(all photos are shared with client’s permission)
You may be laughing already, because if you’re here, you know that I’m a Birth Photographer. Like, “Obviously you think people should! It’s how you get paid”. But I promise if you keep reading I just might make some points you haven’t thought about, because when I was having my first child I certainly didn’t think about it.
You may be thinking to yourself, and I definitely hear this from grandma’s-to-be, “Why would I want pictures of THAT!?” Meaning, of course, the moment of birth… Baby’s head emerging from the vagina or through a cesarean section incision, sometimes a butt or a foot, depending… And while I personally LOVE that moment, (I think it’s super cool and amazing to see what women’s bodies are capable of) this is not all that birth photography is. In a gallery of 75-100 images, normally about 5 are of this particular moment and depending on the client’s wishes I may be standing right by her shoulder so that I don’t in fact have any vagina shots just amazing captures of a baby reaching for it’s mother for the first time.
But sometimes mom’s want those photos, and I’m happy to oblige. I know for myself, those were the ones I was most interested to see from my son’s birth.
But more often than not, what a birth photographer is really trying to capture is the human emotion of birth. The connection between partners, the strength of the family, the love pouring out of every pore, the small little touches, the details of the room that will all to soon be forgotten.
If you’re plan for birth photography is your husband with an iPhone they simply won’t get this shot… Look at that dad’s face as he see’s his third son for the first time and his wife’s amazing strength to birth her baby.
or THIS shot…
Or THIS one either… Yes, dad is in the hospital tub with mom applying hip pressure with two red apples… I mean, who doesn’t want that memory captured forever!?
But we (birth photographers) want to capture the special details that neither of you may recall, but in the moment were so so special.
And let’s please not forget the family reactions! They get me every dang time!
This brand new grandma was so surprised to walk in and see her grand daughter already born! There wasn’t a dry eye.
Or how about all these cute people waking up to a new baby in the house!?
And let’s not forget about the baby! If you’ve ever had a baby, you know, they change SO fast! And if you’ve never had a baby, I’m here to tell you that those details change and disappear within hours of birth and they don’t stop changing. I love being able to capture all the teeny tine details that I promise you, the very best camera phone just isn’t going to do justice too. When your kid is 2 or 12, you will be so thankful to be able to look back and see just how tiny and precious they were.
And while I know that camera phones have gotten pretty good these day, they just simply will NOT handle low-light situations (which most births are) or weird spotlights (which you get in hospital births) and super fast shutter speeds to capture stuff that will be lost to time.. Here’s some side by sides of a couple photos taken by a dad at a birth and then pictures taken by me of almost the same vignette. They’re not bad, but I think you can clearly see the difference.
I feel like I could go on and on… But here’s one last reason… Moms, and mamas to be, don’t you want to be able to look back, to show your children, the way your face looked the very first moment you laid eyes on your baby? Because I know I do. I would throw my wedding photos in the trash can to be able to go back and have a birth photographer capture the moment my daughter (my first born) was born after laboring for 40 hours and pushing for 6 and finally birthing her all naturally in my own bed. And so that’s why I feel blessed to be able to capture moments like these…
Or maybe some of my favorites… from the birth of my son, and when I knew I was ready to take the leap into birth photography… While my face is swollen from hours of pushing, the angle is a little less than flattering (birth is done in tight spaces), the shock and amazement at finally holding my giant 9+lb son who was 41weeks and 6 days gestation, the joy I felt, the relief, it will always be worth having this moment beautifully captured.
Thank you to Hillarie Mae Laver of Hillarie Mae Photography for being at my birth, encouraging me in my early photography days and for theses priceless moments.
There are more moments than just these that those of us that call this our career, our passion, work tirelessly to capture through all hours of the night and day. On call for weeks at a time, forgoing trips and outings with family, always carrying our things with us, phone never on silent, but to us this is all worth it to be able to best serve the families that choose us as Birth Photographers for your birth. If you are on the fence, do it! If you want to talk more, call me. I’d love to capture your birth for you!