Documenting a day like no other
The art of photography starts with patience. It is the capturing of the fleeting moments that happen in front of us while watching the dance of light and aligning of compositional elements that constructs a striking image.
When it comes to birth photography, the same philosophy applies. Most likely, you want to capture the moment the baby arrives earth side, however it is my belief that the expressions on the ones that are seeing that baby are what make that image remarkable. In addition, I find it most rewarding when what is reflected back to that birthing person is their strength and amazingness!
When asked why having a photographer present to document her birth was important to her, dynamic Child Birth Educator and amazing Birth Doula MK Vance answered, “I had a friend take a few pictures during my first birth … Having photos helped me remember details I would have forgotten and helped me to process what happened, and ultimately to be amazed and proud and empowered. I still look back on them five years later and I'm sure I will forever. So, when I became pregnant with my second son, I knew I wanted to hire a professional to capture the whole thing … I love how it captures women's power and beauty in birth and of course, the creation of a new family.”
Birth photography should resemble your own birthing goals by making it whatever you want it to be. As with preferences, it doesn’t always mean that it will turn out that way, but having a discussion with the photographer ahead of time, like you would with your doula, health care provider, etc., will ensure a like-minded and respectful approach. Conversations include what is most important to you to have captured, what is least important, are you a modest person, will there be family members present, is there a special moment like a gender reveal to anticipate and anything else that the photographer should be aware of.
Loving mother of two and incredibly talented photographer Lis Tyroler shares, “There is a photo of my husband holding me that fills my heart every single time I look at it. But the images that brings tears to my eyes are the ones of my eldest child meeting his baby brother. I don't even have words to describe how special they are to me.”
Moments to look for when photographing birth:
• Any tenderness between the birthing person and their partner, support person or entire family (yup, I’ve seen that in a laboring room).
• Stepping back and getting the scene, like when a doula and partner are supporting the birthing person during labor and there’s no one else in the room.
• Getting in close and getting the meaningful details of a newborn like fingers, toes, eyelashes, lips, ears and hair.
• And always, always coming from a place of curiosity and joy!
Proud to be an associate with The Birth Collective, a group of documentary photographers who use their skills to capture the beauty of birth.