Updated: Mar 18
Most expecting moms-to-be, at some point or another, search the internet, ask a friend or a family member for a maternity and newborn photographer. Most expecting moms-to-be document their pregnancy journeys via home-made photographs and a beautiful maternity session. Moms-to-be usually hire a trusted, skillful photographer to create a personalized and magical photoshoot in which they can capture the fleeting moments, the round belly, and that special feeling soon-to-be moms feel.
But have you ever thought about documenting your labor and birth? I am here to tell you why I wish, as a photographer, to have had hired a birth photographer for my own children's birth.
I have memories, tangible little evidence, of once or twice being pregnant. I have photographs of my belly growing, little keepsakes I have kept from ultrasound appointments and hospital stays. I remember taking the first pregnancy picture: a cell phone photo in the mirror. I also remember taking the very last image, in the mirror with my belly being round, before heading to the hospital to welcome my new baby.
The next image I recall taking was the photo of my baby in my arms at Humber River Hospital in Toronto. The journey between the last pregnancy photo to having my sweet baby in my arms have been lost. It has been lost, because those "fleeting moments" we always talk about have slipped through my fingers. My baby's first moments, his first little expression, his little mouth quivering in an attempt to cry for the very first time are things I never got to really see. I was too busy crying happy tears, so much as I could barely make out the face of my husband as he said "you did it".
Reasons to document your labor and birth experience
Reason #1: Pregnancy is a precious time in our lives, so is birth
We are so keen on capturing monthly images of our growing bumps and having a maternity portraits taken while we are cradling our round belly, only to miss out on the most special, exciting event of our lives - the birth. Labor and birth are one of lives "it happens once" moment. We should celebrate it in all its' glory and capture the special moments of moms seeing their babies for the first time ever. Let's not miss out on that!
Reason #2: We forget the details
It is true! Over time, you forget the details, the time you decided to leave for the hospital, the room number of your hospital room, the feel of the monitor belt on your belly, and how you held the hands of your love through a contraction. You forget how your partner or doula pushed on your back to give you all the support they could. Documenting your labor and birth give you tangible evidence of what and how it happened. It reminds you the last journey you had to take in order to bring a new life into this world.
Reason #3: To share your story
Labor and birth photography allows you to fully share your story. It enables to to create a storyline from the very beginning till the end of a chapter - the birth. It allows you to share actual images, with your child or someone else, of what it was to know you were about to meet the new love of your life. Birth photography gives you the chance to show images to your child from 10, 20, or 30 years ago in order to describe the whole event and what it took to bring your child into the world.
Reason #4: Hiring a birth photographer will ensure your special moments to be captured
Birth is beautiful, precious, and hectic. Don't relay on your partner to capture the best parts: the baby arriving, the cord being cut, or the baby being measured. I know from experience, partners are not focusing on capturing the best, most appealing images of the event; they are more focused on you, the baby, and the whole birthing experience. Hiring a talented birth photographer will ensure that your "must have" photos are being captured. It also allows your birth partner and attendees to focus on you and your baby. Birth is hectic, and you need someone who's only job is to document your journey. Don't miss out on special, fleeting moments!
Reason #5: Quality birth photos and experience
You want your birth to go your way, the way you have planned it carefully. Having a birth photographer capturing your labor and birth helps you to stay connected to your birth plan. Your photographer can remind you of little details such as what song you wanted to hear while you were in labor or how you wanted the lights dimmed. Having a professional birth photographer with you at your labor also means that your photographs will be of highest quality possible. We, as professional birth photographers, are equipped with the necessary technology to take images in all lighting settings such as hospital rooms, birthing centres, and clients' homes. Most of us have certifications and extra education in birth photography via various educational platforms such as the PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada).
If you want to read about other people's reasons to hire a professional birth photographer, you may want to check out the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers.
To book your session or a consultation, please follow the link to my booking page.