Jessica Thomas is a Pittsburgh birth photographer
Photography and Videography
Each birth is unique and tells a special story. When you hire Jessica as your birth photographer you are not only counting on her to capture a pivotal moment in your life but to also be a part of your birth team. As a certified labor doula, Jessica brings a specialized particular set of skills and support into your birthing space.
Birth photography allows for families to remember the most tender and intimate memories of your baby's birth day and the journey that got them to that moment. Documenting the birth of your child through photos and video is beautiful, powerful, and inspiring. Hiring a professional assures those precious memories, both big and small, will be high quality and skillfully shot.
Jessica selects 1-3 birth clients a month in order to honor the mother's due date and ensure her families are supported through pregnancy and birth. Please don't hesitate to find out availability and request a complementary consultation. It is never too late or too early to book a spot in the calendar!
Birth Photography FAQ
How does it work?
I meet with my expectant families before birth to discuss your birth plan, hopes for the birth, my role and your expectations. Because I specialize as a labor doula I love to get to know your family and make you feel supported throughout your pregnancy and in birth. We communicate before and during labor to ensure I am there at the right time. Your child's birth day is his/her own incredible arrival into this world. I help mold and shape those memories into a photo-journalistic story capturing the little things, the big things, and everything in between. I stay between 1-2 hours after birth to capture your baby's first experiences such as breastfeeding, bonding, weighing, meeting a sibling or grandparent, etc. For families who want a more private birth I also offer "fresh 48 sessions" - a lifestyle photography session 24-48 hours after your birth in the hospital or home.
How did you get into birth photography?
I guess it all sort of stems back to my hobby and obsession with scrapbooking. Even before I had children I loved taking pictures so I could preserve them into family albums. It all came from my parents who took thousands of pictures of me growing up. I always joke that my parents have a giant box of printed photos of me in their house. This was obviously before digital photography. When I had my son I brought my camera but it was the last thing on my mind. I only have a few pictures of my son after he was born. It was the most important moment of my life giving birth to my son and I have so little to remember the small moments. I became a labor doula shortly after my son's birth and realized how important documenting a child's birth day was. When I had my daughter I experienced an incredibly rapid birth. Nobody made it to my birth except my husband, who was ready to catch our baby, and my midwife with one push to spare. I believe I got up to get my camera a few hours after birth and tried to take pictures of her, utterly disappointed that her moment was missed as well. After becoming close to a few professional birth photographers and completing some mentoring in the Denver area, where I was living before, I decided that I would like to pursue birth photography.
How many images should I expect?
You can expect a range between 100-200 professionally edited images. The number of images depends on the length and unfolding of your birth story.
I want to have a dark and quiet birth environment. Can you still take birth photography?
I am here to support and respect your birth space. I believe having experience and working as a professional labor doula allows me to be in-tune with the ambiance and environment you have chosen to create. Birth photographers will have the gear and skills to work in dimmer settings. We will go over before your birth the kinds of light I may bring into the birth and the sounds the camera will make.
Why should I book you over using our own camera or friend who has a DSLR?
Even with a great camera getting great shots is not black and white as you may think. In able to use a nice camera to its full capabilities there is a steep learning curve and many many hours of reading and practicing. Birth photography is especially tricky because lighting tends to be much poorer than a staged newborn session or a family session outside. I also have professional photo editing software and many hours put into mastering that skill. Birth Photography is an investment, but an investment worth making. It is much like a wedding day, baptism, christening, or baby blessing - a very special day you want to remember forever.
Do you offer videography?
Yes! I would love to discuss the possibility of creating a beautiful birth story through film. I love birth films and you can assure that your story will be pieced together in the most professional and tasteful fashion.
What if I have a cesarean?
Having a cesarean birth is still birth and is just as beautiful. Capturing the moment of your baby's birth, cesarean or not, is going to highly depend on your hospital and doctor you have chosen to participate in your birth. That is why it is incredibly important to involve your healthcare provider in on the details in hiring a birth photographer. Even if the moment of birth is prohibited or I am not invited into the O.R. I will start taking photos as soon as I am allowed. I am still here to capture your labor, moments shortly after delivery, and all the baby's first experiences. Family centered cesareans are growing rapidly and there are many photographers that are now making their ways into the operating rooms across the country. We will always ask. I strive to build bridges and grow trusting healthy relationships between healthcare providers and birth workers such as myself.