Birth Photography – Written by: Vannessa Brown
Birth is powerful, emotional and beautiful. I have never witnessed anything more awe-inspiring than a woman giving birth. Her emotions raw and real, surge through her whole body and the intensity is written on her face. With every breath her walls fall down while she surrenders completely to bringing a new life into this world.
Birth photography captures these intense and beautiful moments. The indescribable emotions expressed by the new parents, grandparents, and siblings-emotions you would otherwise miss, and all the details that come together to tell your baby’s unique birth story. The moment you look down at your baby for the very first time and the tear on your cheek when you first hold this new life; the connection between you and your partner and those first few hours as a new family. Every emotion, tear, and outward expression is woven together creating your birth story.
Why Birth Photography?
When I tell people what I do, I often get a puzzled look “You take pictures of what?” Birth is an intimate time, some clients worry about the details in the photos or how they will look. Birth photography is not about graphic photos; rather it focuses on capturing the precious newborn firsts – their first breath, first cry, and first feed, the first time you hold your child’s tiny hand and the love and emotion on your baby’s birth day.
Some question why hire a professional when the father or someone in the room can snap a few photos. A professional birth photographer will know how to use angles, lighting and timing to capture the beauty in your birth experience. A birth photographer is professional, discreet and respectful. They will create the story of your birth from the miniscule details of what the room looked like, who was there, the time on the clock when you were pushing to the momentous ones when the baby is birthed into the world and you first look down at this new life you created, to the expressions on the father’s face as he watches his child being born.
“Hiring a professional with passion and talent enables those shots and expressions to be captured beautifully and tastefully…from the angle of the camera, to the silhouettes and shadows, to the love captured in each shot. Not to mention the look on everyone’s faces when my husband shared the news to my dad brushing hair back, my husband and father shaking hands, to the monitors, clocks, charts, room numbers…EVERYTHING!!! I looked at EVERY SINGLE photo with absolute awe.” One client summarized.
One of the reasons many hire a professional birth photographer is to see the reaction on the father’s face. As a laboring mom, you are caught up in the moment and his reaction is missed. A photographer will capture what he looks like, how he reacts moments after the birth and what happens the first time he holds his brand new child in his arms. And he is free from having to take photos; instead he can hold your hand, stay close to you and be part of the birth story.
Like mothers to be, fathers are often hesitant to have a photographer in the birthing room. They feel having a stranger in the room will take away from the intimacy of the birth. Having a birth photographer will enable the new father to have precious images such as these; the first time he holds his daughters hand and kisses her forehead.
What does it feel like to fall in love with a human being you have only known for a few seconds more than anything in the whole world? Only a mother or father can feel that love. And only a birth photographer can capture the real, raw and intense beauty of it all. A fathers first kiss on his newborn daughter’s forehead or the deep pride a father feels as he looks upon his daughter moments after she has given birth.
Your birth will be a day you will never forget. The fleeting expressions and the intense emotions, the many firsts and the heartfelt reactions of all those present, can be captured and weaved into a powerful story of the day you first met your child, the day you became a parent, the day your life changed forever; a story that will be priceless and timeless.
Tips for hiring a birth photographer
When choosing a birth photographer there are some helpful tips & questions for you to ask:
- The Photographers experience, portfolio and equipment. Ask to see examples of images from previous births. Do they produce images that are consistently sharp, in focus and correctly edited and most importantly evoke emotion during critical moments? Do they understand the process of birth and respect your birthing space? It is important that when a birth photographer arrives in the room of a laboring mom, they remain quiet, professional, and discrete. They should not ask you to pose or change anything, rather they should quietly document the moments as they unfold.
- Just as important as the quality of their work is how comfortable you feel with the photographer. It is important you meet them before the birth, get to know them and develop a high level of trust. They will be photographing you during a very intimate time in your life. I always tell my clients they are welcome to meet with me as often as they need and for those who are uncertain, I offer a free consultation.
- Once your birth is over, your photographer will be in possession of your personal images. What is their philosophy on “your” images? It is important they show you everything first and receive your written permission before they share any on their website, facebook or online.
- What is their availability? Are they available for your 24/7 in the weeks around you due date? Have you signed a contract with them to ensure their availability? Is your birth photographer also a wedding photographer and what if you birth on a Saturday? What is their back up if they cannot make it?
- What if your birth results in a c-section? What are the photographers policies for shooting c-sections and refunds if you go in for a scheduled c-section?
Once you make a decision and sign a contract with your photographer, you should feel at ease and excited knowing your birth will be artistically and beautifully documented and you should have full trust with how your images will be handled. The birth of your child is a once in a lifetime occurrence; there is no opportunity to do a reshoot. It will be a day you will want to be preserved in the most tasteful and moving way.
About Vannessa Brown Photography:
I am portrait photographer in Edmonton, AB Canada, specializing in birth photography. I am a proud mama of two beautiful babies and they are my world. I started out as a wedding photographer, but Birth Photography has become my passion. I create birth stories and use two mediums, images and video, to tell your story. I love capturing those first cries on camera, what you said when your first held your child, and the look on dad’s face when he cradled his new baby for the first time. Having video enables your birth story to come alive.