“We all move forward when we recognise how resilient and striking the women around us are.” – Rupi Kaur
Having your birth photographed is no decision to take lightly. It’s inviting someone you barely know in to your sacred birth space, at one of your most vulnerable times. But if you can find the right person to document your birth for you, it is something that you will truly never regret. And here’s why:
- It’s the most important day of your lifeMany, many people will hire a wedding photographer without batting an eyelid, or questioning it in the slightest. “Of course I want my wedding photographed, it’s the biggest day of my life!”And the birth of your baby? I’m willing to argue that it’s at least on par with your wedding day in terms of special occasions. But hiring a photographer to document that celebration isn’t often given a thought to. I know that weddings and births are apples and oranges, but honestly, who wouldn’t want beautiful photographs of their baby’s first moments of life!
- It only happens onceWell, once per baby. But each birth is uniquely different and just as special as the last or the next. It’s not something you can redo if you decide you’ll get photographs another time. The look on your partners face when they see their child for the first time can never be recreated. Your brand new, squishy little baby will only have one first breath, first cuddle, first feed. How incredible to have those moments sealed away forever.
- You forgetAlmost all of my birth photography clients see their photographs and say something along the lines of ‘oh my goodness, I’d completely forgotten about that part!’ when looking at the images of their labour. There can be so much going on around you, but when you’re in the throes of labour you are focused on nothing but the task at hand. You won’t remember the way your partner loving looked at you as you brought your child in to the world. Or the way your sweet midwife massaged your back for hours. Or the hot doctor who kept popping in to check on you… (okay, maybe you will remember him!) But honestly, there is so much about the day of your baby’s birth that you would just never remember without having those photos!
- You want your partner to be presentTaking photos will be way down the priority list of things for your partner to do when you’re in labour and giving birth. You’ll want them getting you heat packs, handing you water, holding your hand and whispering encouragement. And even if they do stop to take a few snaps, they won’t be in them. Trust me, you’ll want to see the look on their face when they first lay eyes on their new baby. You’ll want to see the way they looked at you, in awe of your strength and power. You’ll want them present, in the moment, in the photos – not taking them.
- You want good quality photosMaybe you’d get a chance to pass the camera to your partner or your mum or your midwife. But they’re not there to be your photographer, they’re there to support you. If they get their hands on the camera, the photos would more than likely be quick snapshots so they can get back to doing their job as your labour support. When your baby is being born, your partner or your mum will be so full of emotion (and probably shaking!) that they won’t be able to take a good quality photo.
- You want really good quality photosBy someone who really knows what they’re doing. Someone who has equipment that can handle dark birth rooms, and who knows how to focus in low lighting.
- You want to see what it looks likeTrust me, it’s the coolest thing you’ll ever see. Knowing what you looked like when you gave birth, knowing what it looks like when your baby comes out – it is SO cool. Seeing yourself with such strength, birthing your child. You’re going to want those photos to look back on forever. And to pull out and show your partner so you’ll win every argument ever 😀
- For your babyI know personally, my kids love seeing the photos that I take of childbirth. They think it’s amazing! It is amazing! But I also understand that some people may not want to show their child a photograph of them actually being born. But being able to show them how their parents worked so hard to bring them in to this world during labour? Or to show them what they looked like at only 3 seconds old? To show them the people that were in the room when they were born, all the little details from the day their life began? Now that’s pretty incredible.
Still not quite convinced? See Regan & Daniel share their personal experience with hiring a birth photographer below.