Fort Collins Birth Photographer - Chelsea Delanie

+ Are you a Doula or just a Photographer?

Any person who steps foot into a birth space brings a certain energy and presence right along with them... it is critical for any person who is working with pregnant and birthing mothers, to truly understand and respect the sacred and physiological processes of birth. I really hope that anyone who is thinking about becoming a birth photographer has put serious thought into that - because this is NO JOKE.

I AM a certified Birth & Bereavement doula through and have trained on some of the most intense birth situations a family can face. I know when I might need to put my camera down, to make sure medical staff can focus on the number one priority:the safety of you and your baby(ies). I can keep my cool if the shit meconium hits the fan.. and will be able to hold a calm space for you while you focus and rock your birth.

I am not just a photographer. I have been trained and certified by some of the top birth photographers in the world, and I know my camera and birth - inside and out. From the medical terminology to the physiology of a birthing woman's body, to the extremely funky lighting situations... I know all the details of a birth story that "just some photographer" might not think to photograph. Most importantly though - your safety and sacred space is always held with the highest compassion and professionalism. We can talk more about what kinds of support you will need when we meet in person.

+ Do you photograph the entire birth process?

I will arrive once you are in active labor, and I will stay to document your entire birth story until 2 hours postpartum. When we meet to see if we are a good fit, we will talk about the details and everything that you may (or may not) want me to photograph while I am with you.

+ I really want a birth photographer, but my budget is limited. Do you offer payment plans?

YES! I do have several payment options. We can work out weekly or monthly or semi-monthly payments. I also offer Gift Registries! Instead of a push present or baby shower swag, you can ask friends and family to contribute to your birth photography package! The memories of your baby's birth are PRICELESS, and the hours after your baby's birth will fly faster than you could ever imagine. Registries allow your loved ones to contribute to a truly meaningful gift you will treasure for generations.

+ What if my labor starts before 38 weeks, or lasts a really long time?

When you hire me to be a member of your birth team, I go on call for you from 38 weeks until you deliver. This means that I limit my travel to within a 1 hour radius of your birth location, I stay within cell phone service, with my phone by my side - ringer on - at all times. I carry my gear with me everywhere I go. If you go into labor before 38 weeks, I may require extra time to make my necessary arrangements, grab my gear,and/or I may need to send my back up photographer - but I will still be there for you as soon as I possibly can.

If you have an exceptionally long labor (24+ hours) I do have a team of back up birth photographers that I can call on if absolutely necessary. I have never had to use backup, and hope I never do, but the ladies I work with have just as much respect and training in the birth space as I do.

+ What if I have a C-section?

Births are beautiful and powerful stories of new life, no matter how they unfold. If you have a cesarean delivery, I may still be able to photograph your baby's birth in the Operating room! It's important that you discuss this with your medical provider. Let them know these pictures mean the world to you, that I am trained to respect the sterile field, and I will respectfully document your story without sacrificing the safety of anyone involved.

In some circumstances, I may not be allowed back. If that is the case, I will document as much of your story as possible until you go through the OR doors. I can hand over my camera to your support person, and I will either meet with you again in recovery, or come back and do a Fresh 48 session when you are ready.

+ When is the best time to hire a birth photographer?

As soon as you know that you definitely want a birth photographer, that is the best time to hire me. My availability fills quickly, and I know that birth photography is a serious investment. I have worked hard to accomodate multiple different payment options, and help make professional birth photography affordable to everyone. The earlier you get in contact with me, the more payment options you will have, and you can reserve me to be a part of your team before someone else does!

+ What if I dont want my images shared publicly?

MANY OF MY CLIENTS CHOOSE TO KEEP THEIR BIRTH STORIES COMPLETELY PRIVATE. You ALWAYS have total control over the images you approve for sharing. Outlined in my contract you will decide whether that is all, only a few - or none at all.

+ How do you handle dark spaces/what gear do you use?

At every birth, I will use my professional grade DSLR camera and wide andle prime lens. I may use flash sparingly, though I practice a completely unobtrusive technique called "bouncing flash". Bouncing flash means the flash is attached to the top of my camera, and pointed at the ceiling or wall - NEVER directly at anyone. I "bounce" or reflect a millisecond of light off that surface so my camera can "see". This is not flash photography like at weddings or in a portrait studio, and most people in the room have no idea that flash was even used at all. There will be no continuous shooting and strobe lighting in the birth space - YIKES!.

It is worth noting that I have invested in two of everything I use at a birth - if my battery dies, lens fails, or my camera malfunctions for ANY reason at all - I have a quality back up with me at all times. When you are paying good money to professionally have these once in a lifetime moments, its nice to know there is that extra measure of protection. There are NO do-overs.

+ How do I know if we are a good fit?

I am glad you are asking this question! Any person who steps foot into a birth space brings a certain energy and presence right along with them... when you are hiring your birth team, its so important to make sure your personalities arent clashing. How you feel about the people and things surrounding you really does make a difference in labor. Your birth space matters more to me than getting hired - please take the time to read some of the information on my website and social media to gauge is our personalities will mesh. I try to be as honest as possible, so hopefully you get my vibe within these words and pictures. Several other things can decide if we are a good fit for each other...Are you sure you want an extra person in the room, what kind of support you are looking for? For these reasons, I really like to meet in person to chat and go over questions!

+ Can you recommend any Home Birth midwives?

I have a blog post that serves as a directory for all kinds of awesome professionals and resources for women and families in Northern Colorado. There you can find a current list of Home birth midwives that are trusted in our community.

+ How far do you travel for births?

I document births at home, birth centers or hospitals within a 1.5 hour radius from my home in Loveland, CO.