Should I hire a birth photographer?

Should You Hire a Birth Photographer? Why it’s Becoming So Common

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Having those sweet memories and photos of your baby after birth are moments you’ll yearn to relive forever. But, should you hire a birth photographer to capture those moments for you?

If you’re not even sure what the heck a birth photographer is, I promise I’ll go over that in this post. But if you already guessed, the name speaks pretty straightforward for itself.

black and white photo of cesarean section
Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

What is a birth photographer?

A birth photographer is an individual who specializes in capturing or photographing your birth, whether it’s in hospital, at home, at a birthing center, or however you decide to give birth!

One of my personal favorite birth photographers, Audrey Rogriguez from San Diego, CA writes in one of her Instagram captions that “Birth is the emergence of a baby. Labor is the emergence of a woman”.

That is what a birth photographer will (should) capture for you! The emergence of your baby entering this world as you perform one of the single-handed most difficult yet rewarding experiences of your life.

Should you hire a birth photographer?

Weighing out the pros and cons of hiring a birth photographer can be overwhelming for some.

In fact, I truly didn’t even look into birth photography until AFTER our son was born. Let me explain why…

Our birth was a bit complicated. I was induced due to an infection and soon after my son’s birth, he was rushed off to the NICU while I was taken to my own recovery room to start medications.

I never got to see my husband cut the umbilical cord. I never got to spend those sweet moments snuggling my new baby next to my husband. I didn’t get to be there as he got all cleaned up and rushed away so quickly. They’re moments I’ll never have gotten to experience nor will I truly know what they looked like.

I knew that if and when we decided to start thinking about having baby number 2, birth photography was something I wanted to look into.

However, my reason isn’t the only reason for deciding if hiring a birth photographer is a good fit for you, check out these reasons below:

Birth can be complicated

As you read a bit about my story above, it’s important to acknowledge birth doesn’t always go as planned.

Knowing that, are you prepared to risk not having some of those moments to hold onto in your memory book? Some are ok with it and that’s totally fine. Others don’t handle it well which is where I fell into.

Having a birth photographer there could potentially save some of those precious moments such as the minute your baby is born, the look on your partner’s face the minute they see your baby and much more.

birth photography
Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

Could alleviate issues with family being in the room

Sometimes, family members who desperately want to be in the delivery room against your will, will use the whole “well I’ll take the picture for you’ tactic to get their entry.

If you have a birth photographer, you can avoid that issue entirely! Plus, most birth photographers know EXACTLY all the right angles to use to capture those sweet moments without getting in the hospital staff’s way!

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Brings family together

On the contrary to the above point, you may want to capture those precious moments as your baby is born with your loving family beside you!

What better way to do so than with a birth photographer!

They’ll likely capture those ‘first-look’ expressions as baby is born, your labor up until the big reveal and also those sweet snuggles once you get that little baby in your arms.

Birth photography brings your birth story to life

Besides simply taking photos, birth photography is truly an art.

It’s an art where your photographer will capture those special photos of you, your baby and your partner during your birth to tell a beautiful story: YOUR BIRTH STORY!

Once you begin to research birth photography a bit more, you’ll notice every photo is unique to its family. It tells a special story for them to cherish forever!

Professional high-quality photos

By hiring a great birth photographer, you’ll be getting professional quality birth photos.

Photos you can turn into a canvas print, create a photo book and more from!

Not to say that today’s technology isn’t capable of creating nice photos (such as an iPhone picture), but you cannot compare the beautiful quality and the story behind those photos in comparison to hiring a professional.

Visible motherhood workbook

Your budget allows for it

I’m not going to lie to you when I began looking into birth photography I was a bit taken back by some of the pricing I saw.

I saw pricing starting as low as $650 all the way up to $3,000!

Now, without totally freaking out (kind of like I did) it’s important to understand a little bit about what goes into birth photography.

These individuals can normally only take on so many clients at a time because as we know, birth is unexpected. This means they’ll be on call (normally a couple of weeks before and after your due date).

It also means any plans they wanted to make with their friends or family they’re unable to do while being on call.

They also use professional (expensive) equipment from the camera to the editing software to make sure they deliver your birth story for you to cherish forever

water birth

You get to relive the “first” moments with baby forever

Having a birth photographer means your story, your birth, will be yours & your partner’s to relive forever!

This is the one thing I wish I had when I think back to my first birth and am so excited I’ll get to have this with our next baby!

DIY Birth Photography Tips

I wanted to update this post because, in light of COVID19, you likely may not be able to have a birth photographer present during birth. So what’s the workaround and how can you still get the birth photos you dreamt of?

Follow these tips below (we did some of these too for our son’s birth in May 2020) to take beautiful DIY Birth Photographs (as seen below):

  • Use a professional camera IF YOU HAVE ONE & know how to use it, but don’t go splurge on some expensive camera when most smartphones have really stepped up their photography capabilities!
  • Natural lighting is always ideal (next to a window, outside, etc…)
  • GET CLOSE! Don’t be afraid to take some close up shots of those tiny fingers, toes, facial features, and more!
  • Get creative with your angles – stand on a chair and hold your camera straight down at baby, sneak down low to get a shot of baby grabbing onto mom or dad’s finger for the first time. The creativity here is endless!
  • Ask the hospital staff to take some pics too (trust me, most of them are MORE THAN HAPPY to help! We asked if our nurse could take a couple of photos for us and before I knew it, the ENTIRE labor & delivery team was taking photos for us; it truly made labor during this overwhelming time feel so sweet.)
  • Some shots you may want to take (even if you don’t end up saving them):
    – Epidural placement
    – Laboring before pushing begins
    – Pushing photos from different angles
    – Baby being born (yes, try to get a shot of baby entering the world)
    – Mom holding baby or nursing baby for the first time
    – Parents holding baby together
    – Skin to skin bonding with both parents
    – Baby’s cord being cut
    – Mom/Baby Placenta (it truly is magnificent to see)
    – Baby sleeping in the bassinet
    – Leaving the hospital

For even more tips to help you take your own birth photos, you may want to check out:

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Tips for hiring the best BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

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