When my son was born, I handed my husband my camera and specifically told him to take pictures. When it came time for him to come into the room ( I was getting a cesarean section ), all my husband could do was hold my hand and comfort me. Then when our son arrived, he turned to the first thing he could think of … his phone. Looking back, I can’t really blame him for ignoring the huge camera around his neck for his phone. It was easier to understand and quicker to share with families and friends. Plus, my husband was far too focused on his son and me. Bah. I thought that hey, I’m a photographer, I have a camera … why not just let my husband use it? Bzzt. Wrong. I’ve decided that for our next child I’m just going to hire a birth photographer. Why? I’ll tell you why. Because nothing is more beautiful than capturing the very first moments of life.
I had the honor of being requested to photograph the birth of this sweet baby girl down in West Chester, which is just twenty or so minutes outside of Philadelphia, at the local hospital in the area. The father had found me by some weird chance and convinced me to try. I wanted to, I really did, but I knew that the area was one I had no experience in AND was unsure of my availability. Birth photography is a very demanding job that requires you to be on-call because birth is so unpredictable! Sometimes labor might be long and hard or it might be quick and within seconds. I was worried about accepting the job and then missing the birth! Still, I knew this was a golden opportunity to break into the field, so I accepted and made sure the stars aligned so I could get to that hospital on time. And man, did those stars align.
Not only did I manage to capture the pre-labor events, but I even managed to keep myself awake for close to fifteen or more hours to do this session! I didn’t stay the entire fifteen hours, but I arrived at 12:00 pm and was there for the first four or five hours, returned home, then came back when she was at 8 centimeters around 4 or 5 am in the morning. I stayed awake for well over twelve hours so I could be there in a jiffy! The experience was … well … it was amazing. The parents now have photographs to look back and remember the day their daughter was born. The day she took her first breath, uttered her first cry, and learned right away who her mother was. The mother spoke a few words and the little girl’s crying gradually quieted down once she was aware that their were familiar voices in that room. There are no words to describe how honored I am to say I was there with them from beginning to end.
So … why hire a photographer for your birth? Because it’s a beautiful life event that you only get to live once. Because you want to film that moment but don’t want to assign someone who may be excited to be there just as much as you. Because now you have something concrete and visual to bring you back to that beautiful day your baby was born. Because … I totally didn’t do it and, speaking as a mother myself, yes … do it.
Here are just a few of the many photos I shot that day. Honestly, you really get a better picture when you see the full gallery, but if I did that, I might flood this page. Ha!
Am I open to do this again? A thousand times yes! But you’ll have to touch base with me to see if I have the ability to do it. As I said, birth photography requires being on-call, so I have to make sure the stars will align again for me to document your baby’s born day. Feel free to contact me or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to hire me as your birth photographer in the Philadelphia area.