When my oldest two sons were born, birth photography was not really a thing. My mom had a few pictures from the Homebirth of my little brother, but I had only seen a few new baby shots from other people’s births. So I have a few really dark pictures of my oldest getting his newborn exam. I have none of my 2nd birth. People were just starting to do more pictures when my 3rd baby came along. My midwife got a couple photos of me with her phone. That was still pre-smart phone days, so I had a couple of blurry pictures that I no longer had access to when that phone died.
When I moved up to the Dallas-Fort Worth area about 7 years ago, birth photography was just starting to really become popular. In my circles, it seems more and more people are having a birth photographer at their births. As the popularity grows, so does the price tag. Lately, I am seeing $1200-5000 for one.
Many people still opt out because of costs or for privacy reasons. A professional photographer may not be an option, so I have had friends or relatives take pictures at some of my client’s births. Some women are modest and don’t want extra people seeing them in a state of undress or to view their bodies in that manner.
I feel fortunate to have had a photographer at my 4th birth. She got some amazing shots and really captured the raw emotion of the event. I have some that show full exposure that I only share with select people, but have shared the more modest ones with hundreds of people. Because those moments can only be captured once, I recommend to my clients that they have someone take pictures, even if it is just the spouse or my students and I sneaking a few in when we get time. We only shoot with the client’s cameras or phones and only post pictures that we have written permission to share with others. The client can choose to share if they wish or not share at all. I also have them specify if they want full exposure or just limited. This gives the client control over what is being shared. Sometimes, we get some amazing pictures that we never get to see other than the back of the camera or in the phone.
Reasons Why to Have a Photographer
To show that birth can be fun.
We see too many tv shows of women screaming in horrible pain. But birth is usually not like it is depicted on television. It can be an enjoyable, pleasurable, or even fun experience.
To show that birth can be a sweet and a family event.
To show how dads can be involved in the process.
To normalize the birth process.
To show that birth with midwives involves standard procedures.
Some people think that midwives are untrained. That they are endangering lives and don’t do many of the standard things that are important at a birth. Pictures can show that we are not negligent in our care.
I like it because that is the only way that I get pictures of myself.
And best of all, to record your priceless reactions to seeing your new baby for the first time.
So whether you choose to hire a professional or just want a few pictures of the birth and/or new baby, I definitely recommend getting photos of your birth. You can always choose not to share them. If you hire us to be your birth team, we love to work with photographers of all types and can pass along names of some that we recommend. If you are a client that has had photos done and are willing to share, please email me to let me know.
Did you have/will you have a birth photographer at your birth? Why or why not?