lesson: getting started in the world of birth photography | by Ashley Marston
Lots of people ask me how I started Birth Photography and how they can ‘break into it’ themselves.
When I started, Birth Photography was relatively unknown in my area. There was a small number of people throughout Canada, but I was one of the first on Vancouver Island. So I had to start by showing people what it was even about. WHY you would want to have such a thing photographed let alone PAY for it!
So the education part was tricky. Luckily, it has become more mainstream now so photographers just starting out have had that road paved already.
What I did was a model call. Some may disagree with this. I didn’t mind ‘working for free’ if the images could be used as marketing. My first three families signed a full model release and I put the work out there, everywhere I could. I also did a trade for a local blogger, and she blogged about her positive experience with me and her photographs. Word of mouth is everything and it is definitely something people talk about, so when you are putting out your best work and your clients are happy...it equals success, every time.
Get to know the birth workers in your area. Collaborate! I did an info session with the local doulas...I got to know the midwifes and I went out of my way to introduce myself the the local OB’s and Doctors.
Bring the nurses treats, always be respectful, know when it is time to leave the family alone and when you can be in the space with your camera. Take breaks. Find Balance. All of these things, little tips to ensure that you and your families are getting everything they need and everything they hired you for.