6 Powerful Tips From Prominent Certified Birth Photographers

Well friends on a personal note, after 13 years of having boys in my house, we had our first broken bone and it was a doozy. My son broke his collarbone playing football. And they weren’t even tackling. And honestly, it felt really heavy for my mom heart – the days and week following. And so I took most of last week, completely off to spend with my family and waiting to hear when his surgery is going to be.

It made me think about you guys too because I know so many of you are also parents. And having your kids out there in the world, especially as they get older and bigger, can be scary, especially in sports like football. But in that moment, when that happened, instead of letting myself spiral with a worry, I chose to focus on trust in God with my kids.

And of course, I started to draw that parallel to my business as well. Like we often want to hold onto our businesses with such a tight grip thinking that we know what’s best. When in reality, it’s when we loosen our grip and open up that our businesses and our kids, start to grow and flourish.

And speaking of flourishing, it is now June. And as of this recording, we have welcomed 67 new students into the beauty and birth certification, so far in 2022. So we internally have a goal to welcome 250 photographers into the certification. I’m just thrilled with the group that we have. Just about everyday photographers are sharing their images and their wins and their all aha’s in the group along with our monthly image critiques and Q&A calls.

Honestly, it took me more than a hundred births with trial and error to learn what I’m sharing inside the certification. And it’s amazing to see the types of images that you knew or photographers are able to create from your first few births.

If you want to learn more about the certification, you can check out my free training called How to Master Birth Photography and Become a High-Demand Photographer at thebeautyinbirth.com/start. And when you come live, you’re going to get my Birth Bag Checklist completely for free.

Or if you’re listening to this and you’ve heard about the course and the certification, and you know that it’s time for you to jump in, you can head straight over to certifiedbirthphotographer.com.

I am super excited to share what these certified birth photographers have for you today. We invited these birth photographers to basically share their best piece of advice for a new birth photographers.

What’s cool is they all shared something unique, but there’s also an underlying theme in all of their advice. So listen for it, I bet you’ll be able to identify. But it’s so cool that without any prompting whatsoever, they all kind of came up with different things that they thought would be helpful for you to hear.

Before we dig in, these advices can be overwhelming if you let them. You might take notes and have a big list of things to try or add, and get overwhelmed into taking no action. So I encourage you to listen to all of them and then write down one that was most impactful to you. And that one is going to be different for everyone.

Network not just with the birth community, but also with your local photographers.
-Brianne Sanders

Hi, my name is Brianne with Brianne Sanders Photography and I’m located in Charleston, South Carolina.

My best piece of advice for a new birth photographer is to build relationships with other local photographers, even ones outside your niche.

In the beginning of my business, I spent all of my time networking with doulas, birth centers, and others in the birth community, and I found one or two photographers willing to be backups for me, but I didn’t really make connections with other photographers. Mostly because I have anxiety and imposter syndrome held me back, and I just felt like I wasn’t good enough to be a part of those groups.

But I eventually joined a group of professional female photographers in my area. I started just participating in their group on social media, but I finally got up the nerve to join one of their monthly coffee get togethers, and I had such a great time with all of these women. And now that I’ve been a part of this group, not only have I learned so much about business and photography from these incredibly talented women, but I also get referrals from them.

Most of them have absolutely no interest in doing births because of the uncertainty and the on-call time, and it just doesn’t fit with their current business plan. So anytime one of their clients asks them about birth or birth photography, they always send them my way.

So step out of your comfort zone and join local photographers groups. Don’t just join your birth community. Join your photography community as well.

I absolutely love that Brianne shared this because I think this is something that is often overlooked by photographers, because we think about networking with people who are non-competitive businesses with us that serve our same ideal client. But there is so much power in networking with other photographers.

