(1) You Forget. I honestly have no idea what happened in the last 2 hours before my son came. Things were a definite blur, and even more of a blur for the next 2 hours after his birth. I love looking through my photos to jog my memories, and since the photos are so beautiful, they definitely jog back beautiful memories. "Oh yeah... that's when we discovered he was a boy! And that's when we told my parents his name!"
(2) Babies change so quickly. They can come out of the womb and look incredibly different an hour later (Birth is a whirl wind, by the time the dad has a chance to pick up the camera their head shape has already changed, feet have stretched out, that crooked nose has already slightly straightened etc.)
(3) Fathers should be in the photos not taking the photos. Birth can be an emotional roller coaster (for the dad too!) and he shouldn't have to worry about handling a camera during labour delivery and the first couple hours of life. Let him support you, enjoy holding his baby, and greeting family visitors!
(4) The emotion and expression experienced during a birth is priceless! How amazing to be able to look back at the expression you had when you met your child for the first time, and their expression when they met you. Birth is full of real emotion that you will likely never have the chance to get in other photo sessions. The smiles are real. The tears are real. The exhaustion is real. The love is real!
(5) Quality Crisp Images. If you tried to take photos in a darkened birth room, you would likely need to use a flash with your camera, but birth photographers have proper equipment and lenses to be able to take crisp photos in low light without a flash, and that's important when dealing with a newborn's sensitive eyes.
(6) The Value of Beautiful Images. People don't bat an eye at booking a maternity or newborn photo session... but why not value the moment the baby actually enters this world? Personally I think it's nice to have newborn shots, but I don't actually ever look at my sons' newborn shots much, however I do go back to his birth album time and time again to see my son as a NEW born. If money is an issue and you have to chose between hiring a photographer for maternity/ newborn pictures or birth pictures, please pick birth! Birthing is one of the most important journey's in one's life, and to have the story captured on film from beginning to end is special. I can hardly wait to show my children their own birth photos.
Yes, the birth photography business has been a slow start... It's taken people some time to warm up to the idea of having another person on their birth team, but it definitely feels like it's catching on as more and more people want these real-moment photos in their family albums and nursery room walls. So, give it some thought... once you are in the thick of labour, I promise you that you won't notice a quite camera in the corner. You may regret not hiring a birth photographer to capture that day, but you will not regret actually hiring them... I guarantee it!
Jaydene Freund is a birth photographer and doula located in Abbotsford, BC