Birth Photography Costs | Pensacola, FL + Mobile, AL

So you want to hire a birth photographer! Excellent choice. You've done your research, know who's work you love and why you want a birth photographer. You know the things to ask before hiring a birth photographer...but how much is it all going to cost?

Brace yourself. 

A reputable and experienced birth photographer isn't cheap. The average cost of birth photography runs from $1500-$3500 depending on the level of services offered. In general, you should expect to pay as much as you would for a reputable and experienced wedding photographer in your area. Did your eyes just pop out of your head? How could it possibly cost THAT MUCH to come and snap a few pictures for an hour or so? Stick with me and let's unpack that

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BIRTH IS UNPREDICTABLE

It is impossible to time arrival so that your photographer is only there for the moment of delivery or just after. I, like most birth photographers, aim to arrive in your birth space near the transition phase of labor (approximately 6-7cm dilated). This gives us the most assurance that we will not miss the delivery, but that you are still far enough along in your labor that birth that we aren't hanging around thru periods of little activity or when you are trying to rest. Still, once your birth photographer arrives, there is no way for her to know if she is going to be there for 4 hours or 24 hours.

In general, labor progresses at a rate of about 1 cm per hour, but this isn't a hard, fast rule. Every woman is different, every baby is different and every labor is different. I've had mamas fly thru and go from 5cm to here's-your-baby in an hour. I've also had mamas push for 3 hours. Your birth photographer has to charge enough to account for the possibility that she may be working for 24 hours straight.

Pricing is usually fixed so that you don’t have to worry about additional costs if your labor stalls or takes much longer than expected.

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THE WORK ISN’T DONE WHEN WE LEAVE THE BIRTH

The time we spend capturing your birth is only a small part of the process it takes to make your images great. Hospital lighting is pretty awful, and it takes quite a bit of time editing your images to turn them into the magical memories we deliver. We have fancy cameras capable of recording much better pictures than smart phones and the average camera marketed to consumers, but the real work is still done in post processing.

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RUNNING A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS COSTS MONEY

Equipment maintenance, backup equipment, licensing fees, taxes...these are expenses that every small business incurs. Not to mention the expenses that come along with always being on-call: backup photographers, on-call childcare providers, etc. We have to make sure we are taking in enough to run a sustainable business, meet our commitments to clients, AND make a living.

Why should that matter to you? Because the last thing you want at 38 weeks pregnant is to get a refund and a ‘no-longer-in-business’ email from the person you were expecting to capture your birth, have your photographer fall ill or their only camera fail or break in the middle of your birth (with no backups), or (worse) to call when you go into labor and receive no answer at all.

It is important to protect your investment by hiring a photographer who is running a legal and sustainable business.

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WE HAVE FAMILIES TOO

Yes, we birth photographers LOVE what we do so much that it rarely feels like work. Still, it's a job that requires sacrifice, mostly from the people who love us. We plan family time and vacations around the 3-4 weeks that we are on-call for our clients, miss holidays and other important events to attend births, and generally put you before our own families. Yes, we absolutely feel privileged to do the work we do, but ultimately this is our JOB. We do it to help support our families financially and we have to make an adequate wage to continue to offer the services we do.

The key thing to take away from this is that the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ always rings true. Photographers who do not charge within that average range are likely not earning enough to account for their business costs and personal salary. They will eventually find themselves in situations where they are unable (or unmotivated) to keep the commitments they have made to clients and ultimately, go out of business altogether. I’ve seen it more times than I can count. You don’t want to be the client who’s ball gets dropped.

Keep reading for some tips on how to get the birth photographer of your dreams…

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HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FINANCIALLY

If you desire birth photography, we really want to do everything we can to make sure you have it. Here are a few things you can do or ask about that can help soften the blow to your bank account.

1. Start saving BEFORE you are pregnant. If you know you'll want it, start putting funds aside for it NOW. It really doesn't take long to accumulate enough savings to make the expense so much more palatable when the time comes. 