And so I love that Brianne shared this and also what she said about how in the beginning having imposter syndrome stopped her from doing this. So I want to share a couple of episodes for you: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with Lisa Digeso and 3 Mindset Shifts That You Need to be Successful When You Have Imposter Syndrome. If this is your one, go check out those two episodes after this one.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
-Carey Lippert

Hey, my name is Carey Lippert. I am Carey Lauren Photos and Film. I am located in Phoenix, Arizona.

My best piece of advice for a new birth photographers would be to just not be afraid of really putting yourself out there and sharing a lot about yourself – all your interests, your opinions, even the controversial ones. And if you’re comfortable with it, you should share like your personal life and like your kids too, because people want to relate to us, especially with some things super important like giving birth. They want to know that they’re being surrounded by like-minded individuals.

So, make it easy for them because finding your people, it can be pretty hard, but then finding you is even harder. So just make it easy for them. Use your Instagram story like it’s your best friend – share everything. Share a little bit about birth and then a lot about everything else.

You can ask your Instagram Story followers, like what you should make for dinner. You can ask them which outfit they like better for this big event you have coming up or whatever it is. Just use it for everything because it’s so nice for them to already know what they’re getting when they hire you long before they ever even inquired with you.

If you just use it as if it’s a person, like you’re talking to all the time, I think you’ll really be surprised at what kind of engagement you get back. So that is my advice!

If you guys follow Carey on social media, chances are, you’ve seen what she’s describing here, and I love that she pointed out that putting yourself out there, as in the things that make you unique and sharing who you are as a person, even if they’re a little bit controversial, can definitely attract your ideal person and build trust even faster.

So we have an episode all about How to Build a Personal Brand for Photographers. So if this is your one thing, make sure and check out that episode after you listened to all the tips.

And I also loved her tip about how to use Instagram stories. Pretend that you’re talking to one particular friend and you’re sharing things for them and you’re talking directly to them. So I love that tip about Instagram stories. It really is for your top fans to connect with you in a much more intimate way.

Be confident that the skill is coming – you are working on this and it’s all going to come together.
-Emily Gipper

Excerpt from Emily’s (Emily Gipper Photography) From Better Half to Boss Interview:

You’re going to have rough patches and they’re going to feel eternal at times. I’m used to working really hard and getting results fast, and I felt like even though you say like my photography has improved really fast, it’s kind of hard to see those changes when you’re in it yourself.

And so be confident that the skill is coming. You are working on this and it’s all going to come together and you’re going to have some big breaks along the way that you didn’t expect. And I was kind of in a point in my business where I was like, I haven’t had a birth in a while. I just had one birth. I don’t have anything set up for the future. And then the news channel featured one of my home births and gave me credit on every picture that they shared. And they only used my birth photography. So it was really exciting that I was on the news. And now I can say I’m featured on my website.

So you’re going to have cool little things like that happen to you. So don’t give up – you’re going to want to give up sometimes – just don’t. Because if you really love it, if you’re really passionate about it, it’s worth to keep doing it. There’s a reason why you’re doing it.

So this clip was pulled from Emily’s most recent episode when she was actually on the podcast in an episode called A Proven Method To Go From Brand New to Eight Births in One Year.

Network with experienced photographers and workers in the birth community.
-Olivia Sens

Hey, it’s Olivia with Olivia Sens Photography located in Salisbury, Maryland. My best piece of advice for a new birth photographer is to reach out to other experienced photographers and birth workers who can give you community.

You can’t do this work alone and it’s awesome to have that community. And most of the time, people are more than willing to be there for you.

Yes and networking with your birth community can start to feel like imposter syndrome can definitely start to rear its head when it comes to networking with your birth community.

And so if you’re like, I know you need to do this, but I’m feeling a little intimidated, definitely check out those episodes. I mentioned in the beginning about imposter syndrome, and again, they will be listed in the show notes for you.

Take the risk to affirm your passion for birth photography and invest in a speedlight!
-Jessica Craig

Hi, my name is Jessica with Jessica Craig Photography and I’m located in Loveland, Colorado. My best piece of advice for a new birth photographer would be if you feel like you have a hunch that this is something that you should do and that you have a passion for and something that you would be good at, then just take the risk and go for it.

