There are so many aspects of Birth Photography, I'd be surprised if you didn't have questions! There is so much value in birth photography, if your wondering why birth photography matters, why it's important, or why you should consider it please click here.
Otherwise check out our FAQ below and If you don't find what your looking for here, please feel free to contact me. I love to chat, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
"More then a photographer. I am a passionate and compassionate birth worker. I will hold your hand, honor your space, dry your tears, connect with your loved ones, and capture memories that sing to your soul."
Behind the scenes
Why is birth photography an investment?
My birth photography packages and pricing can be found here.
Birth photography, is a very special calling that is dear to my heart. I strongly believe in the value of having your birth photographed, and I believe every mother deserves the opportunity to have those moments captured. I believe Birth Photography is important, and can change lives. I also believe that we as a society need to put more value in what is perceived as women's work. Part of tackling women's rights, and giving value to the birthing mother, is by giving value to those who work to care for her. The birth of your child, is just as important as your wedding day, and so much more is at stake. Birth workers are priceless. As a birth worker and birth photographer, the first step in bringing value to the birthing experience, is by valuing myself, my work, and my mission.
This is not just a luxury item, but one that can have a huge impact on your experience and mental health. Investing in birth photography, is investing in empowering yourself, in cherishing your child, and embracing your experience in all its uniqueness. There are SO many ways to be able to afford your birth photographer, and I encourage you to give it a go! I offer payment plans, and the opportunity to create a registry for your birth photography. For more ideas and tips on saving, read my blog post here.
I can not wait to be a part of your birth story.
Birth photography work, is not for the faint of heart. It takes a special personality, and a dedication that goes beyond every other type of photography. Imagine hiring a professional wedding photographer, but telling them that the bride will not be choosing the date until moments before the wedding. The location may change, the lighting is unpredictable and barely controllable, it may happen in daylight or at 2 am. It may be a 2 hour ordeal, or stretch past 24 hours. The guests will be highly emotional, there is a chance you may get amniotic fluid on you, and you have to capture everything without giving any directions or poses. That wedding photographer would look at you like you had three heads, and can you imagine what they would charge?
Being on call is a challenging lifestyle, and that's a huge part of the commitment of birth photography.
Birth photographers must be exceptionally skilled in all lighting situations, able to work with anyone, and be a calm and peaceful presence. They must be able to go with the flow, adapt, be non-judgmental, and change plans in a second. They must be able to observe silently and respect a birth space. They should have at least some birth education. They must have high end expensive equipment in order to work in low light conditions. They must be aware of the effects of birth trauma. They must be able to work with hospital staff, doctors, midwives, nurses, doulas, mothers and fathers, and possibly emotional or difficult individuals. They also must invest in running a business, marketing, caring for equipment, insuring themselves. They must be skilled in editing, and invest in all the costs that come with the professional post processing of images, including the hours of time it takes to cull, process, edit, and deliver hundreds of photos. There are also the on call costs of gas, childcare, food, and the long hours spent in a birth space. This is not a job for everyone.
What to expect
Every mother and family I work with gets a custom experience to fit their needs. First, we will meet up at a coffee shop and get to know one another. I want to hear all about you, your visions for your birth, your family, your previous birth stories. Connection is very important to me, and I do my best to create a bond with my clients before their birth so they are comfortable with me when the time comes for delivery.
This consultation is free of charge, and can be used to ask questions, get to know me, and make sure I am the perfect addition to your birth team.
After this we will sign a contract, set up a payment plan, and stay in close contact until your birth day. Feel free to reach out to me for encouragement, additional questions, or support.
When should I call?
It is very important that you let me know as soon as you suspect you may be in labor. Even if its a false alarm, even if its the middle of the night, I want you to call me! A month before your due date I set your phone number to my favorites in my phone, and turn on bypass. This means my phone will ring if you call me from this number even when it's set to silent or do not disturb. Its important that you CALL, and not text, if you know you are in labor. Texting is great for updates, but easier for me to miss. It is also important that you call from the number you give me, or that you give me any possible numbers you may be calling from. My phone will only ring on bypass mode if you call from the number I have set.
When I get that call, if you are ready for me, I grab my bags that are already packed and head out the door as soon as possible.
When do you come? What do you do when you get here?
We will make a plan during our consultation to determine when the best time for me to arrive is. This depends on how many births you have had already, what your labors are like, and how far your birthing location is from me.
I typically play it by ear, I am excellent at reading labor situations and have great instincts when it comes to this. I can typically tell by your tone of voice and pattern of contractions if you're getting close or not. I rarely miss a birth, and I am happy to wait it out with you if a birth becomes unexpectedly long.