2. Reach out to your favorite photographer early. I promise, we won't think you're crazy for emailing us to say "I'm not actually pregnant yet but...". We'll happily send over all of our information, friend you on social media, and be waiting for the moment we get to celebrate with you over the pregnancy announcement. 

3. Ask for a gift registry listing. You have friends a family out there that are going to want to shower you with gifts. Let them know how much birth photography means to you. I’m more than happy to set up a page where friends and family can directly contribute any amount they choose toward your birth photography package. Share it on social media, you never know who might feel inclined to bless you with a little something. Dollars add up!

4. Ask for a payment plan. Most birth photographers are moms too. We know how expensive preparing for a baby can be. We also know how much having pictures from your birth will mean to you when all is said and done. It is our greatest joy to be able to give a mama back the memories of the moments she missed or has forgotten about. We don’t want money to be the reason you miss this opportunity to begin building a history for your family and a legacy of love for your tiny little human. 

5. Opt for a Fresh 48 instead. This birth space session is a truly fantastic alternative to actual birth coverage. It is a shorter session, (scheduled during business hours) within 48 hours of delivery. The investment for a Fresh 48 is significantly less than birth photography, but the resulting images can still feel very similar as we are able to capture many of the same moments and details of the birth space. In fact, all of the images in this post are from a Fresh 48.

 

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Birth Photographer

As birth photography rapidly grows in popularity, many budding (and seasoned) photographers have a desire to throw their hat in the ring and offer this service to expecting mothers. I get it! Birth is exciting and having the opportunity to capture one is a special honor. When I first looked into birth photography for myself, and even when I started photographing births, I had not heard of anyone in Pensacola, Florida or the greater Gulf Coast area offering birth coverage. Now it seems that it is a genre that MANY new photographer want to break into. Particularly if they are already photographing maternity or newborns.

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So how can you, as an expectant mother, ensure you are hiring the right person for the job? It's important that you protect yourself by investing in a the services of a professional who has experience in birth work, availability to be on call, and can consistently produce quality images in poor lighting conditions. Here are a few questions to ask as you are considering hiring a birth photographer to capture those once in a lifetime moments. 

Does the photographer have a portfolio?

Every professional photographer should have a portfolio of work they can share with you. Honestly, you should be able to find it easily on their website. But don't stop there. A portfolio is a collection of the BEST work and may not be a true representation of a photographer's over all abilities. Ask to see an an entire birth gallery or a slideshow of a single birth so that you can see how the entire process is captured. If you are considering a photographer that has not photographed a birth, at the very least you should evaluate a session shot indoors, such as a newborn lifestyle session.

Are the images clear, in focus and consistent in style?

Can you see detail in each photo? Are the images crisp and clear? Are they too bright (overexposed) or too dark (underexposed)? Are the skin tones, color and editing style consistent across the whole gallery for a single session? If the images are blurry, not properly exposed, or don't have a consistent style, the photographer is probably not experienced enough to take on a birth. Just because a photographer can produce good portraits in daylight, does not mean she can turn out quality photos in a birth. Most births take place in low light. Even in the daytime, laboring mothers tend to like the light dim. Given these conditions, and the fast paced nature of birth, it is crucial that a photographer know how to maneuver their camera settings quickly to capture clear images. 

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Does the photographer use pro equipment?

An entry level DSLR camera (or worse, a point-and-shoot' or iPhone) is not capable of producing professional quality images in the vast majority of birth spaces. A professional birth photographer will have a variety of professional equipment capable of handling any lighting situation - home, hospital, birthing center, etc. Your photographer should have at least two camera bodies in their kit (a main camera, plus a back-up in case of camera failure), multiple lenses, memory cards, batteries, and at least one flash that attaches to the camera. The pop-up flash integrated into the camera should NEVER be used in birth photography...or really at all by any professional.

Is the photographer available 24/7 in the weeks surrounding your due date?

