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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birth Photography

Have you ever considered being a birth photographer? I have. But, then I considered all the responsibilities that are connected with being a birth photographer, and decided against it. The biggest for me is needing to be 'on call' for the birth. I just couldn't do that. So, kudos to all those wonderful birth photographers!

I had the pleasure meeting Scarlett Bowling, who includes birth photography in her services. I wanted to find out about her thoughts about why she does birth photography.

In Scarlett's words:

While I love photographing so many different things for different reasons, photographing a birth has to be at the top of the list for me. There is nothing quite like being there to watch this little miracle take their first breath, to see the look in a parent’s eyes when they meet their baby for the first time.

Here is an excerpt from a birth that was very special to me. I think it sums up...

What an emotional and rewarding experience it is to photograph a birth: There are moments in our life where time seems to stand still. Where seconds seem like hours and you can hear your own heart almost beating out of your chest. Moments that you know you will look back on ten, twenty, thirty years from now and be able to recall every detail as if it were just yesterday. Friday, April 23rd, 2010 was one of those moments.

As I raced down 95 south I prayed that I would make it there in time. We have been there for each other so many times over the past 29 years, I couldn't imagine not being there for her this night, the night she would meet her baby boy. When I rushed into the pitch dark room at 8:30 pm, I realized I had made it….. barely. I gave hugs and reassurance of how proud I was of her (and her amazing husband, he really blew me away with what a great support he was to her), and then started snapping. With every image I captured I knew I was witnessing and documenting something so amazing, a miracle really. Within a few minutes, as the lights from Fenway Park shined in the distance, baby Will was here.

I watched as he took his first breath, heard his first cry, and met his mom and dad for the first time. What a treasure, my heart was so full it felt like it might burst. Aimie and Matt, thank you so much for letting me be there for such an amazing moment in your lives.

Tips for shooting births...

I’ve also been asked to give a few tips when it comes to shooting births. First and foremost, I try to be as unobtrusive as possible, almost as if a fly on the wall. I don’t use any flash when shooting a birth, I just take advantage of all available light and adjust my settings accordingly. I personally shoot a lot pictures at a birth because I don’t want to miss a moment. This means having plenty of memory cards available and being able to switch them quick. Most importantly, I just try to capture every moment of this very important birthday for each family that I work with so that they have these amazing moments to look back on for a lifetime.

Will (one year later)...

So, if you are thinking about adding birth photography to your services, hopefully this photographer's view will help you decide!

Thanks, Scarlett!


Scarlett Bowling said...

Thanks for featuring me! love your blog:)

toi said...

What a beautiful experience to photograph a new born :).

toi said...

What a beautiful experience to photograph a new born :).

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had never heard of that. My husband is a commercial photographer and he took photos of both our children's births. Our son is in black and white (1980) and our daughter's (1984) is in living color LOL. Those are beautiful b&W's, I love thw warm tones.
Being a birth photographer sounds like a huge responsibility as you said-just getting there on time is a challenge. Just joined your blog - I love photography too : D

Skeller said...

what a fun post! I've not yet photographed a birth, but I would LOVE to someday!!