A Partner's Perspective on Birth Photography
I've seen a lot of lovely articles floating around about why you should hire a birth photographer (Like this one! Or this one! And this one!). Yet I have also been hearing from fellow birth photographers that they are frequently almost hired for a birth when, last minute, the client walks away due to discomfort of their partner...who is usually of the male persuasion. I, too, have come across several men who have exclaimed, "why would anyone want that?!" while sharing about my occupation.
In light of these reactions, I thought it might be helpful to share my partner's thoughts on having a photographer at our daughter's birth. Full disclosure: My partner, Jesse, is male and we are married. Our first child was born in a hospital and we did not even have newborn pictures taken (which I deeply regret). Our second child was born at home and I knew even before conception that I wanted a photographer at my next birth. The birth occurred a year before I started working as a doula and three years before I became a birth photographer myself--in other words, when we hired a birth photographer, it was well before our family was so regularly immersed in birth.
I gave my husband the headings that you will see below and asked him to share his thoughts. Hopefully, if you are a birth partner who is on the fence about having a photographer at your child's birth, Jesse's words will calm your fears.
When My Wife Told Me She Wanted to Hire a Birth Photographer
When my wife initially proposed the idea of hiring a birth photographer, I was skeptical and hesitant to jump on board. Having a photographer at a birth was a new concept to me even though I had been exposed to birth photography in the past (Maggie: that's what happens when your partner is a birth junkie!). Eventually I worked past my own discomfort around the idea and came to an understanding that hiring a photographer could be a way for us to capture the priceless moments during our daughter's birth. Not to mention that hiring a photographer was incredibly important to Maggie and I wanted to support her decisions in birth.
The Birth Photographer’s Presence
Honestly, I barely noticed that there was birth photographer in the room. I was so caught up in the moment of experiencing my wife's labor that the photographer just blended into the background. There were times when I had an awareness of her taking pictures but she was subtle even then. Her presence added to the positive energy in the room.
Viewing the Birth Photographs for the First Time
When I saw the pictures from the birth for the first time I started to cry (Maggie: and my husband is a man of few tears). They were beautiful. Looking at them brought me back to those moments of the labor and birth. The pictures were so intimate and powerful. They gave me a sense of the strength my wife had to labor and give birth to our daughter.
Reliving the Birth Years Later
Our daughter is now 3.5 years old and I still well up with emotions when I look through the birth pictures. They bring me back to the moment when our daughter was born and allow me to relive the joy and the intensity of that morning. They are priceless to me.
Was Hiring a Birth Photographer Worth the Investment?
Having a birth photographer document our daughter's birth was priceless. It was one of the best investments we have ever made. Looking through those pictures will never get old. It is incredible to look at them with both our children and to be able to illustrate the story of how our daughter was born.
Here's one last post written by a fellow birth photographer on why partners should hire a birth photographer.
If you would like for me to photograph your birth, use the space below to send a note to me! Partners, if you have additional questions, I would be happy to speak with you or to connect you with other partners for whom I have photographed.