Ashley Siegert

Ashley Siegert from Fig-Mint Photography discusses adding Birth Photography to your photography business. What unique challenges this brings and things you should consider before adding this to your business.

Ashley Siegert

(go here for her About Me page,  selected info below.)

Founder of The Ultimate Birth Photography Resource
Ashley has been shooting professionally since 2011. She earned her Certified Professional Photographer license in 2014 and her Master Photographic Craftsman degree in January of 2017. Ashley learned storytelling and production from her 13 year career in sports television working for ESPN.

Show Notes:

(paraphrased responses)

  • Intro Questions:

    • Tell us about your background and what led you to photography?
      • Background in Television, started looking for work after moving and was hired as an Ad Rep.  Turned into taking photos for Blog and decided to take a photography course and dived into photography.
      • Preemieprints – which lead to birth photography
      • In business for six years and birth photography for four years
    • What gear do you shot with and what do you use for post processing?
      • Mirrorless cameras with no shutter sound is a plus
      • Take to DSLR cameras with different settings…one for ambient lighting and one for spotlights
      • Nikon D800 and D610
      • Lens:
        • 35 Sigma Prime (80% of time)
        • 70-200 on second body
        • 105 Macro to capture eyelashes etc
      • Avoid flash whenever possible…at times the home birthing requires outside light
  • Interview

    • Is this a “fad” or a growing trend that you see for the photography industry?
      • It has been around…family taking photos and/or video
      • Industry is in an upswing
      • Social media is pushing the photography forward
      • Ability to remember through photography
      • Hired by the parents and usually more affluent families
    • This seems like a job really only suited to a female photographer.
      • Course I am teaching has two men, one is a doctor in Ghana.  
      • As long as the photographer is professional there are no issues
    • Tell me about becoming a banana.
      • What I offer is different from other photographers
    • What photographer should add this to their service and what do they need to consider when making that decision?
      • Newborn photographers have the easiest transition.
      • Can’t be bothered my medical settings, blood, terminology etc.
      • Must have ability to work in different lighting situations as you can’t change
    • How do you go about getting permission from the hospital & doctors to shoot?
      • Preparing ahead of time and working with the hospital
        • Hospitals with staff doctors and the lead doctors makes the decision
        • Hospitals with private physicians require different approvals
      • Each facility is different
    • How do you handle the scheduling of a birth shoot?  What about multiple clients?  You must be on edge every time the phone rings.
      • Streamlining your business
      • Editing quickly
      • Have a good community of other photographers as a backup in the event you can not be at the birth (this is explained prior to the event)
    • B&W vs Color?
      • B&W tempers the situation where it make become too graphic
    • Has a mother ever pulled out at the last moment because they changed their mind?
      • Have not had anyone backed out
      • Usually they are happy they went forward with the process
    • Is there money in birth photography and if so, how does it compare to other aspects like, infant, family, seniors and weddings?
      • Depends on if you are pricing just for the birth versus pricing for a year long package
      • If exclusively for birth only you need to take into account the time that you may incur due to a long birth
      • This is a luxury item and you need to know that you will be on call.  
      • You should be charging a minimum of four figures
    • Insurance?
      • Discussed with Insurance Carrier and have been assured that the basic business policy will cover what I am doing…including C-Section / Operating Rooms
    • Why can’t the Dad just take the photos?
      • They will get caught up in the moment and will not capture all of the images that I would be able to create
    • Ground rules for each client?  
      • Yes, this is discussed prior to determine how much / how little the client wants
      • Usually will get some graphic photos to capture the “first breath”
      • Capturing the “Simba Moment
    • Any resources for a photographer that wants to get into birth photography
      • Video program on website

LINKS:

Ashley Siegert

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