The question I see most often about birth photography is "why?? I don't need pictures of that." But birth photography is so much more than just crowning photos - some of my favorite moments to capture during labor are the various ways that mama was loved and supported during such a vulnerable, tumultuous moment. And especially: the look on everyone's faces as they meet their new family member for the first time. Think about it, you don't get that moment back, the first time you see your baby's face. What if you were able to look back at photos? What if your baby was able to look back at those photos and see the pure love on his or her parents' faces.
"Labor is a time when all your attention is on birthing your baby. I love being able to see all the moments I didn't notice happening at the time. I love looking back through them. It instantly transports me to that time and space." - Marie
"What I most treasure about my photos was that outside perspective. When I'm in labor I'm very focused and turned inward, so to be able to see yourself from someone else's eyes during such an intense experience is really powerful. It made it much easier to write my birth story, and gave me such clear images of those memories." - Stacy
"I truly treasure all of our photos. They capture the beauty and hard work of bringing a life earth side. The connection between my husband and I while I labored, those silent moments when I was completely within myself, the surrender, the sweet support of my midwives..." - Tiffany
I've seen such an array of methods and supporters during births. From siblings to doulas to midwives to partners and even pets. There are no two women who labor the same way, but they all look equally powerful and beautiful. It's quite amazing to watch older siblings stay calm and supportive and be so gentle with their laboring mothers. One big brother in particular was even sweet and patient with his dad, as his dad supported mom. He instinctively knew that dad needed love, too.
"I wanted to see what the birth experience was like out of my own head. I wanted to see and treasure the moments with my family when we had a new addition. Birth is a miraculous thing and the moments captured are unique and special." - Julie
For some siblings, life also goes on as usual, when mama's birthing at home. ;)
And for some, they really shine in their love for their family.
You can't recreate this moment. With a birth photographer there, you don't have to think about it. Be fully present in your first meeting with your new baby, and see later how amazing it all was (and then be transported back time and time again, every time you look through your album)!
"I treasure the moments that went by in such a flash that I barely remember them. I have them in a picture. The moment I pulled my daughter out of the water. The first time my daughter saw her sister. It’s a moment you can never recreate, but with a picture, you have it forever." - Julie
"I love that Ariel captured the small details and the big moments. If I have to pick [my favorite], though, it's the first shot of me holding my baby. That moment of meeting your new person is incredible, and having it captured forever is priceless."- Stacy
"...My all time favorite photos are right after we met our daughter. We decided to be surprised with the sex of our baby and the photos of that moment were perfection. My husband would say that one of his favorites was when my son woke up during my labor. My husband and I were in the birth tub and my sister brought my son to me inbetween contractions. He and I had a moment together that was super sweet. My husband reflected later how impactful that was for him to witness." - Tiffany
Dad's are certainly capable of multitasking! But do you want them to? Do they want to? During labor, and after, I think it's okay that dads and partners be allowed to lose themselves in the moment, too. Think of weddings - you aren't taking the photos yourselves, you hire someone so you can be present in your love for each other. I feel like it's the same for birth.
"You might have to catch your baby if your midwives aren't there yet! In the moment, you don't need to worry about taking pictures." - Anderson
And of course, my favorite photos, the new family photos. <3
If you're on the fence about birth photography, let's grab a cup of tea (or coffee!) and chat! Birth is my passion, and I believe every birth story deserves to be captured and told (by you, of course).