Honestly, it's not for everyone.
Birth photography is a relatively new genre of photography that has been gaining popularity over the past 8-10 years. A quick google image search for "birth photography" will yield thousands of breathtakingly beautiful images full of raw emotion. But is it something you should consider for your own growing family?
First, let’s talk about why you SHOULDN’T hire a birth photographer. Save your money if you:
- View birth as a means to an end only
- Don’t have any plans to take pictures during or soon after your baby is born
- Don’t really care to remember details of the birth of your baby
Some people really don’t like birth. They think it’s gross, scary and/or an unavoidable means to an end. And that’s okay! If that’s you, then save your pennies for some really nice newborn photos and call it good.
Since you’re reading this, I’m going to bet that you have at least some curiosity about birth photography. The birth of your baby is an event that you’re looking forward to and you want to be able to remember it with images. Maybe you have “camera” on your list of items to pack in the hospital bag, or have a vague plan in place for your husband or doula to grab your phone and snap some pictures as it’s happening.
If you know you want images to document your baby’s birth, here’s why you should consider hiring a professional:
A professional birth photographer has ONE job, and that’s to take the pictures.
Moms hire me to do one job only - take the photos. I’m not there to hold your hand, rub your back, remind you to breathe or cheer you on (though I secretly am as I stay hidden in a corner). Your doula (if you have one) and partner are there to support you through labor. It wouldn’t be fair to you (or to them) to add “take pictures” to the job description during an intense and emotional situation.
Lighting during birth is usually really crappy
Since birth almost always occurs indoors (or at least, that’s the goal), the lighting is far from ideal. Most moms prefer a darker environment for labor and delivery (it’s an evolutionary thing). If your designated picture-taker is not experienced taking pictures in low light, or doesn’t have the right equipment to do so, you could be left with images that are too dark, fuzzy, or tinted in a 1970’s mustard yellow. Professionals know how to deal with these lighting situations, have the gear that can manage, and can work magic in the editing phase to make sure your images truly capture the emotion of every moment.
You’re going to be a little preoccupied...
If you’re anything like me, you’re usually the one holding everyone else together. You manage the family calendar, know what needs to be done to get everyone out of the house in the morning, any find yourself constantly reminding people to do all the things that seem so basic to you (like picking up the random sock that’s been hanging out in the hallway for who knows how long). When you’re literally bringing a human into the world, the last thing you need to be worried about is reminding someone to take pictures (or taking them yourself). Give yourself the gift of being present during this incredible event, knowing that your memories are being beautifully documented for you to enjoy when it’s all said and done (and save yourself the disappointment of realizing that your hubby forgot to take pictures)
Peace of mind that your images will be safe!
Professional photographers take tremendous care of their files. Our images are our babies. We make sure everything is double and triple backed up and saved. Fun fact (not really) - my husband took some pretty decent images and video on his phone during the delivery of my daughter. We had those images sitting there for “when we have time to download/print them”. Life got busy, as it does with a new little one. Fast forward 2 years later when I was finally ready to do something with them and every single file was lost. I don’t even know what happened to them, except that they just aren’t there anymore. I have exactly ZERO images from when my daughter was born. Don’t be the me from 3 years ago. If the images are important to you, make sure they’re in good hands.
Want to learn more? Check out what I do.