Every client and birth is unique, my presence in the room is always positive, soft, and calm. I have extensive birth training, I am empathetic and great at reading the room. If you are really laboring, I arrive quietly and begin to document your birth. If you are not quite into it yet, I may say hello, chat with you, or be an encourager should you need it. Some births I am fly on the wall, and mothers say they barley noticed my presence. Others I have been a strong support person, offering comfort and prayer and encouragement where needed. I am happy to adapt to be the exact person you need with you in the moment. I can also come and go if you want privacy during intervals of your labor.
What do you capture? What if something happens during a birth?
I capture everything during your birth from the contractions and tender moments of support, to the labor and delivery, and all baby's first moments earthside. I typically stay 1-3 hours after birth to get all the beautiful skin to skin photos, baby's first latch, being measured, and meeting family. The modesty level of your photos depends on your birth, and your preferences. I tend to lean more towards modest photos during the actual moment of birth, but I am more then happy to capture those crowing shots if you request. We can talk more about your vision at our coffee date.
In the event that something happens during birth, traumatic or otherwise, I am very respectful of the space. I hold space in every birth for the unknown, I capture everything, and if in the end there was something captured that you don't want, its your story and you can choose to keep or not keep any photos delivered. I can also put especially sensitive moments into a separate folder for you to view when you are ready if you need time to process.
In the event of trauma, or emergency situations, I capture until I am asked to stop, or if I feel there is a moment that requires delicacy I may choose to stop. Even the hardest moments, can become fond memories, and I do not discriminate or refuse to tell a story the way it unfolds. If I am asked to stop photographing by the staff, or the mother, I will of course respect that fully.
What if you miss the birth?
It is rare that I should miss a birth. If it is clear that I will not make it, I may send in a trusted back up photographer in my place. In the event I miss the birth and a backup photographer was not sent, depending on how much I missed I will spend extra time after the birth to capture the story from the point when I arrive. In most situations I am able to capture the same amount of photos by coming after the birth, or the next day, as I would have delivered had I made it in time. If the birth is missed completely, all payment will be transferred to credits for future sessions. This can include anything from a fresh 48 session, to newborn, postpartum, coming home photos, or family sessions. Because of the unpredictable nature of birth I can not guarantee my arrival in time, and due to the nature of running a small business I do not offer refunds except in special circumstances decided solely by me. I will however do the best I can to make up for any missed moments and still deliver the best experience I can.
Do you photograph c-section births?
YES! C-sections hold a very special place in my heart, and I have seen some c-sections that are incredibly breathtaking and empowering. I believe that birth is beautiful and worth capturing no matter where or how it happens. What matters to me is that you are respected, honored, and supported. And when your not, I will be there to support you through that as well.
Planned C-section births can go one of two ways. It is your responsibility and right to advocate for me to capture your c-section. Hospitals all over the country are accepting birth photographers into the OR and giving moms the experience they deserve, by letting them decide what they want captured. This is something that has to be advocated for, and the stronger voice is always that of the mother and father. I can give you tips on what to say, and how to advocate for this, but its up to you and your doctor. I will stand by you and we can advocate together up until minutes before your c-section. Typically they have no problem with photos being taken, they just have issue with the number of people in the room. Typically just one person is allowed and I am happy to step in as that support person, if you desire.
In the event that I am not allowed in the OR, don't worry, we are still going to make this experience amazing for you! I still remain on call for your birth. I typically arrive at the hospital a few minutes after you have been given a room, and I capture all the before moments (your birth team getting ready, you putting on your cap, baby's heart being monitored, etc) and the after depends on hospital policy. In some hospitals I am allowed to wait in the recovery room, and capture baby as they come out with you. Others, I am required to wait a few hours until you get transferred to a mother baby room. In that case I typically leave to get lunch or coffee and work, and come back when you are transferred to the visiting room. Then I stay and capture precious moments between mom and baby, between baby and any other family or friends present, and photos of baby in their bassinet or in front of the window. This time is super special, and I really adore capturing it. Having a birth photographer at your c-section in surgery, or just before and after, can be an amazing way to honor your birth and the beauty in it, right on through those hard emotions of giving up a birth plan you may have otherwise envisioned.
Do you travel for birth photography?
Absolutely. I have travel packages available upon request. I charge a fee for travel for any birth outside an hour and a half from my home. I would be happy to work with you to arrange for your birth to be captured by me no matter where you live! I would also be happy to recommend amazing birth photographers in your area. Birth photographers are great about community over competition!
When and how will my photos be delivered?
