You know that birth where you thought you’d have your sister snap a few photos during labor to just sort of have something that says it happened, and then you look at those photos and realize immediately THESE PICTURES SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN TAKEN? That it's all just NO, do not blind me with these images anymore.
Labor is confusing like this. During labor-every single one I’ve helped with and both I’ve done myself- every single momma looks like mother earth goddess. When I did the thing myself, it felt powerful, transcendent, primal (save the panic-inducing pain, which was whipping my tail but I was handling like a boss.) And the women surrounding me were just—honestly, for the first month afterward I teared up thinking about the incredible power and fierce woman energy in the room with me, carrying me through.
And then I saw the pictures.
Every last one of which should be burned. BURNED, I tell you. I look A MESS, ya’ll. I mean, enormous, and swollen, sweaty and frazzled and just wow. No one should see that. I don’t want to see that.
Second time around, we changed things up and hired a birth photographer. It was an investment, and one I had to convince my husband to make.
Hiring Imprint Birth Photography was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Besides offering gorgeous, happy-tears inducing artistry, birth photography has super surprising benefits that actually helped get me through postpartum. Here's how.
what birth photography is not:
Photos of your babymakers at their most….um…stretched and swollen.
Glaring, obnoxious photographer in your face (or even noticeably in your space at all. You’re likely not to notice them much.)
Unattractive, awkward pictures of you doing something that you’ll never share with anyone.
what birth photography is:
An incredible, supportive woman in the room who knows how to capture what you'll want without being intrusive.
Gorgeous, even flattering photos of your most powerful and transformative moments, doing your very best work ever.
Affirmation for one of the most life-changing events in your personal history, and a testament to your power and resilience.
A tangible record of how it was in those sacred moments- the atmosphere, the environment, and the experiences of those who supported you through it (which you won’t otherwise recall with any detail.)
A gift to your baby and to yourself for the rest of your lives.
BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY CAN EASE THE DIFFICULTY OF POSTPARTUM
Having record of your crowning achievement provides an incredible testament to what you went through and what it was like.
Whether you choose a natural birth, a cesarean, or any variation in between, birth happens in a totally separate spiritual and emotional place from the rest of life. And while you may remember how it felt, you’ll likely have little lasting awareness of how it was- in all of its glory and pain and fear and overcoming. Great birth photography captures in vivid and stunning detail what you cannot hold onto in your own mind.
NO ONE CAN CAPTURE IT LIKE A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER
Birth photography is a tricky business. You have to have a grasp on how to create gorgeous, photojournalism-worthy shots on subjects who really don’t want to even know you’re there. Who are in super awkward positions, mostly naked making grimacing, ugly faces the whole time. Subjects who will throat punch you if you even think of using your flash or asking them to move any certain way to get a better shot (which doesn't happen, btw).
Without someone skilled in this particular type of photography, you’re much more likely to capture submissions for Awkward Family Photos- M Rating.
BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY CAN HELP YOU HEAL FROM BIRTH TRAUMA
Women are often expected to get up and get over birth, regardless of what went on. So when birth doesn’t go as planned and mommas experience the requisite trauma that comes with last minute, frightening, and often violating changes, it can actually be incredibly healing to have a record of what occurred. Being able to see on the faces of those in the room how it felt, what it was like- gives a place to start your healing journey. While proof alone doesn’t heal, tangible evidence that your pain is valid can be a huge relief. And for the instances of unexpected outcomes- severe or not- having gorgeous photographs as record of the labor and birth will be a cherished keepsake forever.
We don't send iPhones to capture the Olympics for a reason. Birth is the crowning achievement of life in terms of intense work and even more intense triumph. You need someone there who can record it that way.
Your postpartum will benefit, your family will benefit, your memory will benefit, and your baby will have incredible photos for years to come. The expense of an excellent birth photographer is totally worth it.