Two years ago this month I became a certified doula! Today marks the kick off of my new packages and fees as well. I wanted to clarify the difference between my two services - doula vs. photo - by sharing again this post from August 2012.
Please feel free to contact me here with any questions.
My photo service includes:
* An in person, phone or Skype consult to talk about your birth plans, answer any questions, talk over when you'll call me in labor, etc.
* Being on call for you from 38 weeks gestation through your birth, but I am technically on call (no going out of town) from 38 to 42 weeks. Earlier if there are any concerns. This means I go nowhere without my phone, all plans have to be tentative, any appointment might have to be rescheduled, friends are use to me canceling last second, I go to bed early (I try!) and I don't even head into the cities without checking on you first.
* Meeting you once labor is confirmed by your care provider then documenting your labor, birth, and newborn time. I remain around 1 to 2 hours postpartum to capture the newborn exam, first feeding, cuddles, a family photo if possible, etc.
* An online gallery with around 30 and 40 images, though I cannot guarantee any number as this will vary based on the speed of your labor! The link can be shared with friends, family, posted on your Facebook page or website, etc. Depending on your mobile device this will also include a customized app "button" with your baby's photo that can be saved to your phone/tablet homescreen for you and friends/family. Your baby's own app! 🙂
* The large digital files of your edited images in a customized black & white (with select color photos) on a USB drive as well as web sized watermarked images for online sharing. You'll receive a print release for these images but copyright is retained by me. I will not ever share any images online that you do not want shared, and I only post photos that are safe for general viewing audiences! We'll discuss that in more detail.
My doula package is described in detail here and it differs from my photo-only service in the amount of coverage, and thus the number of final images you'll receive. As your doula I will be meeting with you during prenatal visits and we'll cover the photography details, and I'll be in touch with you and joining you earlier in labor. This does give me more opportunity to capture images, but that's only when you do not need me in another capacity. Photos are considered a complementary part of my doula service- they are not guaranteed. As a doula my primary focus is your support, which may mean I will probably not have a chance to even pull out my camera until the baby has arrived. I've always been able to get some beautiful newborn captures, of course! But during your labor I'm there to make sure you and your partner are getting the help you need, and photos will come second to that. As a result your online gallery and final number of images will be significantly less than if I were there strictly as your photographer. If there are specific photos you are hoping to capture (such as the actual moments of birth) then I highly encourage you to consider hiring both a photographer and a doula, and I can refer you to either option to work alongside me at your birth.
So in a nutshell, as your doula I am spending time before and after the birth learning how to best support you and providing hands on care for you throughout your birth experience as well as educational support before and after - providing photos is a bonus. As your photographer I am a quiet observer in the room, capturing many more images and trying to remain as unobtrusive as possible. Occasionally parents have hired me as a photographer and then during the birth have turned to me asking for doula support. Please know that I want so very much for you to have the care you need during your labor - but if you hire me as your photographer then I am NOT there in the doula role and not providing any verbal or hands on care. (Of course I answered them as best I could in the moment!) If there is any possibility that you may want doula care then PLEASE - consider hiring a doula in addition to your photographer.
I'm happy to be in either role, but I want you to know exactly what those roles entail. 🙂
Any questions? Leave me a comment or I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.