Nashville Birth Photographer | Should I hire a photographer who doubles as a doula?

December 10, 2022

I gave birth to my 2nd son in 2012, and had a doula and a midwife at my birth at Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, TN. I loved them both and could not imagine my birth without them. My doula, made a HUGE difference in my labor pains. In fact, when she left to go to the bathroom, I was so upset she wasn’t working on my back because it made such a difference and I had a contraction while she was in there.

I also had a filmmaker at my birth and have been obsessed with my birth film since. It is absolutely one of my most treasured possessions.

There is no way I could have had one person fill these roles. Each one had their own very complex job that required a lot of brain work and I could not have gone through a contraction without my doula, and therefore, she also could not have been photographing and or videoing my birth for me.

Years later, as I have stepped into the role of Birth Videographer and photographer, I have seen sweet well meaning people in the industry of birth, offer both as a package. I have explored this idea for myself and also what my opinion of it was. I have talked to mothers who have had doulas and I have spoken to many birth workers themselves and they all say the same thing… One person cannot do both jobs well. I have also heard from birth workers that they have witnessed these individuals in person and that they were not able to be there for the client as a birth support because they were too busy trying to capture their birth. I have a friend who is both a doula and a birth photographer, she said she offered the combo twice and that “it was terrible” and so she never offered the combination again. She made them hire her for one or the other and then hire another person.

You, are the mother. This is YOUR birth. This is your choice. But because it is so important for the birth space and experience, I felt compelled to share my thoughts in a blog. I will never put the ability to book clients because I sold them a package deal to beat my competition or to make my brand look better, over the ability to provide the BEST footage of their birth. My clients come first, not my profits. But also, I do not know the intentions of these sweet meaning people and have no idea why they decided to offer both. My only assumption is to provide a package deal. But if the package deal does not serve the client, then it should not be offered.

To learn more about Documenting Birth, click here.

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