some clients like to ask friends & family to gift towards it instead of buying baby gifts.
When do you start taking photo's?
A key part in this journey together is communication. I need to know about all the changes that occur in the weeks leading up to your due date. If contractions start, I need to know. If waters break, I need to know. Especially if I have to travel a fair distance to get to you! I aim to be with you around the 5-6cm dilation stage which is classed as established labour but birth doesn't always happen this way so communication is paramount! This enables me to tell as much as your story as possible.
What happens if you become ill and can't attend?
I have an amazing back up photographer who I trust dearly and whenever I get a birth booking she is automatically prepared to go on call in my place for those amount of hours that I should be 'out of service' should I fall into a family emergency ( anything to do with A&E!) if I become ill, or should I have another birth booking within the same 4 week period just so that we have all bases covered so that your special moment is captured regardless of events out of the universe's control. Please note that bless her heart despite being on standby and doing some of the hard work with me by being on call too, she's never yet had to attend a birth in my place!
I am sure you have so many more questions!! Please get in touch, I'm happy to answer as many as I can - write me a list! We can meet for a cuppa or chat online. Remember this is YOUR journey. YOUR Birth. YOUR story. I'm just there to help you remember it in a beautiful, tender and honest way.
"From the moment I knew we wanted another baby I also knew how much I wanted a Birth Photographer as I regret not having one at our daughters birth. So before actually finding out I was pregnant I had already found Sophie. Once it was confirmed I contacted her and I remember it like it was yesterday as she was so warm & friendly from our first conversation.
Throughout my pregnancy she was such a huge support & always just so warm & kind to talk to and a real help when I was in prodromal labour and getting exhausted from all the stop/start. Her positive messages were a godsend...I honestly feel like I have known her forever.
At our birth I didn't even realise Soph was there. She was so quiet & respectful of our birth space at home. I also desperately wanted a tandem feeding picture with my daughter & baby & Sophie was just amazing and even came back to get a photo later that day when she had been at our till the early hours of the morning!
The pictures are everything I could have dreamed of & I feel so lucky to have found Soph & to have had her lovely warm & calming energy at Julius' birth." - Millie
Birth Stories include the following -
2-3 meetings prior to Birth for a cuppa and a slice of cake and to chat all things Baby.
Me being on call from 38 weeks of your pregnancy, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Photos of you in established labour until 1-2 hours after Baby has arrived.
Two photos edited and emailed to you within 12 hours that you can use as a Birth announcement if you wish.
A fully edited gallery of images that you can download and use as you wish within 7-10 days.
A gift basket with some pregnancy/baby treats.
Birth Stories are currently £750. The first 3 families to book in for Birth Photography in 2022 receive it at a reduced price of £500.
More images can be found in the Blog section.