Have any questions for us?
Have a look at our list of frequently asked questions below.
Is SABPA a governing body?
SABPA is a professional organisation that is a representative and supportive association. Our focus is on support, education and providing resources for both parents and birth photographers. We are dedicated to enhancing professionalism within the birth photography industry and bridging the gap between medicine and humanities. Some hospitals require photographers to pass their SABPA entry exams and obtain their SABPA licenses before they are allowed to photograph a birth.
Does SABPA prescribe that hospitals only allow SABPA-registered photographers?
No. SABPA registration is a merit requirement. It is an internal decision and not one that SABPA prescribes. We, however, support hospitals and healthcare providers that make use of SABPA-registered birth photographers as it promotes professionalism and standards within the industry.
Will I get hospital access if I am SABPA-registered?
Not necessarily. All healthcare providers have their merit requirements (being SABPA-registered is often one of the requirements), and it is the individual’s responsibility to find out what those requirements are and abide by them.
How does one differentiate between a SABPA-registered photographer and a non-SABPA photographer?
SABPA photographers are listed on our website. SABPA photographers will also attend births in branded scrubs with their own business name and SABPA logo. Permission agreements and a SABPA license will also be in place. SABPA members are verified by hospital staff should there be any further concern with eligibility.
What is the SABPA Oath of Conduct?
The SABPA Oath of Conduct is the cornerstone of SABPA and the ethical, privacy and professional standards that SABPA birth photographers work towards. With the Oath in place, it provides the necessary security for medical professionals to trust working alongside the SABPA photographers and limiting the risk of working outside of the rules and requirements set out.
*Please consider the appropriate time frame required to become a registered SABPA-photographer before booking clients.
How is SABPA regulated?
An Independent Advisory Board oversees SABPA made up of OBG’s, midwives, doulas, hospital managers, theatre matrons and more.
My friend asked me to photograph her birth next week, and I want to register – can’t you speed up the registration process?
We have increased the amount of SABPA exams from six to 12 a year, which means that the entrance exams can be written once a month. Should you pass your SABPA exam and registration, it takes approximately two weeks for your results to be processed and your license to be made available. We promote the highest level of professionalism and safety and ethical standards, so we can unfortunately not expedite the process. We take the exams very seriously, and our students need time to internalise the Oath of Conduct before they write their exams.
What are SABPA’s bank details?
First National Bank (FNB)
Do I need to have experience photographing births to register, and if so, how many?
No, you do not need any experience. However, please note that some hospitals may require for you to have attended at least two births as a birth photographer.
The SABPA Oath requires SABPA photographers to have a SABPA-registered back-up photographer for a birth. What if I am the only registered photographer in my area?
You need to make it clear to your client (before they book) that you do not have a SABPA-registered back-up photographer and as soon as there is one available in your area, the necessary arrangements for a back-up photographer will need to be made.
Can I register with SABPA even though I am not qualified as a photographer?
SABPA only focuses on the safety and privacy aspects of birth and on whether a photographer is qualified to hold the birth space for parents. Style and photography skills are something parents can evaluate by visiting the SABPA Photographers Directory.
How do I gain access to the SABPA closed forum for further support and guidance?
Once you have passed your entry exams and completed your registration, you will receive an invite to the closed SABPA forum.
Exam Questions and SABPA Short Course
To support learners, a short course called “Unpacking the SABPA Oath of Conduct” will soon be available to purchase. The course is optional, but it is advisable as it will ultimately give you more insight into the inner workings of medicine and humanities.
Why do I have to pay to be a birth photographer?
Being a member of a formal body creates a professional outlook on your portfolio. It shows that you take your role as a birth photographer seriously and professionally. You shouldn’t enter a medical environment without knowing specific protocols and knowledge. Having a formal body representing you goes a long way in how you present yourself to the medical and birthing staff as well as expectant parents.
Now that I am a registered birth photographer, will SABPA help me with my marketing?
Although SABPA is not here to help you with your business model or marketing, we do offer many opportunities to be featured on our social media platforms. Please make the best of this opportunity to help us help you grow your brand.
How do I get my first client, and can I advertise my portfolio?
Congratulations on becoming a SABPA-photographer member and knowing the Oath of Conduct. It is time to get your first client. You can make contact with doula’s/midwives in your area and see if they have a client who deserves something special. SABPA strongly advises NO ONLINE advertising or posts for this opportunity. It is highly recommended to charge an on-call fee so that your clients have more “to lose”.
How much should I charge, and should I charge differently for C-sections or natural births?
We do not enforce any pricing guidelines due to different areas and each small town or big city has different pricing brackets. In bigger cities, we highly recommend you start at nothing less than R6000 a birth. You can then progress and increase prices as you go. It’s not advisable to charge differently for different births as it may seem that you are encouraging one or another type of delivery, and that is always a risky situation.