Birth Photography, to be honest, something that came up on my radar before I was pregnant. I’d seen a bit of it about and just thought to myself how brave the mothers were to let a camera into the hospital and how there would be no way I’d ever want something like that done. After all I, wouldn’t leave the house without a full face of makeup, why would I let someone take a photos of me at my most vulnerable!
Fast forward and here I am with only 3 and half weeks to go before I meet my baby boy and I have completely changed my mind.
I have seen more birth photography now; looked around websites and looked into it more and to be honest it is something that appeals to me. We have photos taken of every other monumental moment in our lives so why not the birth of our babies? In the UK it seems to still be a very new thing with only a handful of photographers specialising in this area. However in the US it seems a lot more popular. There are birth photography specialists who make a good living from doing just that! They are experienced in every sort of birth, from hospital, to home, to water, to C Section and know exactly what to do in every situation. I found this one on the internet which shows a variety of work.
I have to admit that most of the birth photography I have seen here in the UK has been taken by the fathers who are actually photographers themselves, so making the whole process a lot easier! but it is an area that is becoming more popular. You can read an article from UK based Birth Photographer Jade Langton Evans entitled Why hiring a Birth Photographer could be one the most amazing decisions you could make and see for yourself!
The life of a birth photographer though is full of sacrifices, it seems they have to be on call 24/7 for at least 4 week before the due date, they have to be fully ready and happy to drop everything as soon as they get the call, which means a lot of flexibility on their part. Of course no birth is the same, so a lot of time they could be hanging around waiting, while other times the whole birth could whizz by! It is a profession that they devote their lives to.
The more I look at images of babies being born, not just the after glow, but the whole experience from beginning to end, the more I realise it is such a special thing. The pictures tell a moving and emotional story, a story that surely everyone would want captured? But again as I think about it the more obstaclesI come up with.
Now I know a lot of photographers, however because of the profession I am in these are mainly wedding photographers, all of whom are extremely busy in the summer months and as I am having a summer baby I can’t expect any of them to be ‘on call’ waiting for me to give birth. Also do I know any of them well enough to have them with me during the birth? A specialist birth photographer I think would be a different thing as they would be used to doing this day in day out.
The other obstacle I have is that I am (hopefully as long as everything goes well) having a hypnobirth and that means as little disruption and fuss as possible, just me, Nik and a midwife. Having someone there taking photos kind of goes against everything I am striving for with my birthing experience! So yes I guess in an ideal world having the birth photographed would be amazing but the more I look at the practicalities the less it seems feasible.
At the moment my option is to give Nik the camera with a few lessons before hand and hope he can do a good enough job himself. We have asked for a few bits of advice from professionals and fingers crossed he will know what he is doing. After all I have a professional camera, so we are half way there! However in an ideal world with a string of specialist birth photographers at my finger tips I would be booking one up straight away!
In summary I guess what I am trying to say is it’s something I would LOVE to have done, but the practicalities and the logistics of it don’t seem to work out!
So what do you think, is it something you would consider? Did you have your birth professional photographed? Would you recommend it? Or is it something you are considering? What would make you do it and what would make you definitely not do it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are a birth photographer I’d love to hear from you.
- Photography By: Jade Langton Evans photography www.jadelangtonevans.co.uk and S6 Photography www.s6photography.co.uk
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