Birth Photography is still very much an up-and-coming genre of photography.
Many people don't know Professional Birth Photography exists... and if they've heard of it, they might not truly understand why a woman would want a complete stranger with a camera present when she's giving birth.
"Gross, why would anyone want THAT captured?" - I've heard it countless times. What you might not understand, is that Birth Photography is not just about a picture of a baby physically coming out of a vagina or an incision.
Birth Photography is about telling a story. Birth Photography is about documenting the anticipation of those hours before your baby is born. Birth Photography is about documenting that exact moment when you look at your baby for the first time, hold them in your arms, smell their smell for the first time, hear their cry for the first time. Birth Photography is about telling the story of the miracle of life and love.
As a Professional Birth Photographer accredited by the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, I work under a strict Code of Ethics and I also strive to capture images that can be shown to all audiences and to tell your story in the most objective and artistic way.
By hiring me, you're not only getting a stranger with a fancy camera and great pictures. You are getting an experience and a supporter.
WHY SHOULD YOU HIRE A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER...?
...instead of just having your partner/mom/doula/friend-with-a-good-camera take pictures for you?
• A "Birth Story" is a complete story told through photographs that you can hold onto forever. A Professional Birth Photographer is a storyteller, and will capture you WHOLE story with their trained artistic eye. With a full Birth Story in your hands, you will always be able to look back and remember the story in its entirety, and you will also be able to show your child the story of the day you met them and welcomed them into your family.
• A Professional Birth Photographer knows how to objectively capture the story without interfering with it. A family member or friend are usually emotionally invested in the process, and might not remember to keep shooting while they're seeing you go through a painful contraction or if they're admiring that beautiful freshly born baby. Also, a family member or friend will often capture images that are too graphic to show anyone else. A Professional Birth Photographer knows how to tastefully and artistically capture the moment of birth without it being too graphic or gruesome.
• A friend or family member with a "good" camera could very well take photos for you. However, a "good" camera set on auto mode still leaves you with blurry, or too dark, or too bright images - because the camera is thinking on its own, and not doing what a Professional Birth Photographer (with experience in shooting in very low or nonexistent light!) tells it to do. Relying on a Professional to document one of the most important days of you life is guaranteed to give you an array of awesome images! Relying on a camera's thinking ability... well, that is a very big gamble that could leave you empty handed.
• Your partner can be a great photographer! However, giving your partner the role of photographer will deprive him of more crucial roles: your support during labor and delivery and his participation at the moment of birth. Who is going to capture that part of your story? Who is going to capture the moment when your partner lays eyes on his child, and finally holds that little baby for the first time? By hiring a Birth Photographer you are giving the whole family the gift of being in the pictures, and being a part of the story!
• And perhaps the most important aspect of having a Birth Photographer present (in my opinion), is that all those "first" important moments are being professionally documented and preserved... and I'm not talking about snapshots of a few moments, but about your whole journey being artistically captured through images that you will be proud of having printed and displayed in your home, and leaving as a legacy to your child.
Hiring a Birth Photographer is a very personal decision. No one can make this decision for you. But I hope these important points might help you in making the decision of hiring me as your Birth Photographer in the near future.
LET'S GET PERSONAL
Here’s my story and what I learned from my own 2 births.
I made the huge mistake of asking my dad to photograph the birth of my first child. As you can tell, that went horribly wrong and I only have shots I can’t show to anyone, and worst, that I never go back to look at.
Birth Photography wasn’t even in the radar back then, so we never thought to hire someone. But the need to have it documented was already there!
When I got pregnant with my daughter, I knew I wanted professional images as I had just started my own photography business.
My husband insisted, very persistently, on documenting the birth himself. So we made a deal. I would hire a doula to give me the support I needed for my natural water birth, and he would photograph the birth. It worked well, since my husband is a good photographer. But he isn’t an excellent photographer, and he isn't in most of those images. The whole story is definitely not told through the frames we got, and we got our share of blurry pictures - this makes me regret that deal.
A few short weeks after my daughter was born, I had the chance to photograph my doula’s homebirth. I never looked back after that. I fell deeply in love with documenting Birth Stories, and it became the driving force behind my photography, and molded the way I now approach all my other sessions.
What I believe.
I believe a Birth is the most important event that will take place in a family’s life because of its unchangeable and miraculous nature. It needs to be captured. It HAS to be captured. We spend thousands of dollars on Wedding Photography, so why not invest in Birth Photography to thoroughly, professionally and beautifully document the birth of our children?
Birth Photography gives women the gift of seeing themselves through a different set of eyes while giving birth - it’s an empowering gift. It gives a father the gift of seeing his own expression when he holds that small life in his hands for the first time. It gives the child the gift of learning the story of the day they were born, and seeing with their own eyes the factual events, and most importantly, the love they were born into.
Birth Photography is pure and unadulterated storytelling.
It shows the support and the renewed love for one another, the looks that are exchanged and the power of a single touch during the most difficult time of labor. It shows a teardrop that sometimes escapes unnoticed. It shows the nervous expectation from those who are waiting outside. It shows raw beauty and love.
Whether you're planning on having a hospital birth, a home birth, a birth center birth, or even a c-section - please consider hiring me as your Professional Birth Photographer to document your whole Birth Story and immortalize such a huge event in your life!