If you are expecting a photographer to attend your birth, you need to be certain that they are available to be on-call for you in the weeks surrounding your due date. Even with a scheduled cesarean, a mom can go into spontaneous labor earlier than expected and surgeries can be postponed. Most professional photographers offer an on-call period of two weeks before your expected due date and 1-2 weeks after. This means she is available to come in around the clock (usually when you are around 6cm dilated) and stay for the duration. Middle of the night, holiday, the day of her kid's dance recital, everyday, every minute. Here's a big one...don't ask your wedding photographer to take on your birth. They may be an amazing photographer and truly want to meet all of your family's photography needs, however it is a conflict of interest. Their bread and butter is weddings and the wedding they are contracted to attend will always take precedence over your birth. 

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Does the photographer have a reliable back-up?

Let's face it. Shit happens. Illnesses, accidents, and emergencies are an unavoidable part of life. Not an single person on this earth can 100% guarantee their presence at your birth. Not your doctor, not even your spouse! Nor should you want anyone to in your birth space if they are sick. A professional birth photographer will have a back-up plan in place for you. They will have at least one backup photographer to attend you if needed (preferably a whole network of people to call on). Their backups will also be professionals with birth experience, who will conduct themselves appropriately in the birth space and deliver images very similar to the style you're expecting. 

Is the photographer familiar with birth and respectful of the rules and process?

Birth photography isn't just about getting 'that shot'. It's about documenting the whole of your experience as you labor, deliver, and bond with your baby. This is YOUR birth and your birth photographer should be a supportive member of your birth team. You should feel confident that she will respond to your cues, be respectful of your birth space and plan, stay out of the way of medical personnel. Read reviews or ask for a reference from one of her previous clients. You should hear something like 'I didn't even know she was there' or 'she was very supportive of my needs'. It is important that a birth photographer be knowledgable about the process of birth, and the rules of the hospital or birth center as well. 

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What is the photographer's personality?

If you are planning an unmedicated hospital birth or home birth, it is especially important for your photographer to be invested in protecting the sanctity of your birth environment. She should possess a calming presence and positive energy. Even if your plan is to have an epidural at the hospital, your birth photographer should not be perceived as anxious, stressed, or overbearing. I realize this can be hard to determine over written communication or even in a face-to-face consultation, but it is something to evaluate. 

Will the photographer respect your privacy?

Birth is an intimate event and the choice to share your images should be completely up to you. Many women interested in birth photography are naturally open to sharing images from their birth with the world. Some aren't and that is totally ok. Photographers who are just starting out in birth may offer special 'portfolio building' deals. Be aware that you are agreeing to allow the photographer to share your images by accepting these deals. Read all contracts and separate model releases carefully so that you know exactly what you are agreeing to.

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Is the photographer running a legal business?

A professional photographer will have a business license, pay taxes, and have insurance for their equipment, business, and liability. Why should you care about that? You want the person you hire to capture your baby's birth to be a true professional who delivers everything as promised. Hiring a legit business owner protects you and ensures you receive what you've paid for. There are so many stories of photographers who took a client's money, went out of business and were never heard from again or who photographed an event and never delivered the images. Additionally,  supporting small businesses that are conducting themselves legally is just the right thing to do. Owning a business is not easy or cheap. Especially when that business takes them away from their family and other clients at a moment's notice and for hours on end. Supporting a law abiding business is truly what's best for everyone.

What does the photographer charge for her services?

Having a baby costs a lot of money! You may be tempted to choose a birth photographer with cheaper prices, but BEWARE! Inexpensive photographers tend to be less experienced, use equipment that isn't up for the technical demands of birth work, and may not be running a legitimate business. If you are using the justification that SOME pictures are better than NO pictures, you may want to consider asking a family friend to come and take photos for you rather than hiring an inferior or unlicensed photographer. Keep in mind that a birth photographer has to be on call for you 24/7 for 3-4 weeks straight. She has to maintain a lifestyle that will allow her to leave her family at the drop of a hat for an indeterminable length of time. It takes THOUSANDS of dollars of equipment and hundreds of dollars annually in licensing, insurance fees and countless other business expenses to run a business. Anyone who is not accounting for those expenses and charging appropriately to cover them, is probably not a professional and definitely isn't running a sustainable business. Photographers specializing in birth photography often offer payment plans and gift registries to help manage costs. 

