Birth Photography? Yes, during labour. Yes, during the actual birth. Yes, for the lovely moments after.
And yes, it’s a thing.
A beautiful, magical, emotional, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is the moment that two people become a family. That moment your child becomes a big sister or brother. Mothers and fathers become grandparents. This will never happen again. Sure, you could/will have other children, but as any mother will tell you, no two births are alike.
When I talk to people I meet about it, their first reaction is a mix of confusion and horror and wonder and curiosity. And I get that! It is a private time, and the public conception is that it should be behind closed doors, so we don’t have to look at it.
But oh, we should look at it. It is the start of everything and everyone. You literally do not exist unless you are born. Your mother spent months growing you, feeding you, giving her whole body to you. She lives her life to support you, and then has the most life-changing experience of bringing you into the outside.
Wedding photography is a normal thing. You get engaged, you find a venue, you have a wedding, you find a photographer (hopefully an amazing one!) and you marry your soulmate.
Birth photography can be and is a normal thing. You get married, you decide to have a family, you have a great sleep one night, and you give birth to a tiny human that you both created and will love for the rest of your life.
I’ve done some thinking and thought of four reasons that birth photography might surprisingly be right for you:
Your spouse, or sister, or parents cannot be there for the birth of your child.
Being in the military community, I understand it is a very real possibility that your spouse or immediate family might not be able to be there. Being able to share with them the moments from your entire labour and delivery can help them feel like they were a part of this moment with you. They can see all the firsts–first breath, first cry, first look, first measurements, first eye contact, first latch–and feel like they were right by your side that day.
Your memory may not be that great afterwards.
Have you ever talked to a mother about the birth of her child? Do they have trouble recalling anything other than pain? Sometimes we focus on the bad in our memories, or don’t have the memories at all. Having a third, subjective photographer in the room can capture those moment you didn’t realize you would want–and didn’t realize how soon you might forget.
Is this your last child?
Having a printed album of your birth to be able to look at, night and day, can be a huge help mentally and emotionally. As soon as you open that album, your feelings of joy, and pain, and wonder will come flooding back. You can relive your birth as many times as you want. One of my birth clients expressed her desire to have an album so that she could relive that joy any day she wanted, in place of the need to have another child. Three, or four, or five, or six might be all that you need for your family, and an album to look back on those memories might just be the thing you need to keep those emotions at bay.
You were not satisfied with your wedding photography.
Maybe you decided to go the ‘economical’ way and not hire a wedding photographer, or were less than happy about how they turned out. Now is your chance to do it right, and capture the next biggest, most emotional moment of your lives together. Next to getting married, having a child is one of the biggest steps in a relationship.
You do a first look for your spouse, why not do a first look for the tiny human you created together?