When I used to think about documenting births, what comes to mind is that image of the dad with the giant camcorder in between his wife’s legs. He’s annoying, sort of comical and just not the vibe that most mothers want. Telling my friends and family this was the photography niche I wanted to break into was…well…also kind of comical. I had to explain to my mom friends that this is actually a beautiful experience. When they started to think about it, most of them lamented to me that they wished they had beautiful images and film of their babies’ births because…after all…most of them were a blur.
My first birth was, dangerous and scary. A part of me regrets not having more images of my oldest daughter’s birth and my fight with HELLP syndrome because even though those first days were so hard, they still were so special to me. If you think about it, the birth of your child is probably more important than your wedding day. You can rehearse and fake your “first kiss” – you can’t really do that with a birth!
I know what you’re thinking. When you see the prices that birth photographers charge, you may wonder why in the world are there so many numbers! I was shocked too. But when you break it down, for all that a birth photographer does, it’s kind of a deal.
Being on call, shooting for hours, editing, culling, creating galleries and albums- it could be 50 hours worth of work. Birth photographers are also extremely passionate about the sanctity of birth. We take birth and birth plans seriously- I don’t know if a wedding photographer could walk into a birthing environment and provide the same level of support and respect. Just my two cents.
Birth photos are meant to last forever. They can be personal, private and something you share with your immediate family. Images can also be used to help educate others on how home births are safe when it’s low risk, how a woman’s body literally opens up and can do so without Pitocin. It can break stigmas about the sexualization of women’s bodies- how breasts and nipples are nourishment. These images are beautiful- nothing about them are shameful or pornographic. Nudity in images pertaining to birth are not supposed to be shocking either, instead, they are just a part of the birthing process. I think it’s important to recognize birthworkers as well. In birth images, you can see first hand what midwives, doulas, nurses and doctors do during labor. It’s not Hollywood, folks!:)
Join our email list and download our free guide to whatever you can offer your clients of value!!