Birth photography is a luxury service. As with any such luxury, the value is in the quality of the product and the reliability, competence, and experience of the provider. Make sure you are protecting your investment by hiring a legitimate and experienced professional. 

Aislinn's Hypnobabies Birth | Baptist Hospital Pensacola

After all of these births, telling all of these beautiful stories, it finally hit me that I shouldn't be telling these stories at all. I should be collecting birth stories from my mamas. You, the reader, should be hearing it all from the mother's perspective before you see it from mine. I so often say that the mother experiences birth so differently from everyone else in the room, and I am kind of obsessed with hearing how women experienced their own birth. Now I am excited to be able to celebrate and share some of those stories with you here. I hope they will become a source of inspiration, reference, and direction for my expecting readers.

Kathryn has been kind enough to share, in her own words, her experience bringing baby Aislinn into the world at Baptist Hospital Pensacola, using Hypnobabies and with the support of Pensacola doula Amber Roman of Belly to Cradle. I have seen a lot of labors, and this one struck me as particularly long and difficult. The energy in the room was very subdued, and even after delivery things were very quiet and calm. It was eye-opening to hear Kathryn's side of the story...

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Forty weeks and three days. That’s how long I had grown my baby, how long I had carried my miracle, when I was awoken at 1:30am. I thought I just had to go to the bathroom for the 100th time that night, like every other night in my third trimester, but this time was a little different. I felt like I wasn’t quite going to make it and when I sat down…gush! Water poured. Half asleep, and half in shock, I sat there talking to myself like any normal person- “Is this my water breaking? No, that doesn’t happen. I think this is my waters. My water broke. No, no it didn’t. It’s still going. This is it.” They say to remember that birth is nothing like what you see in the movies. The whole water breaking out of nowhere, then contractions starting, and rushing to the hospital isn’t a common reality. They say only 10% of women have their water break before labor begins. I guess I made the 10%. I climbed back into bed, woke my husband Luke, and then texted my doula. She called me and talked through what was going on with me, how the coming hours may play out and when we will need to head to the hospital. All things we had talked through in our meetings, but just a little different since my water broke first. I sent my husband to the guest room to get some sleep while I laid down to try and get any rest I could between contractions.

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Let me pause to say, having a doula is the single best decision you can make for labor. Natural or medicated, vaginal or c-section, well trained doulas are life giving. My doula, Amber Roman of Belly to Cradle, is phenomenal. From birth education, to delivery, to postpartum, she was a rock for us and we are so grateful to her for her friendship and services. We decided that utilizing hypnobabies would be the best option for me and my personality when it came to labor techniques for birthing, especially considering my goal was to do this all natural. Hypnobabies trains the mind and body to remain extremely relaxed, yet allow the mind to also be highly aware and focused. The concept of self-hypnosis may sound super weird to you, but it was the best when it came to birth for me. I can’t talk about it highly enough.

Sometime mid morning, between 9 and 10 I think, Amber came over to help us get everything together and as always, present our options. Based on my contractions and the fact that my water broke, we went on to the hospital. This was it. We were going to meet our baby girl! From the second my water broke until the end of the transition phase, I was in my Hypnobabies zone. I was calm, using my breathing and mindset techniques during each contraction (or “birthing wave” if we use the lingo). I’m pretty sure my eyes were closed the entire birth and the concept of time was out the window. I labored in bed for while, with my husband and mom nearby providing great support. Amber helped me walk halls, massaged and applied counter pressure, cooled me with wet rags, let me smell peppermint oil for nausea, told me when I needed to change positions, reminded me of my options, made sure I was drinking water, let me know when I could get into the tub for pain relief, and prayed over me when it was the end and I was starting to lose my focus. I felt safe and secure. I was free to labor without worrying about anything else because I had my people.

