4 Reasons to Hire a Birth Photographer

The contraction is coming, and as the new mom prepares herself to breathe through the pain while gripping her partner’s hand, another woman in the room steadies herself and captures the moment with a single click. She’s not a stranger intruding on the private moment, but a trained birth photographer hired to document and detail every part of the new arrival. Delivering a baby is the most intensely personal experience for you and your family, and the thought of having a stranger there to witness it may cause you to say, “it’s a hard no.” Having a baby is unlike any other experience and because birth is such a whirlwind, it’s easy to forget the details. Some women may treasure the idea of capturing the moment you meet your newborn for the very first time, and others may cringe at the thought of a photo showing the exhausting hot mess nature of delivery. And although hiring a birth photographer for your labor and delivery is a decision you must feel comfortable with, there are benefits you might not be thinking of when weighing your decision. Here are four reasons why you should consider hiring a birth photographer.

It’s telling the story of your baby being born.

Sure, you’ll always have your memories; ask any women who has given birth whether she remembers what it was like and she’ll say, “ohhh yes.” It’s not an experience women forget easily. But there are so many moments leading up to the actual birth that you may want to reflect back on. There are the hours of anticipation before your baby is born. There are the exact moments that you see your baby for the first time, and the gender is revealed. There’s a first time to hear your baby cry. There’s the moment you see your partner’s face as they realize their world has been turned upside down in the most beautiful way. By having photos taken by a birth photographer, you’ll have a professional with a trained artistic eye there to witness those moments and capture every detail to tell in a visual story. Having those mementos gives you the ability to witness the story in its entirety and share with your child someday the exact moment he or she was welcomed into the world.

It gives everyone the opportunity to remain present for the big day.

Your mother or your partner are probably both excellent at taking photos. But doling out the role of photographer deprives them of what you really need: a support system during labor and delivery. Plus, with his face buried behind a camera, your husband misses out on the actual participation of the birth. And you’ll need your partner to focus on you as you’re maneuvering through the various stages of labor and delivery. As a general rule of thumb, family members are too invested in the actual process of witnessing a baby being born and it would be easy for that person to forget shooting through the really big moments. And labor is intense enough for a new mom to focus on, never mind worrying about who’s holding the camera or what kind of shots they are getting. Give the gift of having everyone be IN the photos and consider a birth photographer. Hiring a birth photographer takes the pressure off of everyone so that you can focus on the task at hand.

Basic photos can’t come close to the quality a professional can do.

Smartphone cameras are now capable of capturing excellent photos. But what about lighting? Hospital lighting usually isn’t great and if you’re having a home birth, chances are low lighting there presents an obstacle as well. Or what if the pictures come out blurry? Or too bright? These are the things a professional (with experience shooting in low or nonexistent lighting!) knows how to work around. Plus, you can rely on the photographer to take artistic and tasteful photos that have been edited well that you’ll treasure forever.

A photographer is trained to remain calm and professional.

Birth is unpredictable. Trained birth photographers know the different flows for birth and how to position themselves so they are not in the way, but still able to capture the details you hired them for and that others may miss. A birth photographer knows how to objectively capture parts of the birth story without interfering in it. Moms who have used a birth photographer say the best ones go about their business without you even remembering they were there. But in the end you’ll have a legacy to leave with your child and a beautiful memento showing the miracle that is life.

A photo has the ability to take someone right back into the moment. Some experiences don’t need to be shared with the public, but instead tucked away for you to scroll back on with fond memories. It’s one of the most meaningful days of your life and having birth photos might be the best gift you can give yourself postpartum. Aside from that precious bundle of joy you just got to bring home.