In some ways, it's difficult to write about birth photography. People often come into the conversation with skepticism, with assumptions or preconceived ideas as to what birth photography is or what it will look like. It's for exactly that reason that I find "showing" tends to work better than "telling."
That is, in fact, the exact reason why an informal group of professional birth photographers I'm a part of put together this slideshow: to show everyone what birth photography is.
When my son was born, it was like the rest of the world stopped - a sudden, radical, and complete shift in perspective - my entire life was reordered according to a new sense of importance. Birth is one of the rare events that causes almost everything else to become peripheral and fall away, allowing a crystal clear moment in which to perceive and appreciate the truly important stuff of life. (And yet, while time seems to stand still, there's still the unshakable sense that moments are speeding by at breakneck speed.)
And they are. And that's one of the reasons why hiring a professional birth photographer may be the right choice for your family: if I'm there taking photographs, everyone else can forget about the cameras and can instead go about truly engaging in these fleeting, irretrievable moments. And these moments will all be captured with the artistic, create skill of a professional, resulting in beautiful, heirloom-quality photographs.
(Another slideshow, this one focusing specifically on the role of dads and partners in the birth story, titled "Hold Her Hand, Not the Camera." One of my images is featured.)
While birth photography is the story of your child's arrival, birth photography is not only about showing the story of your child's arrival - the labor, the birth, the squalling baby- it's about those moments as a family meets each other for the first time, as you take each other in and celebrate being together for the first time. The first joyful embrace; the gaze between parent and newborn; the siblings' first peek - these are fleeting yet unspeakably valuable moments.
And those are the moments I strive to photograph.
Because, of all the moments in life you're going to want to remember, this is one of them.
And - truly - even this.
These moments cannot be re-lived, and having photographs can make the experience of remembering that much more poignant. Families often express surprise at what treasured heirlooms their birth photographs have become. I've even had one mom tell me her birth photographs are more precious to her than her wedding photographs.
To see more of my birth photography work, please click here.*
*All photographs on my website and blog are shared with the express permission of the clients.
For more information and other perspectives on birth photography, I recommend these articles:
Birth Photography - and the truth behind what is REALLYis, at Lexia Frank Photography.
The Value in Hiring a Professional, at Carolyn Spranger Photography
The Benefits of Professional Birth Photography - Preggie Pals Interview with Catie Stephens of Vuefinder Photography
And, just for fun: Barbie's Birth by Beach Birth Photography
Also check out my Birth Photography FAQs!