Whether that risk looks like investing in more education, whether it looks like reaching out to some pregnant friends or family members or even just starting a model call, just take the risk, dive in, and make sure you get that first birth on your calendar and you experience it because then you can really know for sure if this is a passion of yours and if this is something that you should definitely pursue.

Also a piece of just technical advice would be to invest in a speedlight. I was a little weary of speedlights at first I thought it was a little bit unnecessary and didn’t quite get it and understand why so many birth photographers do use speedlights. I did not use one for my first birth and I thought, “These are fine. I don’t need a speedlight.”

And then my second birth, I used a speedlight, and it changed everything. Everything from the focus to the white balance, it made my editing so much easier. It made my photos, so much more impactful. So I know that it can be even a little bit overwhelming, just learning a new piece of technology, even something as simple as a speedlight, but it really is simple and easy to learn. So just make sure that you get your hands on one of those as well.

I love how she shared like a mindset thing as well as technical advice. And I know that so many photographers, especially in the beginning, kind of struggle with this idea of being a fly on the wall at births while still using a speedlight.

So I love that she gave that personal example of using speedlight for the first time and going into how to use a speedlight is something that we cover inside the certification. There’s an entire module all about lighting. If you want to take the next step learning if you should use flash or not, I have a video on YouTube all about if you should use flash or not.

Don’t let anyone take advantage of you just because you’re new.
DeAnna Weyrich

Hi, my name is DeAnna Weirich with Mama Dee’s Birth Photography and Milliken, Colorado. And my best piece of advice for a new birth photographer is to find your community of other birth photographers and know the birth process. You do not have to do this alone. In fact, you shouldn’t do it alone. If there is an emergency or you get sick, you have to be. Make sure you have a backup plan and a backup photographer always.

Also know your worth. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you just because you are new to this genre. Don’t assume people can’t afford you. People will pay for what is important to them.

Next, I think it’s important to say is don’t compare your work to others’ work. Everyone’s journey is different and you can easily get caught up in comparing and then thinking you’re not good enough. Actually other people are probably comparing themselves to your work and thinking the same thing. So don’t do that. Don’t compare yourself.

And last but not least is sign up with Tavia for everything you can. With Tavia, you will learn so much about learning your craft and how to get yourself out there. So that’s it for me, I am so excited to be part of Tavia’s groups. And I definitely would not be where I am today without her and her team. So I will see you all around in the Tavia groups!

I love that DeAnna said, “Don’t let anyone take advantage of you because you’re new.” Even if you’re brand new to birth photography, you’re still valuable. You still have something incredible to offer. And I never want, as you guys know if you’ve ever listen to the show, I never want you to photograph a birth for free or undervalue yourself because you might be comparing yourself to more experienced photographers. So don’t let anyone take advantage of you and don’t undervalue yourself because you’re new.

Action Steps

So which was your one? Which was the tip that stood out to you the most or had you nodding or pausing to listen again? I hope that you learned something new in this episode or maybe you’re reminded of something that you want to try and take action.

I am so thankful to each of these photographers for taking the time to share their knowledge with you. So make sure to go give each of them a follow on Instagram to see their beautiful birth images!

Connect with our Featured Certified Birth Photographers!

Brianne Sanders
Instagram | Website

Carey Lippert
Instagram | Website

Emily Gipper
Instagram | Website

Olivia Sens
Instagram | Website

Jessica Craig
Instagram | Website

DeAnna Weyrich
Instagram | Website

Past Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 44: 3 Mindset Shifts That You Need to be Successful When You Have Imposter Syndrome

Episode 78: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with Lisa Digeso

Episode 90: How to Build a Personal Brand for Photographers

Episode 95: A Proven Method To Go From Brand New to Eight Births in One Year

Watch on Youtube: How to Shoot Births in Low Light?


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