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7 Misconceptions about Birth Photography

Thinking about photographing your birth? Here are 7 misconceptions people have about birth photography.
1.  Who wants a stranger in the room during something as intimate as giving birth?

A birth photographer meets with prospective clients sometimes months prior to birth for consultations and then stays in contact with the family throughout the pregnancy. This contact allows the birth photographer to build a relationship with the family so it’s like having a friend or family member in the room during labor.

2. Why would you want pictures of “down there?”

A birth photographer is a professional photographer who has studied how to take birth images beautifully and tastefully. There are ways of capturing the baby’s birth while keeping the beauty and sanctity of the moment intact. You aren’t just receiving images of “down there”, you receive tasteful, beautiful images of your baby’s very first moments earth side.

3. A birth is private and I don’t want people seeing photos of that.

Your privacy is always respected. There are always images that I would love to share from every birth, but the final decision is always up to the clients. If you don’t want your birth shared, it doesn’t get shared. If you are only ok with images x, y, and z being shared, then those are the ones I get to choose from to share. Everything goes through you first and your privacy is top priority.

4. My friend, husband, doula, the nurse, etc. can just take pictures for us.

No offense, but your friend, husband, doula, and nurse are all going to have their hands and minds on supporting you. Their job is to be your support system and they can’t do that if they are trying to snap quick pictures here and there. A nurse also has about 20 other patients and is not going to want another duty added to her already jam-packed job. Also, unless your friend is a professional birth photographer, your images are not going to look as nice. Professional birth photographers study angles, lighting, and post-production processing to ensure our clients are receiving the best images possible. We want the memories they have of their special day to capture the beauty and love surrounding your little one’s birth.

5. A birth is so gross why would you want pictures of that?

Actually, only a very small percent of the birth is “gross” if you get the heebie jeebies with blood and such. The rest of the birth consists of a lot of support, love, and strength. As a birth photographer, I capture those moments and remind mothers, through my images, just how strong they were. As far as capturing the “gross” part, there are angles and post-production editing to tone down the gross factor and still have those moments captured for posterity’s sake. If you’d feel more comfortable, you can stay up here at the head of the bed with mom and I.

6. What if I hire you, but then decide I want to push in private or need some privacy during the labor?

That’s fine! Everyone needs a little space to breathe sometimes. Trust me when I say it does not hurt my feelings when you labor how you need to in order to get your baby earth side. When you feel ready for me to come back in, just say so and I’ll resume capturing the rest of the birth or you with your new little one.

7. If I need a C-section, you won’t be able to come in with me.

In some cases, I would not be allowed to go back in the operating room with you; however, when I am not present, I send my professional camera back with your support person so he or she can get the basic images for me. In other cases, if the parents advocate for it hard enough, I am allowed to go back. In other cases still, it’s not an issue and all mom has to do is tell the doctors she wants her photographer back there with her. It helps to find out your hospital’s policy ahead of time and work those kinks out beforehand, just in case.


About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, “Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice.”

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