My time frame for processing and editing is 6-8 weeks depending on the rush of the season and how many other births I am editing at the time. I offer complimentary in person photo delivery. We can meet in your home, or at a coffee shop, and go through your album together. You will receive your photos on a custom usb at this meeting. This gives us the chance to talk about which photos you are comfortable with me sharing, and photo products should you desire them. We have beautiful high quality prints and albums available to purchase. Upon request this meet up can be forgone, in favor of a digital link with your photos.
Every birth produces a different amount of photos depending on how the story played out, but most sessions yield over 200. Photos are professionally edited, you will receive a variety of photos, some in color and some in black and white depending on lighting and my interpretation as an artist.
How can I prepare for the best birth photography experience?
The most important thing you can do is discuss my presence with everyone who will be at your birth. Husbands, children, mothers, nurses, drs, midwives, doulas, whoever will be there should know you are having your birth photographed. You are responsible for letting me know any restrictions your place of birth may have related to photography.
The quality of your photos depends on the amount of light available in the room. I respect a dark birthing space, and am skilled at capturing photos in any situation, but the darker the room, the more grain or noise will be in your photos. This does not mean they will be bad photos, they will just be darker and have more noise. I will find a way to create and tell your birth story beautifully regardless. Good lighting isn't nessisary, but is encouraged! If you are ok with some lights being turned on when needed, or window blinds remaining open during daytime births, please make sure you tell your birth team! Often times doulas, or family, will close blinds and turn off lights, to help the mother birth. It is your job to decide what you want before the birth, and communicate that with everyone so that were all on the same page, on the day of the birth I will not be stepping on anyone's toes to get perfect lighting.
Another thing you can do is designate a person to keep me updated. Someone who will call me if you can't (give me their number in advance!) who can let me know when you are in labor, whats happening, what your room number is if you are birthing in a hospital, etc.
Those are the basics! You can always prepare further if you desire to! You can decorate your birth space with lights, decoration, birth affirmations, and tapestries. Hospitals don't mind when you bring in your own items to make the space yours. If your having a home birth, dedicating an area and cleaning it free of clutter can make for better photos. In water births, waterproof fairy or string lights can be placed between the tub liner and the pool, for beautiful illumination in the water. There are also bath friendly lights you can purchase that light up when they enter water. You can choose to purchase a birthing gown, or bralette, even special towels for after baby is born to curl up in.
Do you have doula/midwife/hospital recomendations?
Yes! Please contact me and I can send you any of my recommendations. I LOVE photographing with doulas and midwives. I also partner with a few local doulas, and when you book us as a team you will get a discount from both of our services.
What camera do you use?
I capture with a Nikon D750. I use a 50mm lens in most situations, but am on the hunt for a 24mm. I keep a backup camera and lens in my bag at every birth. I do not use flash.
How did you get started in birth photography?
You can read this story and more about me on my about me page.
My husband/other family member is not on board- help!
I would be happy to meet anyone, and answer any questions anyone on your birth team has for me! I truly believe that this is more then just some nice photos. Birth Photography can have a lasting positive impact on the mental health of the mother. A birth mothers mental health determines what kind of mother she will be, how her baby will thrive, and how her family will process and recover from any birth. It is about health, processing, embracing memories, and empowering birthing women. To see how beautiful and strong you were, on a day where you may have felt pain and weakness- can truly change your life. Once your partner understands that, they are so much more on board in most situations!
Ultimately, this is YOUR birth and your say. If birth photography means a lot to you, fight for it! I am happy to stand by you and help you make it happen. Your voice caries the most weight, because this is your birth mama! YOU are the one that has to do this, and whatever you need to get there is what matters.
I will also note that I am extremely respectful and professional. Getting to know one another is an important part of my process. It is more like having a good friend, or another professional in the room then a stranger. I will always put the mothers comfort and health over getting the shot. I work well with doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, and family. You have the right to have your birth photographed- It is your baby and your body. If you are having issues getting your providers on board, please reach out, I would love to give you the right words to ensure them of the benefits, safety, and professionalism of birth photographers.
When should we book?
As soon as possible! I only take 2-3 clients per month, so my calendar fills up quickly! A deposit is required to book your due date, and payment plans can be made from there.
Some people plan their birth photographer as they are planning their pregnancy. It's never too early to book with me. If you are interested in having me capture your entire story from your first appointments, to your birth announcement and so on, reach out and we will build a custom package together.
Are you a late planner? Baby due any minute? Check with me to see if I have last minute openings, I am on board for adventure!
Do you offer discounts?
Yes! I offer a $50 discount to anyone who signs a full model release, allowing me to use any and all photos from their birth professionally.
