My parents have a large storage bin and literally dozens of albums full of photos of my siblings and me taken throughout our lives, but I’ve always been drawn to the album that’s full of pictures of when we were born. Somehow in those life-changing moments my dad had the focus to take pictures, and as an adult I think it’s really fascinating to look back at those photos from the 80s of my very first moments.
Jamie and I made the decision to have a professional photographer in the delivery room for both Hadley’s and Sadie’s births, and we’re so glad that we did! When I’ve told people – both before the births and after – that we were having/had a photographer in the room, many of them looked at me like I had three heads. I’ve never minded the bizarre looks and questions from inquiring minds because I know this is a fairly new, possibly bizarre (to some) “trend”.
Four reasons we chose to have a birth photographer
- The raw emotion of the two best moments of our lives is forever captured. The pictures of the moments immediately before and after we met our girls are so priceless to me. I’m so glad we have them.
2. I would have forgotten (or maybe never even known about) some of the smaller details surrounding the births. Details such as the warmer area preparation, taking measurements and weight, and some of the things Jamie was involved in (such as the first bath) were things I didn’t get to watch closely. I’m glad I have pictures to tell those stories.
3. Jamie and I, as well as our parents, were able to soak up every bit of meeting Hadley and Sadie without having to ask each other to take pictures. My mom was visiting us the morning after Sadie was born, and it hit me that I hadn’t taken any pictures of Sadie and her yet; I then realized that Sarah (my birth photographer) that taken many of them the day before. I was then able to put my camera phone down and relax knowing that all the picture combinations I wanted had already been taken (and were surely better than any I would have taken myself).
4. We cannot wait to gift these pictures to our girls when they’re much older and to show them how incredibly ecstatic we were to meet them.
- What exactly do they take pictures of?
I know what you’re thinking. Surely these pictures are super “x-rated”, right? Surprisingly not. Though I consider the pictures of the actual birth very private (only a couple people besides Jamie and me have seen them), they actually don’t show anything too graphic. Yep – my legs are spread, the babies are bloody at first, etc. but that’s as graphic as it gets. These photographers know what they’re doing and how to position themselves in the right places to get the best shots without photographing anything too obscene.
2. What do you do with the pictures?
I made a beautiful photo book with Hadley’s and plan to do the same with Sadie’s. We don’t keep these on display but I wouldn’t hesitate to show them to female family members or close girlfriends if they asked. They do not contain any pictures that I would be embarrassed for other females to see. I want my daughters to feel comfortable having them later.
3. Is the photographer with you the entire time you’re in labor?
This is up to you and the photographer. With Hadley’s birth experience, I contacted the photographer when I was 8cm, and she came right up to the hospital. With Sadie’s birth experience the photographer offered to stay with me and photograph the entire process. Though we appreciated her willingness to give up her time to be with us, we chose to only have the actual birth and the first couple hours after the birth photographed. It’s up to each set of parents to decide what they want pictures of.
4. Isn’t it awkward?
No. I felt completely comfortable both times. Modesty goes totally out the window when you’re having a baby!
A note about my most recent birth photographer: Sarah Buchanan Photography
I really adored my photographer here in north Alabama (she also did our maternity pictures and our newborn pictures) and can’t help but put a plug in here for her. Not only did we get back 180 gorgeous digital images of our birth experience, but she was also an incredible source of information about my options once we were at the hospital. Finally, she spoiled us with so many gifts! She had presents for Hadley, an adorable cooler/lunchbox full of snacks for Jamie and me, as well as a pair of brand new slippers.
Her extra little touches and lengthy knowledge of birth photography made working with her such a positive experience for us. If you’re between Nashville and Birmingham, I know Sarah would love to talk with you about photographing your birth experience (here’s a link to her Facebook page to look around on). Sarah, we’re so thankful you were a part of one of the best days of our lives!
Would you ever hire a birth photographer?
What questions do you still have about birth photography?