If the idea of someone being in the room taking pictures while you give birth makes you cringe, this is the blog for you. My name is Destiny, a budding private photographer (8+ years photography experience) with a passion for birth photography and I’d like to tell you why you absolutely should at least consider hiring someone to document the birth of your child.
When I was pregnant with my first child I had never even heard of birth photography but one thing I did have was my mother who is a photographer and she was there to take pictures of my journey into motherhood. However, the pictures that were taken came from family members that were, in all fairness and reality, distracted by the impending birth of a new family member and first grandchild. While I appreciate the rawness of those images when I look at what a birth photographer offers I wish I had known about that kind of photography. On top of winding up having to have an emergency c-section that first experience into mommyhood was rocky, to say the least.
Move ahead to five years later and the impending birth of my second born. I knew a little about birth photography but I had no idea how to go about getting one and/or hiring one. I also had planned to have a VBAC but as my due date loomed and no sign of labor I was scheduled for a c-section. That ended all ideas I had about “birth photography”. Thankfully, I wound up going into labor while in the Surgery waiting area and I did get to have my VBAC. My mother again came to the rescue taking fabulous pictures while I labored, but again the pictures were of a certain few hours about mid-day into labor. At 3:30 a.m. on January 28, 2015, they said it was time to push. Where was my mom or my best friend who had been taking pictures? I had fallen asleep for about 3 hours and they had stepped out into the waiting room to chat with all the other family that was there waiting for the baby to arrive. My husband was distracted, obviously because my left leg was completely numb from my epidural wearing off – all the meds had drained into that leg- and he had to hold it up for me every time I pushed. It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal not to have those moments, but after having to have a C-section the first time getting to have a successful VBAC was a big deal for me. The pictures I do have I cherish profusely, the ones I don’t have I wish for whole-heartedly.
So, why should you hire a Photographer name Destiny to photograph your birth? I will give eight excellent reasons. There are many others but I feel like these are the most important and natural reasons why.
First of all, I can’t think of anything better than reflecting back on the photos of when I brought my two boys into the world. While I am missing a lot of moments I know that what I have I will cherish when I’m old and grey. The long labors, the hard work, our first time locking eyes on each other, the way my husband looked at me when his whole world was just turned upside down in the most beautiful of ways, and the sweet moments when our family met the baby for the first time. What fun to have a picture of the parking lot and see what cars were in style when your baby was born, what the weather was like that day, what the face of the hospital looked like that year. My heart literally sinks deep into the depths of love and happiness just remember all of those moments. Sure, I have them imprinted deep in my heart, but a photo is a tangible way to take us right back to special moments that we may not fully recall. Photographs like these aren’t always to be shared with the public eye but tucked aways for our own precious memories is just as special. I offer the option to have all of the moments beautiful captured so you get to remember and have tangible memories forever.
2) Captured Moments and Details You May Not Remember or May Miss:
There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that as a birth photographer I can capture. There may be times that I am required to leave the room such as when you get an epidural or if you are getting some well-deserved sleep in between contractions. I can journey to the waiting room to photograph friends and family eagerly waiting to hear the news of a new arrival or grab snapshots of your room number and nurses station. I’m the fly on the wall photographing tender and lovingly intimate moments between you and your spouse while they support you through your labor. I will capture all the moments big and small so that you can relive them all over again.
3) You Can Be Present:
Labor is just plain hard work. They definitely do not call it LABOR for no reason. The whole process of pushing a baby out of your body just plain takes it out of you. It is hard enough to focus on your breathing and count to 10 and all that, never mind having to worry about who is holding the camera and what photos they are getting. Take the pressure off yourself and let me take care of capturing those moments for you so you can focus on the task at hand.
4) Your Spouse and Family Can Focus on YOU:
If this is your first baby, for example. Your husband is just plain overwhelmed. He can’t decide if he can actually help you through labor or if he is is just in the way, and it is also a whole lot of emotions that he probably has never felt before all at once. This is a new experience for him as well and he wants to support you and hold your hand. He is proud beyond words of the power and strength you are exuding to bring a baby into the world. He is in awe of his wife or girlfriend or fiance. When I asked my husband how he would have felt if someone had thrust a camera in his hand and asked him to take pictures instead of being with me he said he would have hated it because he would have felt less involved. He loved getting to see the baby come out, cutting the cord, and all that. So, if you have a photographer there that is only there to capture your birthing day not only does he get to witness your awesome mommy powers but he will have photographs that take him back to those special moments as well.
Your family is busy being excited about the impending arrival of a new baby. There really is nothing like holding new life in your arms. Sure they will be snapping away but there will be moments that they want to be a part of instead of just bare witness to. You get the best of both worlds if you have your photographer there.
5) Quality Photographs:
In the age of the iPhone, there is no doubt that someone will be taking pictures at some point that is a part of your birth group. However, cell phone pictures cannot compare to the quality of a professional photographer can do. I have spent many hours studying and learning about my camera and the settings it has. Hospital lighting is not that great. If you are planning on having a home birth lighting can be even worse in a house because most births have low lighting that can be difficult to compete with but through research, your photographer (me) has learned the correct lenses and setting on their camera to retain the quality of the image even in those low light settings.
Not only can I provide excellent quality photos, I also know how to remain professional in the birthing environment. An experienced birth photographer will know the flow of birth and how to position themselves so they are not in the way but still able to capture the moments you hired them for. I have a personal relationship with my OBGYN because she also delivered one of my kids and is the Family Doctor of my whole family. I have known her since I was thirteen years old and I feel like it gives me a unique ability to know when to get out of the way and move to a different spot in the room and/or when to just plain get out so she can do whatever it is that she needs to do. I have not had the chance at this point to be a part of a birth center birth or home birth but I am very much looking forward to working with a Midwifery in the area to provide this option for moms that are looking for a more intimate setting than a hospital.
7) I Know What It Is Like NOT To Have The Pictures:
I feel I am uniquely qualified to do birth photography because I know what it feels like later NOT to have the pictures that take you back to special moments in your birth. It really does bother me not to have them and I want to make sure that any mother that is thinking about hiring me or any other birth photographer really does THINK about it and then hopefully decide to go through with it because it truly is an amazing gift/special set of photos to have later when the intenseness of the birth has wound down or when you pull them out years from now to look at them for fun. You have the most amazing story through photos that you can show that baby when he or she is old enough exactly what the day was like when they came into the world.
8) An Amazing Postpartum Gift:
Days and weeks after the baby is born; the family has gone home, you are sleep deprived and the baby is finally sleeping for the first time in forever; when the reality of having a newborn catch up to you and things “just got real”. You can sit down, scroll through these pictures, and smile as the feelings rush back and you are transported back to the moment they laid your baby in your arms, your spouse cut the cord, your parents met their grand baby… all of it will be there for you, forever.