Why Would Anyone Want a Photographer at their Birth?

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Why Would Anyone Want a Photographer at their Birth?


Birth photography is quite the trend these days.  I dare say that it’s even become trendy.

The clasped hands of a couple as they bring their baby into the world.  The faces of all the support and love in the room.  A mother’s triumphant face as she pulls her baby into her arms for the first time.  That intimate moment when a woman in the operating room touches noses with her newborn baby, perhaps even crying as her baby’s head rests on her bare shoulder or breast.  The looks of relief and ecstasy and uncertainty and big, goofy joy as parents greet the new life in the room.

It’s quite something.

I didn’t hire a photographer for my first two births, but I was lucky.  Tim was able to take pictures of Miles’s cesarean section in the operating room, and my mom documented hundreds of images of Alec’s birth.

But with Eric’s birth, I wanted a photographer.  Partly because this was my last birth, and partly because while I was pregnant I attended a birth where the family had hired a photographer and oh my lord the images were gorgeous.  Absolutely gorgeous.

And so a friend came to take pictures.  My very talented sister brought her camera.  And though another photographer couldn’t make it to the birth (I know, I was really maxing out on photographers!), she was able to take some extraordinary images of our family just a few days after Eric was born.

In any case, Erika Ray (the person who took the aforementioned extraordinary images) makes a very compelling case as to why you–yes, YOU–should consider hiring a photographer for your birth.

The following photographs–taken by my sister Kellie and my friend Ali–should do enough to explain why I am grateful that I had photographers at Eric’s birth.



FYI: A little birdie has told me that Erika Ray is currently available to photograph births in the Columbus, Ohio region for the next few months.  Contact her.  I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

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  1. Jo

    I invited photographer friends to document both of my homebirths and I am SO glad I did. As a doula, I always encourage parents to take photos or ask someone to do it for them. After all, if you take them and don’t want them, you can delete. If you don’t take them, however, you have room for regret.
    Jo´s last blog post ..Why I Blog

  2. Rixa

    I have a professional photographer coming for this birth–if I can get her here in time!–and I am so excited for it. This might be our last baby, and I really wanted to do something special. Something I’d normally never do because I’m too practical and pragmatic and (yes) cheap.
    Rixa´s last blog post ..36 weeks pregnant

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      That IS very exciting, Rixa! Will you be sharing them on your blog?

      And I’ve completely come around to the expense of birth (and family) photographers too. Especially as someone who doesn’t really have an eye for photography, and as someone who treasures her photographs above all else, having these sorts of pictures are one of my favorite investments ever.

  3. Elita

    I love these photos! Where is the shirt from?
    Elita´s last blog post ..Should I Renew My CLC?

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      It’s from the midwives we went to–they form a group called CHOICE (www.choicemidwives.org). We got to pick one out for him after he was born. :)

  4. Erika Dyer Ray
    Erika Dyer Ray03-01-2013

    I'm still shocked when people don't add this to their Birth Must Have lists.

    • Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy
      Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy03-01-2013

      I gotta say, if I ever have a kid, I don't want pictures of the birthing experience. In fact, if I could get twilight sleep, I'd do it. I'd like to just wake up and be like, "Hey, a baby! Neat! Where'd that come from?!" The whole pregnancy and birth thing is so…. weird to me that I would have to be in complete denial throughout in order to just not flip out entirely.

    • Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy
      Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy03-01-2013

      This is part of the reason why I think parenting is not for me.

  5. Khaleelah

    Something about your pictures, just solidified for me that I need to invite someone close and trusthworthy to be part of our first birthing experience ever, rather than rely on my hun and doula to take a few snapshots while we’re all busy doing other things – i.e. supporting this laboring mama :) I think it was a few of the pictures you have of your labor with Eric. Somehow it’s those pictures that captured me the most….I think it just might be that there will be “documented” proof that yes, labor can be difficult, but no, labor isn’t the ‘worst thing in the world’. Something about the vibe that our desire for such a natural and serene birth is much more than just natural and serene…it’s transformative – for our family, for the child we’re adding to our family, for others. There truly is beauty in the process and having the ability to share that with myself, with our child, with other family/friends is without comparison.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      I love your perspective on this, Khaleelah. And yes–I love what these pictures capture about me, in moments where I was so “off in laborland” that I might never have remembered the moments if it weren’t for the proof in the pictures, so to speak.

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