Just when you thought you’d heard enough about crazy pregnancy and birthing trends (live tweeting your labor, anyone?), someone mentions that they’ve hired a professional photographer to capture the birth of their baby. “No thanks!” you laugh. “My baby and I will both be a mess!” While the idea of having a stranger taking photos at the birth of your baby can seem odd to many people, the truth is, there are a lot of misconceptions about birth photography. Here’s why you should reconsider.
It's Not About Your Lady Parts
Birth photography is about so much more than the actual moment of birth. Sure, if you want that specific shot, you can and should specify it to your photographer. But the most treasured of photographs from a baby’s birth tend to be of a mother’s tears of joy, the first time a father holds his son, or the first time Big Sister meets the new baby. They may capture the clock at the moment of birth, the scale’s first reading, or those brand spankin’ new fingers and toes. Photos are often shot in black and white so as to minimize anything graphic and emphasize the dramatic wonder of the moment.
It's Not Invasive
Without a doubt, childbirth is an intense and sacred experience. Many couples worry that an additional person in the room, especially one taking photographs, will be a hindrance to the birthing process. “My husband will just take some photos,” you might think. But if your husband is worrying about taking photos, he won’t be of much help to you as a birth partner. Nor will he actually be in any of the photos. A skilled birth photographer, on the other hand, knows how to be as invisible as a fly on the wall.
It's Not Just For "Crunchy" or Homebirth Moms
Your baby’s birth deserves to be commemorated regardless of how and where it takes place. Whether it’s a home birth, a hospital birth, a surgical birth, or anything in between, it is a once in a lifetime occasion that you will want to remember forever. There are some breathtaking photos to come out of a caesarean birth, for example, though it is important to clear this with your doctor in advance. In fact, your intention to have a photographer present would be a great element to include in your birth plan.
You only get to meet your baby for the first time once, and those early moments are so precious and fleeting. If you are able to make the investment in professional photographs, it is all but guaranteed that you will not regret it.
There is a power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.
For more information, check out the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers.
Photo credits: Aspin Photography by Brandi Sorem