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I labored for 19 hours. It didn’t seem anywhere near that long to me. I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks and stayed in my own world it seemed. Towards the end things were getting intense and my body started to push by itself so they asked me if I was ready to push her out. I pushed for an hour and a half. It was the toughest part for me, not because of pain but because of the effort pushing took. I’d say it was because of her position. Even though it was the hardest part to me it still only felt more like 30 minutes. With my eyes still closed, I remember feeling my husband lift my head up for each push, giving me a sip of water and then holding the oxygen mask over my face until it was time to do it all again. He was amazing. I remember my mother’s sweet and soft voice telling me she could see her head and that I was doing so good. I can still feel her calming touch. Amber held my leg and encouraged me all the way.

Born with arms crossed, hands on either side of her face, announcing to the world she had arrived, our sassy and beautiful baby girl arrived on January 8, 2018, at 8:25pm. Aislinn Rhys was placed on my chest and I was in love.

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I know that my birth team and place of birth makes all the difference. I called them the dream team and that they certainly were. Doula: Amber Roman. Photographer: Natalie Zepp Weber. Midwife: Jenny Allen. OB: Dr. Allison. Birth: at Baptist Hospital. Basically, I tell everyone they need these incredible women for their birth, without question.

A final note, I’m so thankful we decided to spring for a birth photographer. Natalie was incredible and she captured moments I never would’ve seen or remembered. My eyes were closed, remember? Haha! These are images I will cherish for all my days. Thank you, Natalie

Are you considering Hypnobabies for your birth? Did you use it? We'd love to hear from you. Each person that comments helps Kathryn & Luke earn a free 8x10 mounted print from their birth session. They need 50 people, so leave a few words to get them there.


 Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Happy Birthday Isabella | Pensacola Birth Photographer

I am so excited to get to share the Isabella's birth at Pensacola's Baptist Hospital. I had 2 mamas due near the new year, and I just KNEW one of them would deliver on New Year's Day. The night before was a full moon and, as I have said many times before, full moons and bad weather always brings the babies.  

I got up early (per usual) and checked my phone...no texts. So maybe I was wrong. Normally I wouldn't be in any hurry to get out of my PJs on a school/work holiday, but something prompted me to go ahead and wash and blow dry my hair...before coffee. Well sure enough, at about 8:45 my phone dinged with a text from Alexis's sister Averee. Averee is a doula and soon-to-be certified midwife in Montana and I was thrilled when Alexis told me she would be here until the baby arrive and would provide me with progress updates during labor. Her text told me that Alexis had been in labor since about 2 am, but she thought it would be a while yet. (Side note...unless you have a trained professional with you to monitor your progress during labor, DO NOT wait 7 hours to tell me that you're in labor. Even if it's the middle of the night and you think you have a while and should give me the courtesy of a good night's rest. You shouldn't.)

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I set my gear by the door and laid out my scrubs, ready to jump up and go. Well 'go time' came just a few hours later after a sudden and rapid progression and an 11:24AM text that read "We're FLYING out the door!". A mere twenty minutes later as I approached the hospital, came another text saying that Lex had made quick progress. The rest of labor was just as rapid, but I still arrived in plenty of time to capture Luis and Averee helping Alexis thru her labor. It was so sweet to watch husband and sister work together to encourage and do what they could to ease mamas pain.  

Just as the nurses were getting worried that the midwife, Jenny Allen, might not make it in time, she flew thru the door...not even having stopped to stow her sweatshirt and car keys. After a few minutes in the tub, and a few minutes pushing, baby slid right out into daddy's waiting hands. Before I could even register that the baby was out, Luis was proclaiming "It's a GIRL!". 

