After having an amazing experience with the birth of my second girl, my love for all things birth grew substantially. I knew I wanted to be more involved in my birth community and it didn’t take long before I added this genre of photography to my portfolio. I remember the first birth I ever photographed and the high that remained in the weeks that followed. It was amazing! What an honor it is to me to be invited to witness, rejoice, and document one of the most wonderful things of life.
With birth photography gaining more recent attention, more and more couples are choosing to hire a professional birth photographer. But even with it’s growing popularity, there are still a great number of people who think that having your birth photographed is “gross”, “ugly” and “distasteful”. My goal for this article is to open your mind to the beauty of birth and show you some beautiful images as well.
Birth photography documents your experience from start to finish. It is your personal story that captures your labor, your partner’s/doulas support, the emotions, the moment you meet your baby for the first time, and so much more. The woman is a true goddess as she finds her inner strength to birth her baby. She is beautiful!
Someone who is not very familiar with birth photography may wonder why anyone would want such graphic images. But the truth is, unless a client requests a “graphic” image, everything is done very tastefully. A professional photographer will know exactly what to do with their camera to blur certain parts of a scene to ensure a mom’s modesty. Most moms are concerned about this anyway, and it’s something I discuss with them before the birth.
One reason some couples choose not to hire a photographer is because of the intimacy of such an experience and they prefer to keep it just between the two of them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, your birth will most likely not be a two people only event. You have nurses, a doctor, and other medical staff going in and out of your room. This is where I believe who you hire to be your photographer matters greatly. Because of my small doula background and knowledge, and my own birth experiences, I have a high respect for the process of birth.
Your photographer should meet with you and get to know you, as well as keep in touch throughout your last few weeks of pregnancy. This helps to not feel like there is a stranger in the room. All that being said, my job is to be a fly on the wall. Never am I right up in a moms face invading her concentration. Just like with your doctor, you will build a relationship with your photographer also. If there is anything that you are concerned about, talk to her!
Another big reason they may forgo a photographer is because they think their partner can take the pictures. The partner is just as much a part of the birth as the mom and shouldn’t have to be held responsible for capturing some big moments. I learned that the hard way when I realized the photos my husband took made it look like he wasn’t even there! Some of the sweetest moments I capture are those of a partner caressing his sweet wife’s face, holding her hand, and focusing on each other. These are not pictures you’ll be able to treasure and remember if hubby is in charge of the camera. Leave it up to your photographer to include your partner in this experience and document how you welcomed your little bundle together!
There are so many beautiful pieces that make up a birth story; how you paced the hospital halls, how your partner rubbed your back and held your hand through every contraction, the encouraging words your doula said to you, yours and his first reaction, the tiny details of baby…it’s all beautiful! Your baby will only have one BIRTHday, and just like your wedding day, it is an event to be captured and remembered forever too.
Valery Bunnell is a photographer in Salt Lake City, Utah specializing in maternity, birth, and newborn photography. She attends births in hospitals, birth centers, and homes. To see more of her work, visit her website www.valerybunnell.com or Facebook page.
Check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/YourChoiceBirth later today for a giveaway from Valery Bunnell Photography!