Many times when I meet with interested Birth Doula clients, or when talking with acquaintances and friends, I find myself explaining what I do when I serve as a Birth Photographer. While parts of it may seem self-explanatory, I am here to assure you that each birth photography experience is different, just as each birth is different.
A birth photography session is unlike any other session I offer. It is an unplanned, unposed, beautiful life experience. I am there to capture these moments, professionally and respectfully, based on the birthing family's wishes.
Together, we meet and have a consultation, discussing their plans for their birth and their preferences for birth photography. Each family lets me know which moments they are hoping to capture most, and which moments they would prefer not to have captured. I don't document every moment or every scenario for every family.
I assure you - I do my utmost when photographing to preserve modesty and intimate areas you would prefer not to have photographed. You also sign a model release stating whether or not you would like to have some or all of your photographs shared, or kept completely private. As you can see from my website, I have obtained previous clients privacy and have not shared the majority of birth photos I have taken.
Some families like me to document their labor, capturing their journey from home to hospital, mom and dad to-be walking the halls, husbands slow dancing with his wife as she leans on him through her contractions, grandma to-be massaging her daughter's lower back as mom to-be sits on a birth ball and rests her head on the elevated hospital bed.
I am completely open to capturing these moments for you, or, if you wish, I can come later on in your labor as you near delivery.
I can see the look on your face - you're thinking of my camera "down there", capturing the up close and personal of baby emerging through the birth canal. While I am open to taking this picture if you so desire, the images most families hire me to capture are of the emotion - dad holding tight on moms hand, supporting her as she nears to the moment of holding her baby, baby emerging and being lifted onto his mother's chest, the tears in dad's eyes as he sees his baby boy for the first time, dad kissing mom on the forehead as she cradles their sweet arrival, mom counting fingers and toes... These are the moments I am there for.
Please know, I completely respect my place in the birthing room. Even as a doula, I am not a medical caregiver, nor am I the birthing mother. This is not my turf. It is an honor to be welcomed into a birthing space; I do not take it lightly. I uphold client's birth wishes, and respect the directions of caregivers, staying out of the way and obtaining permissions when necessary.
Photographing Those First Moments
I typically stay for a period of time after birth, as desired and allowed, to capture baby's first moments. I smile as I write this, thinking of past births and the moments captured... as baby boy is cleaned off, weighted, measured, bathed, foot printed; as mom, dad, and baby settle into bed together, snuggling and taking in their first hour together; as baby meets Grandma and Grandpa, brothers and sisters for the first time.
Currently, I am accepting birth photography clients throughout Central Missouri, including:
Fort Leonard Wood
...at home or hospital birth settings:
Phelps County Regional Medical Center, Rolla, MO
General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (GLWACH)
St Mary’s Hospital, Jefferson City, MO
Capital Region Medical Center, Jefferson City, MO
...and everything in between.
Contact me as soon as possible (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your expected due date - my schedule fills quickly as I only accept a limited number of clients per month. We will have an initial phone or email consultation, then meet together to discuss your desires for your birth photography.
Your photos arrive to you beautifully edited, on a custom DVD or USB. They are available for your viewing in a memorable slideshow or as individual files.
I look forward to capturing your birth moments!