Birth Photography - WHY?
This is a common conversation that I have had with friends, family, and strangers since becoming a birth photographer.
Person: “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I photograph growing families’ journeys through birth, baby, or adoption photography.”
Crickets…along with a blank stare.
I then proceed to explain what the BIRTH part means, and they are sometimes shocked to find out that I am present in the room taking photographs when a birth is taking place! They immediately begin to ask questions and wonder why someone would ever want a professional photographer taking pictures of THAT! I have even been reamed by a doctor, stating that “I have no business being present and photographing in a birth.” Most people are curious, though, and ask, “Why?” I proceed to explain this…
For most of my photography career (15 years), I have primarily photographed weddings. I realized that what I liked the most about photographing weddings was the storytelling aspect and that I was invited to be an integral part of a life changing event for someone I hardly knew. I always felt honored to be able to capture and share these events with them and was excited when they felt they could re-live the day when looking back at the images. When I began this new journey I realized how many similarities there where in weddings and births and realized how beautiful it could be to be able to provide a family an album/ video of their birth story, something more then just dad or Grandma taking pictures on their phones after the baby is born. How amazing would it be to be able to look back, and instead of forgetting many valuable details, to be able to say,
“Wow! It was so special to see these photos. I had forgotten all about that,” or “Looking back at these images, I feel like I can really breathe it all in and experience this miracle on a deeper level!”
So, if this hasn’t made you a believer yet, then here are a few other Whys you can ponder.
Overwhelmed/Busy – Most new moms/parents, as they go into the birth process, are scared, nervous, overwhelmed, excited…(you add the adjective), and the idea of Dad or a family member taking photos is exhausting. Often, it is an afterthought, because the birth support is there to do JUST that, support, encourage, and help mom give birth to a NEW LIFE!!!
Broken Story – As a result of #1, the images that a family usually walks away with are one or two of mom as she is beginning the process and a million of baby after he/she is born. What if you could have a complete visual story, a beginning, middle and ending to this amazing miracle of life, a story you can share with your child and family for years to come?
Birth is Unpredictable – You never know what could happen or will happen. Many women go in with their Birth Plan all ready to go and sometimes are faced with the reality of something completely different (myself included). This can be overwhelming or scary and the last thing on the minds of your support team is needing to document the event.
Lack of Quality Images – You have just given birth and look back at the images of this beautiful creature only to feel like you missed something, the light was bad, someone’s eyes are closed, there is someone missing in the photo, etc… . With birth photography, you walk into your birth with a qualified visual historian. You can breathe a little easier and feel some of the weight lifted off.
An Investment in Your Personal Family’s History – As we all know, many people will pour hundreds or thousands of dollars into photography for their wedding but often think it is ridiculous to spend money on documenting your child’s birth, even though the occasion is just as life changing and monumental as your wedding, if not more!
It Can Help You Heal- Birth is such an emotional roller coaster ride and as we stated earlier, can be very unpredictable. When all is said and done, sometimes it is hard to process it all and truly absorb all that has transpired. Many moms and families have testified to how looking back at their documented birth story has helped them to heal. It allows them to take the time to remember and relive the experience when they are ready, in a place and time when they are calm, eager and attentive to receive it.
An Outsider Perspective (fly on the wall) – One thing that your partner, family, or friends don’t have is an outsider perspective on this joyous event. An outsider can notice details that you or your team would never see. And, if you add in the skill set of an experienced photographer/storyteller seeking out the unforgettable moments, you have a recipe for something truly breathtaking!
More questions?? Ready to take the plunge?
Contact me or Follow me on this journey –