I had never done birth photography. Birth photography is the documentation of the labor and delivery of a mom and baby. I’ve been a wedding photographer for 20 years and that has been my main focus and passion. But current events have me headed towards marketing birth photography and maternity photography.
It wasn’t until a past client contacted me to inquire if I knew anyone that could photograph the birth of her first child. I thought to myself, “I could totally do that.” I had marketed myself as a wedding photographer so well that she hadn’t considered that I could or would do it.
Both weddings and birth photography are hectic and filled with a ton of stress for the bride and groom and for the parents, respectively. Add to that in birth photography, the unpredictability of when the baby will decide to make it’s grand entrance, and you have even more to be nervous about. They are both photojournalistic in nature so it fits my skill set perfectly.
As I mentioned, birth photography is even more stressful than wedding photography. I mean, you are photographing the first moments of a new humans life. Also, as a parent, I can tell you that it’s the greatest moment of your life. So this is extremely important. As important if not more important than a wedding.
So, when my wife, Marie, and I found out that Marie was pregnant with our second child, I knew that I would, at least, photograph the process more than I did with our first child. And when my clients retained me for their birth photography, I knew that it would be a good opportunity to sharpen and hone my skills.
My wife and I had our first child, our son Elliot, three years ago. I didn’t even consider documenting his birth. Having your first child is filled with such mystery and of not knowing what to do or expect. I was just trying to find my way as a first time parent. By the time you are expecting your second child, things are a bit easier, in general. So, I decided to document the birth of our next child.
Trying to help my wife when she needs it, be dad during the birth of my child AND document the experience was quite a challenge. I do think that photographing the birth process helped keep me focused and lessened the stress. When I am in “photographer mode” I’m laser focused. So it did help. Also, we had a scheduled c-section so it was a bit easier than the unpredictability of a natural birth. Our second son, Simon, was born at 5:00 P.M. on October 18 2019 at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield, Ohio and the pictures of his birth are below.
Being able to document his first moments on this Earth was incredible. Empathy is one of the most important elements in being photojournalist and photographer in general. Photographing the birth of Simon only reinforced this to me.
Two days after Simon was born we brought Elliot to see his little brother for the first time. This was a very special moment for Marie and I and I will be including this type of thing in my birth photography coverage.
Parents are super stressed, super excited and super tired ( :/ ). Creating photo documentation of their child’s birth will be an honor and a huge responsibility. So providing them with a way to look back and relive this incredible moment will such a pleasure.
I’m now officially a birth photographer. Let life begin.