Hello and welcome!
Here are all of the details that you will need about a birth session! Below you will find pricing details, F.A.Q about birth photography and how to book your session. Please scroll down to see all of the info and then get in touch to get on my schedule or to address any other questions or concerns. I really look forward to chatting with you and documenting one of the happiest and most important days of your life!
I take pride in my work and I take your birth very seriously
but I also really love my job! I'm 110% committed to my clients
and your birth takes priority over my personal and business schedule.
Your Birth Session will include Photos AND Video!
-A preconsultation in person or on the phone
(Let's chat before you decide to hire me!)
-My on call time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the
time you are 37 weeks until baby is born
Coverage from active labor until up to 3 hours after baby is born
-ALL 100+ high resolution images
on a custom USB drive for printing any
size prints and for sharing online
-online/mobile private viewing gallery
-8x8 photo book
-3-5 minute birth video made up of live video clips set to music
*flexible payment plans are available!
*$500 +tax due at booking
*add 6% sales tax to all prices per PA law
Why should I consider a Birth Session?
Birth photography documents your full birth experience. From my own personal experience and from talking to many Mothers and past birth clients, your birth will most likely be a blur of memories and you will forget a lot of the details. Birth photography is a way to capture these memories forever. From labor to delivery, I'll photograph your strength throughout labor, the support of your birthing partner and birth team, the first breaths, the first time you lay eyes on your baby and the first time you hold them in your arms. I will capture the pure emotions and elation that you experience throughout the birth of your baby.
What if my spouse/labor partner is hesitant to have a photographer present?
This is a totally normal response for most husbands but I assure you that I have not had one husband regret hiring me to photograph the birth of their baby. Please know that I do not use a flash during a birth. I believe that a flash would be very distracting to a mother and her partner while in labor and disturbing to a brand new baby. Between my high end equipment and my experience, I am more than capable of capturing images in a dimly lit room.
During your labor and delivery there are times that you will not even know that I am in the room. However, if you are feeling up to conversation I am happy to chat. And at times I will step in and help in any way that I am needed; e.g., getting ice water or a pillow, holding your hand or giving words of encouragment, communicating with family in the waiting room, etc.. However, I will never come between you and your birthing partner.
In addition to not using a flash, I do not rapid fire my shutter and you will most likely not even notice that I am taking photos. I use a lens that allows me to stand back and out of the way to capture all of the images. And because I am documenting everything naturally, I will not ask or expect you or your birth partner to look into the camera and smile.
When and how do I contact you when I go into labor?
Communication is VERY important when it comes to birth photography. I eat, sleep and shower with my phone when I am on call. After photographing over 50 births, I have NEVER missed a birth and I do not want you to be the first! I ask that you contact me via text or phone if you *think* that you may be in labor. Even if it is at 3am. And even if it might be a false alarm. I'd prefer to get an early heads up rather than take a chance at missing the birth. Throughout your labor I like to have updates to see how you are progressing. It is VERY important to contact me when you leave for the hospital or birthing center. If you are having a homebirth, it is best to have me come when you decide to have your Midwife come.
What if you can’t make the birth?
If I am to miss your birth because you fail to let me know that you are in active labor, or if you progress much faster than normal, I will still come to the hospital immediately after you contact me to capture all of the moments following the birth. If I miss the birth due to car problems/accident, serious illness or a family emergency I will apply your deposit as a credit to a fresh 48, newborn or famly session or I will refund your deposit. But rest assured I have yet to miss a birth in the last eight years!
Will you be present during my entire labor?
I will arrive when you are in active labor (5-6cm) and if labor is progressing slowly, as most do, I will excuse myself from the room every once in a while. This gives you time to rest or just be with your labor partner alone for a while. Your comfort is very important to me so if you ever feel like you need me to take a break, just tell me! I promise I will not be offended! I never stray far from your room and check back or check in with the nurses to see how labor is progressing. Once baby is born I will be there to document all of those first moments with Mom and Dad and while baby is cleaned, getting foot prints etc. After I feel that I have captured enough images I will leave the room to give Mom, Dad and baby some time alone. But don't worry, I'll return shortly for more images and will stay for 2-3 hours.
What if I need to have a C-Section?
If your Dr's decide to schedule you for a cesarean before your due date you have two options. You can apply your deposit to a Fresh 48 Session or I can come to the hospital and get photos pre-op and then I'll resume photographing as soon as the nurses allow me into recovery. Some hospitals will not allow me back in until you are placed in your room when you come out of recovery. We can also request that I be permitted into the OR. I've been allowed into the OR before but it depends on the hospital and usually it is up to the anesthesiologist. If they decide to do a cesarean after you have labored for some time than you can not apply the deposit to a Fresh 48, I will just resume photographing as soon as I am permitted.
Step #1: Contact me ASAP to see if I am available around your estimated due date. I only accept a limited number of births so it is best to contact me sooner than later to get on my schedule. Then we can meet in person, skype/facetime or chat on the phone, then you can decide if you want to hire me.
Step #2: Fill out my online contract and pay the $500+ 6% tax retainer fee via credit/debit card, e-check or PayPal credit. I also accept personal checks. This retainer may be made in two payments of $250+tax. The $500 retainer will be deducted from the final payment. At this time I will also send you a short questionnaire to get a little more information about you. Births are not considered booked and I am not on-call until the contract and retainer fee are both received.
Step #3: Contact me as soon as labor begins and I will photograph your birth! I'll arrive when you are in active labor (5-6cm) and stick around for up to three hours after baby is born.
Step #4: I'll send you a few sneak peeks within 48 hours after baby is born and then your edited online gallery will be ready in 2-3 weeks. Your final payment may be made into payments. (there are no added fee's or interest if you decide on a payment plan) Once paid in full I will order your professionally printed products and prepare your package to be delivered. Products will be delivered within 2-3 weeks after payment. Digital images and your birth movie can be downloaded as soon as final payment is made.
I've photographed at all of the main birthing hospitals in the Pittsburgh area including Magee, West Penn, Forbes, Mercy, St. Clair and Heritage Valley in Sewickley and Beaver. I also have photographed many births at The Midwife Center and I've documented many homebirths with some of the best midwives and doulas in the Pittsburgh area.
"Besides being a talented photographer, Mary Beth is one of the kindest people that I have ever crossed paths with. When I received our images, I was so happy! The pictures do a wonderful job of capturing all of the emotions of our daughter's birth! In addition to the beautiful photos, we will always be thankful to Mary Beth for the kindness that she showed us on the night of our daughter's birth. I only have the highest praise for both her photography skills and her character." -Ashley
"Mary Beth is an amazing photographer. Even better human being. It is clear that births are emotional to her. And that's translate to her photos. She acute aware of your special and challenging moment. She knows how to be present and discrete. And she promptly answer emails and text messages." -Renata
"Mary Beth is amazing! She captured the home birth of our second and third children, and I only wish that she would have been able to be there for the birth of our first! The photos that we have from that day will be cherished for a lifetime and are so full of all of the wonder and emotion that we felt that day! She is wonderfully talented and our area is lucky to have her!" -Judy
"I couldn't think of just one thing we love about Mary Beth Miller because there are just so many! She first did our photos for the home birth of our 3rd son, then we booked her several more times since then. We look forward to many more beautiful memories captured and great times with her. We would recommend her to anyone anytime!" -Olivia
"Mary Beth photographed my homebirth and she was fantastic! Even before the birth, she met with me and kept in contact with me. he captured beautiful pictures! I've recommended her to multiple friends. Thank you so much Mary Beth! Nothing is more special than the birth of a baby and you caught it on camera!" -Michelle