Why Should We Preserve Our Birth Story?
Birth photography is one of the more challenging genres to document because everything about birth is unpredictable. Babies come in their own time, lighting conditions are typically poor and a true pro knows how to navigate thoughtfully without interrupting your birth space. All of the reasons above are true when it comes to hiring a birth photographer, but let's go a little bit deeper into why. What do these moments mean and why is documenting them so important?
5. Imagine if you had a photograph or video highlighting one of the most meaningful moments in your life. I would love to go back and see images of my husband and I are on our first date. It was the end of a long work week and we decided on a game of pool at Slick Willey’s in Austin. I remember he was dressed in jeans and a white polo, clean shaven and smelled really good. We laughed, kissed and danced to whatever played on the jukebox. We ended the night at Kerby Lane Cafe for a late night snack. In short, we had a blast. To have those moments to look at and relive would be priceless.
By hiring a birth photographer you get to capture one of life's biggest moments for your family. You'll be able to vividly reflect on these memories for the rest of your life and can share with your child their birth story. That's a pretty amazing gift & worthwhile investment.
4. I never thought it was possible to love my husband more after experiencing his support in labor & deliver. The obvious answer is that by documenting the experience you can relive those moments (and share them with your family) for the rest of your life. There are also lots of other less obvious reasons why family’s should consider preserving their story.
My respect & admiration grew exponentially for my husband in that birth room--I'm know the feeling is mutual. I would really love to see the uninhibited raw moments of connection between us. My heart will always ache that we didn’t document our story.
Labor is filled with so many meaningful moments that it’s impossible to take in all at once. I remember thinking because I was planning a med-free birth I’d remember all the details. The haze of labor is incredibly strong and with all the adrenaline & hormones released there’s no wonder some of us struggle recalling the moment. At some point you might go through a period of processing in regard to your birth experience. In these instances birth photography is a phenomenal tool that aid’s healing for postpartum recovery & processing trauma.
3. "I wish that was a thing when so-and-so was born." Whenever birth photography comes up in conversation and the person I'm chatting with has children they almost always express some level of regret not preserving their story.
We didn't have a photographer capture our daughter’s birth and it's something my husband and I regret. At the time I knew very little about birth photography. I also knew very little about how monumental becoming a parent would be. Afterall, birth is a really private moment and I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable paying someone lots of money to take unflattering pics of me and my vagina while. If you find yourself thinking something similar I’m here to tell you that is not what birth photography is about. If you’re even the least bit interested I encourage you to learn more about it. A great place to start is by Googleing birth photographers in your area.
Either they didn't know about birth photography, didn't feel like it was important at the time, wanted to keep the moment private, didn't have the money or just decided to go a different direction. If you're interested even the least bit it might be worth looking in to more.
2. You hire a photographer to capture other pivotal moments in life. We hire photographers for graduation, when we become engaged, for our weddings, newborns, homecomings and anniversaries--why not our birth days? I love my husband and our wedding day was amazing, but the birth of our daughter is hands down the most amazing & epic moment of our life. Our society spends thousands on weddings, from flowers to cake, food, linens, fancy rental cars for one day (not even a day) of celebration. The flowers die, cake & food get eaten, linens & rental cars go back, but the photos from the wedding day live on forever. Your birth day is just as important. You've gone through what might be years of trying to get pregnant, 40 weeks of growing a special little soul inside you, watching your body change and anticipating everything that's to come. Who will they look like? What are they going to be like? And when the moments start to unfold you'll likely want more than cell phone pics to look at.
We aren't afraid to spend money for beautiful things or pay more for creative perspective & skill set. We pick out new outfits, get our hair & makeup done, find the most amazing location and cross our fingers that our kiddos cooperate well enough during the photo session.
So what about those beautiful moments that occur naturally in life? Are those moments equally valuable to us? Are they more?
1. Birth is beautiful. Exquisitely beautiful. Laboring people are beautiful & their partners caring for them are beautiful. Their doula & the other carefully chosen birth professionals supporting the family through birth are doing something beautiful. Siblings waiting to come meet baby for the very first time. Love & beauty are spilling out of every second and what a gift it is to relive & share those moments for the rest of your life. And to be a child familiar with your birth, the power of the human body and the love that fills the air in those first moments together.