Do I really want my birth photographed?
I see you - you’re on the brink of something incredible, something life-changing. In a matter of days, or weeks, or months, you’re going to meet the love of your life.
You don’t know exactly what to expect. You have no idea how it will all unfold. Perhaps you’ve carefully selected a midwife-team to assist you at home. Or maybe you’ve selected an OB practice that feels warm and welcoming. You are trying to put everything into place for the day your baby enters the world. But there still is so much uncertainty - and wow, uncertainty is so hard.
And then you’ve also been wondering - should I have my birth photographed? You’ve seen birth images on instagram that have moved you to tears. You’ve found strength in hearing and seeing the stories of other birthing people. You’ve even imagined what you might look like the moment you hold your baby in your arms.
But then you wonder - is it really worth it? Will I feel watched/judged/exposed?
I’m a birth photographer, and I’m also a mother. I’ve documented over 400 people giving birth here in Colorado, and I’ve gone through the process myself three times now. From my experience, this is what I know to be true:
You won’t find a day in your life full of more emotion. Wedding days are beautiful but nothing, NOTHING, matches the joy of seeing your baby for the very first time. It’s a joy that extends beyond human vocabulary. It’s a joy that bursts forth in laughter, tears, kisses, and sobs. It’s a joy that will expand to your partner…your older child…your mother. It’s a joy that you’ll want to recollect all the days of your life.
You will want to process your story. Regardless if your birth goes exactly as you planned…or in a completely opposite direction, you will want to process your journey. You’ll talk about it with your partner, with your providers. You’ll ask questions. You’ll strain to remember moments. And having a collection of images from your birth day can help you piece together so much. It can provide you with a tool to help understand and process what will be undoubtably be a monumental moment in your life.
You won’t feel watched. I know that it may sound weird to invite someone with a camera into your birth space. But a professional birth photographer isn’t that different than your nurse or midwife or OB. We see birth ALL the time. We aren’t afraid of vaginas or breasts. We MARVEL at how the human body works. We know birth intimately, and we work hard to ensure that our presence never distracts you from your experience. If anything, we hope to be a smiling face or offer an encouraging word. We know how to step out and step back. Our job - first and foremost - is to honor your birthing space.
You don’t need to perform. Birth photography isn’t just for the people who want to roar their babies out at home. It’s for people in hospitals, in operating rooms, with epidurals, with inductions. Birth photography is for ALL people because your story matters. Regardless of where you give birth or how you give birth - it matters. And those images will matter to you (and your children) just as much as the homebirth mom with her candles and affirmations.
You’ll treasure your images. Yes, it isn’t cheap to hire a birth photographer. We’re on call for you 24/7. We maintain the very best equipment. We are trained and experienced. And so while you’ll have to invest in having your birth photographed…I promise you…that investment will feel priceless once you have those images in your hands. I still look at my birth images from my oldest daughter’s birth 6 years ago. They still make me cry. They’re still some of my most valuable possessions. They remind me of my strength. They help me remember that I can do hard things…and that the reward on the other side is so very worth it.
You can’t get your birthing day back. You can’t do it over again. I know it can feel like a risk to ask a photographer to document your day - but it’s a risk worth taking.