Childbirth is nothing short of miraculous.
The one thing that can be said about labor and delivery – no two experiences are exactly alike. For the mom in labor, time passes quickly yet can stand still. Memories are a blur. Contraction. Pain. Contraction. Active labor (or scheduled C section). More Pain. And then, a beautiful little baby.
What happened in between? The birth story.
Can’t hire a professional photographer to document your baby’s birth? Follow these few tips and it will look like you did!
1. Choose the photographer ahead of time. Entrust this very important job to someone who doesn’t have another very important job during your delivery! Don’t expect your doula be be doing double duty.
2. Remember all stories have a beginning, middle and an end. There are pictures to take other than the birth, notice what is happening all around. Don’t forget to capture the details that tell the entire story.
3. Make sure to get a sense of time and place.
-Take a photo of the clock when labor started or when you arrived at the hospital.
-Take a photo of the dayʼs newspaper, making sure you include the date.
-Document the drive to the hospital.
-Take a picture of the sign for the hospital/birthing center.
-Photograph mom walking in.
-Photograph mom walking the halls.
-Photograph mom hugging birth partner.
-Don’t forget the details. If it’s a home birth, take photo of the home and things within the home. When the baby is born, take another picture of the clock.
4. Photograph the birth from the mom’s perspective. Afterall – it’s her memories that should be captured. Position yourself behind her shoulder. Take a wide shot of what is going on in the room. From this perspective, you see mom and the delivery team – you will be ready for the actual birth shot. Whether it is a natural birth, C-section or hospital delivery, the perspective remains the same, what mom saw (or couldnʼt see) when she was delivering.
Once the baby is born, the story doesn’t end. So much happens after the birth. Follow the baby. This can include shots like mom holding baby for the first time, baby getting cleaned up, a close up of a tiny little hand, a footprint – emotional and raw.
5. Don’t use flash (if possible)! On camera point and shoot flash is the ugliest light known to mankind, it is both annoying and ugly, no one will thank you for it! Try and use available light. If it is daytime, open a blind, let in some sunlight. If it is night, try and use as much ambient light as possible. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, but given the choice, turn your flash off!
Incoporate these tips and you will capture all the moments that will tell the story of your child’s birth. A documentary which captures the beauty and emotion of child birth unique to your experience – a treasure to be cherished for a life time.
Your baby’s birth story.
Read more about birth photography:
–10 tips for birth photography