Everything You Wanted to Know About Birth Photos
Birth photos have recently become a popular trend. Many photographers and clients have expressed interest and personally I think it is a great idea.
The true beauty in birth photos is the emotion. Birth photos portray much more than the actual birth – the surrounding, the light in the room, the details, the people – including the nurse, the doctor and partner. It’s also the mother holding her partner in fear and pain, the doula offering support, the nurse providing support and helping the mother push. It’s the babies placed on their mother’s chest for the very first time, the tears of joy, pure adrenaline, the cutting of the cord, the babies, the toes and the little fingers. Birth is one of the most defining moments among my clients. It’s capturing the entire birthing journey.
The mothers which hire me for birthing photos do so because the want to capture memories without worrying about how they look. They do so because they want to “catch” their baby by the camera at the moment of birth and because they want to capture their own journey with all of the details including those supporting them in the room.
While many fear for their privacy, I promise not to take pictures of intimate areas unless requested ahead of time. I also do not share photos without prior approval and definitely not intimate ones. You can find my work on my website but there are many you will never see as I’ve been asked not to share. These photos are private, personal and special for each family. And that’s ok – and so is sharing if that’s what you decide to do. Each piece of work I share has already been edited to client’s taste. At the end, it’s all about your level of comfort and professional trust for which I have been hired to capture you at your most special moments.
A professional birth photographer will talk to you in-depth about what to expect and how you see the process.
Another question I get often is “why doesn’t the partner just take pictures?” – this is a great question with a good answer – this is the birth of their child which needs to be experienced without having to hold a camera in hand. This is the time to provide support to the mother and be in the moment. It’s very easy for family members to lose focus and forget the camera in their hands. Many clients tell me that as a result many important moments get missed and I often hear parents who are surprised to see photos of moments they never remembered while they were so engrossed in the birth. Imagine the gift you get to see as time passes from the birth – there’s nothing greater! Most of my clients are not first time parents. Many tell me that they hire me because they “do not want to forget again” – as a mother, I agree and find these photos some of the most valuable things we can own.
Are you asking yourself, why is it so expensive?
As a birth photographer, I live next to my phone – even in the shower and while I sleep. I jump as soon as the phone rings, I don’t go on vacation or anywhere far without planning ahead; I take my camera with me everywhere I go, and even if I don’t feel well I make sure I have a backup. In some way I give up the freedom to plan ahead – all of which is a huge sacrifice for myself and my family. This is part of the expense of hiring a professional birth photographer, being on-call, the many hours away from my family, loss of sleep and comfort and the many editing hours in front of the computer. Personally, I don’t do this to get rich – I do it because it’s what I truly love.
As a former nurse who assisted many births, I have a lot to give beyond just photos which is why I am often seen as another set of hands during the birth. It’s important for me to emphasize that I do not interfere. I respect the mother’s health and the baby’s and know that is always my priority. This means that I am in the sidelines, “a fly on the wall.” I make sure to follow the hospitals regulations and respect the professionalism of the staff. The staff are happy their patients are getting what they want and need from their birth experience.
Birth photos isn’t for everyone and that’s ok. Some families need privacy and do not want to invite a photographer and I respect that. But for those that are hearing about this for the first time I urge you to open your minds and understand what this really is. The fact that I am an expert in two main fields in the process – it’s the perfect combo.
The bottom line – the truth about birth photos is that it’s beautiful and special but also not always understood. Therefore, I hope that after reading this article you are much more open to it!