What is Birth Photography?
Birth photography in it’s most simple form is professional photography of the entire process of your labouring, active delivery and the moments after babies arrival. Contrary to some pre-conceptions, birth photography is not graphic or crude and is much more often beautiful and poignant. Some women prefer that shots such as baby crowning and other action shots are captured and that’s okay, however it’s not the focus of most birth photography, whereas capturing the build up from contractions increasing through active labouring culminating in the presentation of a beautiful new baby to Mum and Dad.
It’s also lovely to capture the moments after babies arrival, with babies measurements, cutting the cord, first feeding, first bonding moments with Mum and Dad and sweet first meetings with siblings, joyous grandparents and immediate family.
What is the process?
I keep in close contact with my birth clients throughout their pregnancy, as being updated regularly through doctors results to understand changes goes a long way to ensuring I am prepared to join you at the most appropriate time. Unless there are special circumstances indicated by doctors that baby is very likely to come early, I go on-call from 37 weeks for you, and you will have access to the phone number for the ‘birth phone’. My birth phone is a dedicated birth mobile phone only available to birth clients, which is kept on me at all times. Calls to the birth phone mean I spring into action, postponing all other activities including shoots, meetings and personal activities to join you at hospital.
What if I have a ceasarean delivery?
Ceasarean deliveries are often no go zones for birth photographers, but not always. It’s important to have open communication and great relationships, both things which I’ve been able to build over my near decade of experience with birth photography. I have amazing relationships with so many of Melbourne’s obstatricians, midwives and hospital administrative staff that I have been blessed to join many of my clients in surgical theatres for deliveries as you can see from my birth gallery.
Emergency ceasarean situations are different and it’s unlikely that birth photographers are permitted. In the occasions where this occurs after we can captured the labouring process, I will give Dad to be a crash course in my camera, switch everything over to automatic and pass along the camera to capture what they can. The key at this point is a healthy baby and supported Mum though, so I focus on capturing the happy moments with a proud Dad delivering skin-to-skin while Mum is in recovery, then the happy time after Mum returns and all the beautiful moments. Some of these chaotic birth stories are my favourite once everything is put together because of the mad scramble and the beautiful happy outcomes at the end and it shows in the emotion afterwards.
What if you miss the birth?
Through all the births I’ve been blessed to be a part of, I’ve only missed two, and both of those were due to very eager babies who arrived within 30 minutes of my receieving the call on the birth phone, before I could get to the hospital. It’s rare, but it happens. Even in these circumstances, we captured beautiful photography with the shocked Mum and Dad and the bemused hospital staff, and focused on the amazing moments after arrival.