I offer a $100 discount to military, firefighters, police officers, first responders, doulas, other birth workers, and teachers.
I also offer a discount when you book my services and the services of a local doula I partner with. (you would receive a discount on both of our services)
Twice a year, I giveaway a free birth to a mother in need. These Births are donation based. You can donate a birthing session to a specific person, or choose to contribute any amount large or small to the mothers I choose for these sessions.
I'm not sure if I can afford this. Any tips?
YES! There are so many ways to make this attainable, and I would love to help you do so.
First of all, I offer a complimentary custom registry experience where I create a registry page just for you. This allows friends and family to contribute to your birth photography account with us. Your registry page will be customized to tell your story, and invite friends and family to contribute in any amount they desire to your photography in lieu of buying excess baby items that you probably wont need. This can be a great replacement for a baby registry, OR just an amazing addition to one you already have. You would be surprised how many people are willing to pitch in to help you capture these once in a lifetime moments! It really makes it so special too.
I also have a blog post with some other options and tips here.
I have been told my baby may not survive birth, can I still have a photographer?
Absolutely. I will always photograph your birth story no matter how it turns out. In the case of a baby passing, I will spend extra time to get as many photos as needed to remember and honor your little one, knowing that these will be the only photos you have of them makes it that much more important.
I will photograph a baby being born at any gestation or size, even the earliest smallest babies deserve to be remembered.
I will also photograph baby's in the NICU, and spend additional time there to capture everything you need.
Leann Allen is amazing! We had Leann do our birth photos. Not only did I get the sweetest pictures, I also gained a true friend. Birth is a very intimate thing and she honored that. Leann has a good intuition of knowing when you may need a word of encouragement and when you may need a little space during the birth process. My family is so grateful to her and the sweet gift of photos we will cherish forever. I hope Leann can be present for all my babies coming into the world.
-Mattie, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann photographed my son's birth this summer and I 100% suggest anyone thinking of hiring a birth photographer to just meet Leann once and you'll see why she is so highly rated. I'm a very private person in general and especially in labor and only wanted my fiancee and doula in the room to minimize noise and distractions. When I decided to look into birth photography I knew it would take a special person who could capture the moments and memories I wanted without stepping into my birth space. Leann blended into my birth team seamlessly, she was there but she wasn't. I never once felt like I was being photographed or distracted by her quiet and unassuming presence in the room. When I saw the photos from my birth I was blown away by the raw emotions captured as well as her talent for photography. If you hire Leann to do your birth or any other event you will not be disappointed!
-Serena, birthed in Statesville
Leann is absolutely amazing! Not only was she my photographer but an amazing support person and friend during my labor and after! Her presence put my mind at ease. Her heart truly goes into her work and It’s so evident in her passion and love for labor and birth! I am looking forward to working with her again for nursing and post partum photos! I will never forget my birth experience and Leann’s kind and encouraging words! ❤️❤️ She will always hold a special place in my heart!
-Tiffany, birthed at Forsyth Medical Center Winston Salem
I highly reccomend her as your photographer. She is very unbelievably easy to work with, both in staying in contact during labor, the day of your birth, and when she delivered the images. She is super responsive over text and facebook and provided our photos way ahead of schedule. She even sent some gorgeous sneak peek prints the day after with a birth announcement. In person, she is really kind and friendly and we were comfortable around her, we couldn't even tell she was in the room. End-to-end, we couldn’t have had a better experience with her or our photos. I couldn’t recommend her more!” you can truly see how much she loves what she does through her photos!
-Mindy, Birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
She is the best photographer! She was so easy to get along with and fit right in with my family. I highly recommend her. I mentioned a few things I wanted her to focus on and she was very accommodating. Her work is amazing and I am beyond thrilled with her. If you are looking for a photographer you have came to the right place. She also made our birth announcement and had it ready very quick.
-Ashley, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann was my labor and birth photographer as well as my Newborn photographer. She was so kind and captured the experience marvelously. She felt like a doula, helping me through tough moments of labor. She was kind and patient. I would use her again for any of my photography needs.
-Crystal, home birth
Such a wonderful photographer & person. I was amazed at how beautiful our birth photos are! God has given her a special gift, to capture perfect images for families. Would definitely use her again!
-Janie, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann is amazing, she was kind, patient & very caring. She took gorgeous pictures, exactly what I wanted! I will be using her for my future photography needs!
-Patricia, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann did an amazing job and showed a lot of care. The hospital was not very accommodating but she still caught some beautiful moments and was great company when my husband had to leave.
-Heather, birthed at High Point Regional