I hear it time and time again, "I just don't know that having a birth photographer is right for me." Then I start talking and I talk and talk, because that's just what I do. It's my passion, I could go on and on about birth photography. I wanted to write a post to help people decide whether or not hiring a birth photographer would be right for them. Let's dig in to the biggest reasons to hire a birth photographer.
If you want your partner to be completely present for you: Often it is left to Dad to capture these all too important images when the moment comes to greet your precious child for the first time. This almost always results in three things. The first being that Dad doesn't feel like he gets to be completely present at witnessing the birth of his child. Secondly it almost always results in lack luster images, often coming from a cell phone. Or lastly it ends up being a combination of the two. In the desire to be fully present and take in everything that is going on Dad ends up taking very few pictures of the event. There is another issue that comes from dad being the "photographer", it's very hard for him to be in the pictures. I know from experience. I am so embarrassed and a little sad to share this picture:
This is the only "family picture" we have from the day that our first son was born. Notice anything missing? A baby perhaps? Oh wait there is a tiny little hand (I think) up by my shoulder. It was also taken from a cell phone even though we brought a camera with us. Why in the world didn't he use the camera? His reason was that he was thinking of other things and he didn't have time. The end of my labor was very fast so his reasons were valid. At the time we had our oldest I didn't even know about birth photography. It was knowing there had to be a better way to get pictures of this special moment that led me to becoming a birth photographer.
If you want to relive the amazing journey again and again: The memories fade and get fuzzy within days of delivering your beautiful baby. I truly believe God gave us this ability so that we can forget the hard parts. That way maybe we will do it again someday. But with the ability to forget the bad we also forget a lot of the good. We forget who our nurses are, what the room looks like, what we did to pass the time. What kind of medicine did the doctors give you, what time did you start pushing, which nurse supported you and taught you how to push? There are so many little memories that make up the whole big experience. These are the things you want to remember.
If you want to be able to see everyone's emotions and reactions including your own: I don't know if I have ever had as many emotions in one day as I did the days that my kids were born. Joy, anxiety, hope, fear, excitement, happiness, sadness, pride, pain (ok, so not an emotion but totally valid here), relief, and love. This is a huge reason that totally speaks for itself, it really doesn't need a long explanation. Wouldn't you love to be able to look back and actually see those emotions on not only your face but everyone else's as well?
If it's important to you to capture memories that cannot be recreated: This is a once in a lifetime event. You will never have the chance to recreate this moment. Pictures are so important because when our memories fade our pictures will last, they will remind us. They take us back instantly. A birth cannot be recreated, we cannot get that moment back. The first time you see your son, the first time you hold your daughter, the worry on your husband's face when you have been pushing for 2 hours, the shock on your doctors face when your baby comes out way bigger than expected, the exact moment your baby is born, his first breath. These are all things that go away forever when the moment is over. Unless it is captured forever, in a picture.
You want your partner to be the only one in the room, but you don't want your family to miss out: My husband and I knew we wanted to be the only people in the room when our children were born. We wanted to be the first one to see our babies and we didn't want any distraction from our families. While some people would love to be hugged on and oooo'd and aahhh'd at that was not our idea of a calm relaxing environment. We wanted time to do skin to skin, to be able to try to nurse for the first time, and to look at our baby in awe. We are still so happy that that is what we did and if we had another child we would do it again. However, there was guilt attached to this choice. We knew that our families wanted to be in there. I felt far less guilt with the birth of our second child because I knew that they would get to relive the experience because we had a photographer. She didn't take away from our time with our child, there was no pressure to pass the baby to her, she didn't distract us, she captured our story so that we could watch it again and again and so that we could share it with our loved ones.
Here are a few shots of our birth story. Photography by Abrienne Lorenson Photography.
So if you want your partner fully present for the most important day of your lives, if you want to be able to relive this amazing journey, if you want to be able to see not only other peoples emotions but your own, and you want to be able to share your story with those that you love, than having a birth photographer is right for you! I have never met a mother that regretted hiring a birth photographer. However, I have met several mothers, including myself, that regret not hiring a photographer. So if you find yourself pregnant and wondering "Is having a birth photographer right for me?" The answer is yes. Birth photography is for everyone.
Have a blessed day.-Rachael
I am a mom and a photographer. My love of motherhood led me to photograph all things from bellies to birth and beyond.