Would You Hire a Birth Photographer?
Eyeing me suspiciously, the doctor warns me to stay out of the way.
I lower my camera and quickly nod.
“Oh, don’t worry,” I reply. “You won’t even know I’m here!”
I press myself behind the curtain near the door, snapping pictures; I capture the clock, frozen in time, a hand clenched through a contraction, a father worrying over his wife and unborn child.
I’m not a family member or even (for once), the pregnant one.
I am the birth photographer.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of photographing a friend’s labor and capturing the first precious moments of her baby’s life. While many facilities don’t allow photographing of the actual moment of birth, birth photography is on the rise.
Many couples find that having a photographer immediately available is a convenient and invaluable addition to the delivery room. Not only can a birth photographer capture the unique and intense moments of labor, but having a professional photographer standing ready to preserve those first family portraits can be priceless.
Of course, there are some considerations to hiring a birth photographer, such as the expense (having someone on call for your labor and delivery isn’t exactly cheap) or the fact that you may not be comfortable with having someone in your room while you breathe through those contractions. And then there’s the fact that birth doesn’t always go as planned and emergencies or a c-section could pop up when you least expect it.
But I have to say—there was something incredibly moving about capturing the intensity of labor and the arrival of a new life. It was an honor and a privilege and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes when I am able to be part of a birth. Having a birth photographer is definitely not for everyone (myself included), but in the right setting, for the right people, I think it can be a beautiful thing.
How about you—would you hire a birth photographer?
Photo via the author’s birth photography/Edited by J & J Brusie Photography