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Introducing (again)...Isabella Grace.

Click play for the full story (Fair warning, there are freshly birthed baby and breastfeeding images in this slideshow.)

As hard as it is to wait until delivery to find out your baby's gender, the excitement and expressions always make for the most wonderful photographic moments. Especially when excited grandparents pour into the room, tears brimming the rims of their eyes and hands clapping together over the the big reveal. (How about those sweet elated grandma faces and grandpas snapping pictures with their cell phones? I DIED!) Moments like that make it 100% worth the wait.

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Did you wait to find out your baby's gender? Do you wish you had or will you next time? Let us know in the comments. You comments also count toward the 50 needed to earn Alexis & Luis a free 8x10 mounted print from their birth session. I'm sure they will appreciate your words.


 
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Natalie

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design.

Photo Credit: Natalie Franke Photography

 

Happy Birthday Corban | Pensacola Birth Photography

Rebekah is another one of those friends that I've had with me before we were even earthside. Our moms were pregnant with us together (are are still besties).

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We've been in and out of touch over the years (mostly because she is forever picking up and moving away), but the roots run deep despite the changing of the seasons. And we've always reconnected...most frequently over babies. A whole continent apart (Florida to Alaska), we've encouraged each other thru big life choices, miscarriages, those scary early days of pregnancy after a miscarriage...

Then there was that time she sent me a message (from Hawaii) to say she was 5 weeks pregnant with her second baby, to which I replied I was also 5 weeks pregnant with my second baby. Talk about history repeating! We had our boys just a couple of weeks apart and in the same hospital, with the same doctor no less. I went first though, so obviously I wasn't able to photograph her birth then...actually no one was able to, because he was nearly born in the parking lot. 

We didn't have super high hopes that I would make it in time for #3. Nonetheless Bekah, promised to call me and I promised to try and be there. When the call came, we ended up having plenty of time. Even Corban's exit from the womb was slow...almost languid. Which made for some pretty incredible pictures that I can't ever show you. What I can show you is still pretty amazing and beautiful. Everybody, meet Corban:

Shout out to midwife Jenny Allen, doula Amber Roman (Belly to Cradle), and the wonderful nurses at Baptist Hospital for making sure I had time, space, and light to capture all of the important moments. And of course, to dad Scott, who kept us all laughing...even when I caught him crying. 

Don't forget to leave a comment below to help earn Scott & Rebekah a free 8x10 mounted print from this session. 


 Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Basic Invite | Product Review

Can we talk about paper goods for a bit? I love, love, LOVE the idea of sending out party invitations, birth announcements, and holiday cards by snail mail. It just feels like such a grown up thing to do. However, I am so incredibly particular about quality and deign, that always come up short trying to find a card template that fits my style and the image I want to use.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some beautifully designed templates out there. But it seems that every time I find one I love, there is something that doesn't fit. Usually it's that the colors in the template don't go with the colors in my photo, or the text is in the wrong place for my photo, or I don't love the font. The worst is when I finally find my unicorn template and place an order, only to have the cards come in and leave me disappointed by the print quality.

The lack of template customization and poor print quality is so frustrating. I've wasted days of my life scouring the internet for card template. Only to give up and design something myself to have printed by a professional lab...or planning to. Then never actually finding the time to sit down and do it. I've sent out holiday cards exactly ONCE...ever.

So when a representative from Basic Invite contacted me about reviewing their product, I was pretty skeptical. I told her that I could never recommend a product that didn't meet my (ridiculously high) standards, and that I would first need to order samples with my images on them to ensure the quality was up to snuff. 

My ordering experience was pretty smooth. The site is easy to use and there are so many options for EVERYTHING. And I am a girl that loves endless options. I got my sample order placed and waited on pins and needles hoping the print and paper quality would be all I hoped for. When my package arrived, I could hardly wait to rip it opened and see...

