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March 8, 2021

Addressing Your Fears About Birth Photography

I see you. You’re on the fence about birth photography. Or maybe your partner is. Maybe you love the *idea* of it, but aren’t sold on having another person in the room when you give birth. I understand completely and want to use this space to ease your fears about birth photography.

doula helping laboring mom in tub, birth center, fears about birth photography

A stranger in the room?!

I think the most common fear, whether from mom or partner, is that they feel it might be uncomfortable to have a “stranger” in the room when their baby is born. The idea of being in such a vulnerable, intimate situation and having someone you barely know in the room seems…well, crazy. Ok, let me stop you right there. Here are a few reasons why it’s not crazy and can actually be super helpful:

  • First of all, my goal is that we AREN’T strangers at that point. We should have met in person at least once (more if you book a maternity session) and talked on the phone or via text many times. By the time you go into labor, we’ve been chatting about birth and your birth plan and your excitement and all of that for months. My hope is that it’s like seeing an old friend walk into the room – comforting and exciting.
  • Secondly, if you’re having a hospital birth, there will most likely be many people coming in and out of your room. Now, you can definitely limit this and it is up to you who is allowed into the room, but even the bare minimum is usually a nurse, an OB or midwife, and a pediatric nurse once pushing begins. All that said, compared to most of those people, I would be a familiar face in the middle of labor!
  • Lastly, having someone on your team who is very familiar with birth and who will be with you throughout your labor (not in and out) is a huge asset. Hiring a doula is a great way to find that support, but an experienced birth photographer can provide some of that support, as well. I tend to put my camera down here and there to talk with mom or physically support her as best I can. I also bring a little bag of “tools” (i.e. essential oils, a fan, a rebozo, birth affirmations) that can help if needed. The more knowledge and support you have, the better.

Photos of what?!

Some of the fear and concern that comes up when discussing birth photography is questioning why you’d want photos of labor and of the baby being born. Everyone obviously wants photos of their precious new bundle, but photographing the whole process leading up to that is a much bigger decision. Here’s why I think these photos are so special

  • Having the opportunity to see your birth unfold from a different perspective (i.e. from the view of someone who’s NOT having contractions) is priceless. These moments are life changing and leading up to the moment you meet your child for the first time. Don’t underestimate how special that will be.
  • I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: birth stories are love stories. The moments I get to capture of partners supporting mom are just so beautiful.

Will this take away from the intimacy of the moment?

I’ve heard from a few friends that they worry about having an extra person in the room could take some of the intimacy out of the moment they meet their child. I completely understand this fear and want to make sure I address it here:

  • Did you feel this way about your wedding day? Assuming you had a photographer capture the magic and intimate moments of that day, did you feel like it was an invasion of privacy? Do you regret having those moments photographed? I understand this is different and even more vulnerable, but I also want to acknowledge that these are both absolutely LIFE-CHANGING days and having them photographed is so special.
  • My goal with clients is to create the birth atmosphere that they hope for. For some clients, that’s an upbeat, talkative mood. For some, that’s a calm, quiet mood. Both are amazing and I’m happy to be part of all kinds of experiences. If a client tells me that they are concerned about me taking away from the intimacy of the moment, I take that very seriously and will do my very best to be a fly on the wall during their birth time.

What other fears or hesitations do/did you have about birth photography? I know it’s still a relatively new idea to have someone in the room while you labor and anything you’re feeling is totally valid. But I also don’t want you to miss out on the beauty of birth photography and having those moments captured. I hear from so many moms that they didn’t realize how badly they’d want those first moments with their baby photographed and regret not hiring a photographer!

I’d love for you to comment below or send me a message or email to chat specifically about your fears or hesitations! I can’t wait to hear from you!

-Lauren

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