Here are my top five reasons why you should consider hiring a birth photographer (or videographer, because adding motion and sound is pretty awesome too).
5. We know birth, we love birth, and we respect birth.
Birth photographers and videographers are knowledgeable about the birth process. Some of us have been aspiring midwives, received doula training or are doulas, and have spent a lot of time reading books and articles about birth, etc. We may even be birth activists in our area. Operating a camera under the lighting conditions of a birth is really important. But just as important is knowing when to leave for a birth, what important moment is coming up next, when to talk, when to leave, and knowing where to stand to not be in the way and still get the shot.
Birth photographers and videographers are some of the most passionate people I know. I’m biased, but we are as much cool as we are hardcore. It takes a really unique person to commit to being ready to go at a moment’s notice, and not know when they will be returning home. We risk the possibility of missing important events in our life like family events (holidays, birthdays, weddings, or even a family members birth). It’s rare to find people who are as passionate about their work as birth photographers are. We are more than just documenters. We are part of your birth team. We also tend to end up really good friends with our clients.
4. You can remember things that might become fuzzy or that you couldn’t see.
There are times where you just cannot look at everything and take everything in during your birth. Labor and delivery can require a lot of centered attention of both parents, which can limit taking in details. A photographer can capture friends and family in the waiting rooms, babies who had to go to the nursery or be put out of sight, even introductions that cannot be seen. Having a professional document your birth, especially in the case of a cesarean, can be very helpful in connecting with the birth story. During a cesarean, a mother is limited to what she can see and her mobility to see the things she would like to. We can also help you remember the little things like what’s happening while your napping, the snacks you eat, your room number, and what you were wearing.
3. Your partner and everyone in attendance for your birth should be in the images!
They are an important part of the birth story and could end up missing in chunks if they are left in charge of the camera. You could even end up having no images because they were busy being supportive. It is so freeing to have your partner able to be fully present for such life-changing moments. Like this article and research suggests, not being fully present for your big moments can spoil your memory of them. As Tiffane Wen put it, “Divided attention is absolutely an enemy of memory.” Leaving partners and friends to focus on joining you in the moment, and have someone else freeze time for you, can help everyone enjoy and remember the moments.
2. It’s a story that will be told for many years to come.
One of my favorite shows, The Gilmore Girls, Lorelei tells her daughter her birth story every year on her birthday. It had been recited so much, that Rory could follow along and even finish the story. As one of the most famous midwives, Ina May Gaskin, puts it “Whenever and wherever you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life”. Your story in images or motion, will help you recall details and enhance your story telling
1. Babies only take their first breath once. They only have one birth.
Everyone is born. It is a journey we each share with every human on earth. Our birth story is as unique as our fingerprint, and it only happens once. We so easily remember to photograph a nice meal, a birthday party, grab a selfie before date night, or photograph a teen heading off to prom.The birth photographer is an essential tool for recording family history. Life is about moments, so don’t forget to document your most important ones!