And the cards were BEAUTIFUL! The colors, contrast, and brightness of my images were on par with what I would expect from the pro print labs I use. The ink colors of the other design elements printed true to the color swatches on the website. The details and texture of the paper are perfect. Suffice it to say, I am in love! There is really too much to say and show, so I decided to do a video review of the products I ordered. This first video is a quick overview of the customization process for one of the birth announcements I ordered.

Next up is an in-depth review and a look at all of the different card samples I ordered. I went with two birth announcements, a first birthday invite and it's matching thank you card, and two Christmas Cards

I really hope that this review has been helpful to those of you searching endlessly for the perfect paper goods. Basic Invite really has something special and the quality to back it up. In addition to the card samples I ordered, they offer wedding invitations and save-the-dates, other birthday invitations, party invitations, stationary, and printable products. All completely customizable with gorgeous, lux paper options. I'll just leave you with a quick overview few of my favorite features. 

Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what really sets Basic Invite apart from almost any other online stationery company and is for me was the biggest draw. Fonts can also be changed and text moved around to ensure perfect placement!

Custom Samples - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order. Add on additional samples in different paper options to see what you like best.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Basic Invite is just as colorful with envelopes as they are with invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. Custom envelope liners add another layer of luxury detail. All envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed. No licking!

Free Address Collection Service - Use the free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. WHAT?!??!! I don't have to hand address 100 envelopes? SIGN. ME. UP!

How do you feel about ordering announcements and invites online? Are you as picky as I am? Share your previous experiences with me and let me know if you're planning to try Basic Invite this year. I'd sure love to see what you order too! Slap a picture in the comments.


 Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Hello, Alice! | Pensacola Birth Photographer

Baby Alice's due date was a day like any other. I got up early that Sunday morning to squeeze in a little work before church. I didn't think much of it being a client's due date...because honestly, it's pretty uncommon for babies to be born on their due date. Then, a little after 5AM, I heard a crash of thunder. I checked the weather and, sure enough, thunderstorms...Not that I was surprised. My weather app hasn't seen the sun icon more than a few days all summer.

But, as anyone that spends time in Labor & Delivery can attest, thunderstorms (and full moons) bring on the babies. Maybe today would be the day after all. 

Around 8am I stopped working to start getting ready for church, when my phone went off. A text from Marin! She was in labor! Later John mentioned that her water had broken at 5:25AM...right about the time I was sitting in my office, listening to the sky rumble and betting I would be attending a birth soon.

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Marin is also a photographer, so she's familiar with the impact that light has on an image. It's essential in any form, but the most coveted form of light for a photographer is natural light. Natural light yields the most beautiful skin tones and range of shadows, and Marin and I had been crossing our fingers for months that baby Alice would decide to come while the sun was still in the sky. Now, this doesn't tend to matter much in a hospital. Doctors like to be able see everything and light up the room like Christmas, effectively drowning out any window light that happens to be available. However, baby Alice was set to be delivered at home. In a kitchen with enormous windows. And with labor starting at 5:25AM I was pretty hopeful that she'd make it before the sun went down. 

Despite the midwives' initial estimation of a delivery after dark, Marin just powered thru labor. I arrived, as requested, a little before 3PM and Alice made her way into the still beautifully lit world a little under 2 hours later! 

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Her timing couldn't have been more perfect. We even still had time to capture snuggles (and pizza) in the bed with the last little bit of window light for the day. And everyone made it home in time for the Game of Thrones season premier. I like to think that Alice must have know that her mommy is Sansa Stark's doppelgänger and didn't want to miss the show.

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Be sure to grab a box of tissues before you settle in to watch the story of baby Alice's home birth. Seriously, get the tissues. I guarantee you won't make it thru the next 6 minutes without needing at least one. Marin said that even John cried (more than she did) when they previewed the slideshow last night.

