I think people have two different reactions when they hear the words “birth photography”. Either they are thinking “oh sweet fresh babies” or they are thinking “who wants pictures of the gross parts?” This photo below is the reason I think that birth photography is good and special and magical.
This moment was not one that I made happen. But it was one I got to witness and capture. It was that first moment of holding her baby girl after her three boys. A girl that she’d wanted to have SO Badly for years. It was the moment when she first held her and she knew that her desires had come true. Moments that are so fleeting but mean so much. (You can see all of them here.)
I get that some people feel private and don’t feel comfortable with sharing their pain and private parts to a photographer. Every time I have been able to be at a birth I have given them space and privacy. When I did my first birth it was my SIL and when the baby was just crowning the doctor leaned back and said “Rhonda, did you wanna capture this?” I just said “nope, I don’t want that part.” Some people do want that. That’s not for me. Instead I want to capture the moment you hold your baby for the first time. Or the moment that a couple comes together that they made this beautiful baby and that that new little person has joined their family. The beginning.
When we had our first kid my mom was there and I was totally nervous about having her there. But it was ok. She got to share with us in the miracle of having Alden. Then when we had Lucy I wanted just us. And it was. It was private and quiet and ended up being a whole other thing because she ended up getting sick but that is a whole other thing. More my point is that if you don’t want to have someone right in there when you are pushing your brains out and in pain there are other ways to capture your baby and the newness.
One time I got there just after the baby was out and it was still really new and fresh. Those are a different feeling but still something worth capturing.
Or there is Something that some photographers call a Fresh 48, which pretty much is just after you’ve been all cleaned up and moved into your room and maybe even slept a bit, but the baby is still within a day old. Maybe even the first time the brothers and sisters meet their new little sibling.
Seeing those connections made and the love and interest in the new little one is something that is soooo lovely to capture. One time a good friend waited until they brought the baby home from the hospital for the siblings to meet him. And I love love loved this idea. I wish more did it. The kids were comfortable at home but still saving the moments of meeting for capturing at home. Special moments documented.
Moments in home with mom and dad and maybe some siblings or maybe none.
There are also moments that are more posed. Moments with a mom and her new little one together.
Details of the smallness and sweetness of a fresh new little baby.
All of these are worth capturing and evoke different memories when you look back on them. What is the thing you want to capture for the future through photography? What is your why? That should help you decide when and who and how. I think the thing to remember is that birth photography doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable shots or moments. Instead it’s about documenting and celebrating the new little ones that enter your life. If you have questions or want to talk about pictures and how to capture your new little one, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to have a chat with you.
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