Professional Photographers dedicate years of learning and experience to master their craft, invest thousands of dollars in camera bodies, lenses, and equipment and editing programs, create a legal photography business entity recognized by the state from which to conduct business....
My offerings are a little different....
I am birth doula certified by Doulas of North America (DONA), a (former) professional filmmaker, and hobby photographer currently merging my love for all the roles here in Northern New Jersey. So how does it work - how can I be your birth doula and photographer at the same time and what exactly is my level of expertise?
Well, to answer the first part of the question... If I am hired solely as your Birth Photographer then yes, 99% of the time I will capture everything that you would want captured. If I am hired in a dual role as your Birth Photographer/Doula, I can do both jobs at about 95%, as there will definitely be a few moments where I am not able to capture a photo or not provide the support needed depending on what you have expressed you want. At our prenatal visit, we can discuss what is more important to you, either the birth photography or the doula support, with the caveat being that birth is fluid, and oftentimes intense, so your needs may change in the moment and as a doula I am trained to respond to the woman's physiological needs.
Okay, so what is my level of expertise? I have been a lifelong hobby photographer, however once I committed to offering birth photography services, I invested in a new digital camera/lens/flash. editing system, etc... took a class to polish my skills, paid for pro membership and enlisted the help of a designer friend to create a watermark. Photographers are always learning, however I feel confident with my skills and equipment at this time. Please see my gallery page to see the progression of my work. I will continue to build my portfolio over the next year.
So yes, I believe a doula and a birth photographer can fulfill both roles simultaneously, but with limitations. I also feel a client can hire a professional birth doula photographer in just one role but feel secure knowing they have hired someone with doula expertise as their photographer or someone with photography skills (if enlisted) as their doula. I will always have the heart of a doula and the eye of the photographer whatever role I am in. Best wishes for you birth and props to all the birth doula photographers in the world!