Incredible right? I think my favorite part was when the pizza delivery guys showed up, just as Marin was getting ready to push, with pizza boxes that said "JOIN THE FAMILY". Those perfectly unplanned (and slightly comical) moments add so much depth to a story. OH! And Marin's adorable mama, Coral. I can't even type her name without tearing up over her obvious excitement and awe over watching her daughter become a mother and meeting her first grandchild.

Now that you're all bleary eyed and sniffling, please take a minute to tell Marin & John what an amazing job they did bringing Alice into the world and how beautiful their new family is. After 50 people have commented, I will gift them with a mounted 8x12 print from their session.

Special thanks to Stand & Deliver Midwifery for their top notch work caring for this family and working with me to ensure every moment was captured. 


 Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Happy Birthday Liam | Pensacola Birth Photographer

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to be back with the Herman family for the birth of baby Liam at Pensacola's Sacred Heart Hospital. I first met Shannon and Joe when I photographed their daughter Emma's birth 2 years ago. (If you missed that, be sure to check it out here.) Meeting them, the kids, and Shannon's parents in L&D triage again was like a fun family reunion.

Labor & Delivery was quiet. We had triage all to ourselves, the kids had the run of the place, the nurses had time to chat, and even Dr. Medlock hung out with us for a while. The waiting room and recovery were also ghost towns and the morning just seemed to fly by. Once Liam was born, vitals done, and the siblings and grandparents met, we were quickly swept into a postpartum room! I was so surprised by how fast everything went that I didn't even realize we were leaving L&D. It was very cool to be able to capture the family moving down the halls and into their room. 

AND! I had a chance to hold baby Liam while mom and dad got settled.

And if you know me, you know that I LIVE to hold newborns.

Anyway, here are a few highlight, but don't forget to scroll down, watch the slideshow for the full story. Also take a moment to leave a comment at the end of the post.

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Click play on the slideshow below to see so much more. Please also take just a moment to click "comment" at the end of this post, and leave Shannon & Joe a sweet word. Once 50 people have commented, they will have their choice of images for an FREE 8x10 mounted print!

A special thanks to my hero labor and delivery nurse, Angie, for (once again) saving the day and manning my back-up camera in the OR. One day we'll get Sacred Heart to start letting photographers into the operating theater again. Until then, I am so blessed to have talented nurses willing to be my wing women.


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Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Logan & Mason | Pensacola Newborn Photography

Y'all!

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 This story deserves a one contraction opening. Because Elyane is seriously incredible. (Contraction. See what I did there. Ha!)

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With one of her twins vertex and the other breech, she knew she might not be able to deliver both babies naturally. But instead of just electing for a scheduled c-section, she took a gamble that they would be able to turn the second baby after the first was out. Unfortunately, she lost. And after delivering baby number one as desired, she had to be put under to deliver baby number two by c-section. Can you even imagine having to do both? I might have asked to stay in the hospital for the rest of the month.

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But not Ellie. She rallied and called me in for a Fresh 48 before she was even able to get out of bed. And to top it all off, just hours after battle, she looked just as chic and lovely as ever. She should probably get a medal.

AND! Big brother Noah and big sister Victoria are also twins! I am so thankful to have been asked to capture the sheer awe and wonder of the moment Noah and Victoria met their brothers, Logan and Mason. All at the Naval Hospital where the rooms have such ample and beautiful light. It was truly a dream come true.

Biggest sister Tara was also able to visit. She was so sweet and wonderful with all of her siblings and a huge help, to be certain. And dad Troy...well he was just, like, a total pro. Like juggling two infants, two pre-schoolers, and shielding his post-operative wife from an onslaught of excited children was just no trouble at all.

You were all just amazing. Thank you so much for having me there. I hope that you enjoy. Click play.

Don't forget to leave a comment below to help Ellie and Troy earn a FREE 8X10 mounted print from their session (a $40.00 value).

Thank you for watching!


Natalie Zepp Photography, Pensacola Birth Photographer, Pensacola Family Photographer, Pensacola boudoir Photographer, Pensacola maternity photographer, pensacola newborn photographer

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography