Yes, You Can! How to Afford Your Birth Photographer
It’s the number one response I get from people when they inquire with me, but ultimately don’t book:
“It’s just not within our budget.”
I get it, I really do. For a lot of people, birth photography is a massive investment. Having a baby can get expensive—paying for a midwife or doctor, doula, childbirth education, a whole new wardrobe to accommodate your changing body, a whole new wardrobe for the baby, furniture, car seat, baby carriers, the list goes on! It’s hard to imagine adding another $2000+ investment on top of all of that, and understandably so! Birth photography is a luxury, yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have it. Here are some reasonable (and some more extreme) ways that you can pull together the funds to have the birth photographer of your dreams.
(Related Read: Why is Birth Photography So Expensive?!)
Request A Payment Plan
I feel like this is obvious, but I have a hunch that many people don’t know this is an option: ask your photographer for a payment plan! Almost every birth photographer I know offers them (and yes, I know a lot of them!) Contact them as early as possible, so your payments can be spread out over the majority of your pregnancy. A $2,000 investment paid over 7 months is $285 a month, which is a much more digestible number. If you make 26 weekly payments (from 12 weeks until 37 weeks) that’s roughly $75 a week. The key here is to plan ahead so you can get started as early as possible. While most payment plans still have to be paid off before your photographer goes on call for your birth, some can be stretched out past the birth of your baby.
ask for Contributions
Nothing makes friends and family more generous than the exciting news that a new baby is on the way. People love to spend their money on babies! The unfortunate thing about this is that more often than not, a large percentage of the gifts you receive won’t see any use. Skip the unnecessary clutter and consumerism and ask for something much more meaningful instead: help paying for your birth photographer! A lot of birth photographers (myself included!) make this exceptionally easy by offering a complimentary Gift Registry setup. How many people do you know?! If each of them contributed just $25 toward your investment, how much of it would be covered? Every little bit helps! (Pro Tip: If you set this up early enough, you can share it more than once, so that those who forgot or weren’t able to contribute the first time will have a second opportunity to do so.)
Cut Unnecessary Spending
I’m not judging you, we all do it somewhere. I’m definitely speaking from my own experience on this one. There was a period of time when I was making daily, sometimes twice daily, trips to Starbucks. It was what I considered my self-care. Cutting out that habit freed up over one thousand dollars in a 7 month period for me to spend on something else. So where can you free up money in your life? Do you need cable, Netflix, and Hulu? Are you using that gym membership you signed up for on the 1st of the year? Could you save a little money every week by meal planning and eating at home more often? Ah, maybe I should take my own advice while I’m at it…
This one may be a bit of a stretch because, well, bartering doesn’t exactly pay the bills. However, if you have a skill that you can trade, it’s certainly an avenue worth exploring! Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, cosmetic services, housekeeping, personal training, accounting, tattooing, microblading… the list of services worth offering is endless! If you’re able to barter, you could have all or some of the investment covered without ever having to come out of pocket, and everyone wins.
Take Out a Loan
I know, it sounds a little extreme… but is it, really? It’s a pretty common occurrence for couples (or their families) to take out a loan to pay for a wedding, why would the birth of a child be any less important? In fact, some might argue that it’s more important. Because we all know interest sucks, reserving this as one of the last resorts is probably wise, but for the family who understands the value of birth photography and is really struggling to pull it off, it may be worth the additional cost to spread it out over a longer period of time.
Sell Your Stuff
Yep, I said it. It’s a suggestion I’m qualified to make because it’s something I’ve done. I know, it sounds awful, but really—look around you. How many things do you own that you’re not making good use of? How many of those things are less important to you than having priceless images from your baby’s birth day? It’s really just a matter of deciding what’s important to you. This is actually something I do often, churn out things in my home that are no longer serving me well in favor of things that will bring me more joy or have more purpose. Nothing wrong with that!
Did I miss anything? If you found a creative way to fund your photographer that’s not on this list, be sure to let me know so I can add it!
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