There are a number of factors that make birth sessions hard for photographers (including lack of sleep in this case), it’s just not an easy session to pull off. But this birth story from Bonnie Hussey Photography is nearly perfection!
From Bonnie Hussey Photography:
This was the first time I’ve documented a birth story where the parents are first time parents. I got a call around 11 pm from mom letting me know she wasn’t feeling well and she was going to go to Labor & Delivery to make sure everything was ok. I got another call around 2 am letting me know she was being admitted and I got “THE CALL” around 3:30 am letting me know she was about 4 cm dilated. That was my cue to get ready and head to the hospital. I already had my battery charged and cards ready to go, so I just had to double check to make sure I had everything.
Watching a couple become parents for the first time was absolutely incredible.
Birth sessions can be tricky to pull off – basically you are in everyone’s way for almost the entire time you are there, things can quickly become “scary”, and it is hard to find the right positions so that you’re capturing enough detail without the images becoming untactful. Despite the challenges, Maddie B Photography, delivers (pun intended) a beautiful and well-told story of the birth of little Colton!
Now that is dedication! Getting up at 2:30am to shoot a birth session! Some great advice at the end of the article for those who are thinking about trying a birth session. 1) Remember that you are a spectator! Don’t be in the way! 2) Know your angles ahead of time and where you need to be to get appropriate pictures.
Home birth and newborn: As many of you know, photographing a birth, whether at a hospital or at home can present many challenges, from low lighting to changing emotions in the room. Elizabeth Kowal from Adore Pictures Studio offers some key advice for shooting in these conditions. As documented experiences go, a birth ranks as one of the most intense. These images make tangible the fleeting moments that a parent will never forget and capture the expressions that might otherwise have been missed. Please leave your feedback for Elizabeth below. If you’ve recently documented a birth, we invite you to share it!
Message from Elizabeth:
I recently was asked to photograph the home birth of another photographer after she had seen some of the photos I took when my own daughters gave birth. Before I was a photographer I worked as a labour and delivery nurse. As a nurse I don’t know how many times I swallowed back tears and wished I was photographing these amazing moments. I’m also a mother of three, and to me there is no time more beautiful than when a brand new person is born, whether it is in a hospital setting or safely at home under the watch of a licensed midwife.
When the phone call came at four in the morning I knew it would be Roxanna calling to let me know that the labour had started. Roxanna and I had talked about photographing the birth of her third baby.
There is so much to say. I could say what a miracle it was to see this sweet life enter the world, or how I admire the strength and grace with which Roxanna (and mothers everywhere for that matter) laboured and gave birth, or how the love and joy in this little family as they welcomed J made it hard for me to keep back tears. I am grateful for the trust placed in me and I hope you enjoy and are inspired by these images as much as I am.
Tips for photographing a birth session:
- Tell the story. Every birth is different. Don’t forget to capture the little details like father’s expressions, grandma’s response or even the little things like the clock telling the time on the wall.
- Be confident. Know your camera and make sure you are comfortable shooting in low light. Look for the light. Be prepared to use high ISO and a low aperture when you need to.
- Be calm. Put your feelings on hold. This is all about mom and her family. Be a fly on the wall (real photojournalism!).
- Be professional. Make sure you are knowledgeable about birth and be prepared for the unexpected. Stay out of the way of professionals and be respectful of nurses, midwives or doctors trying to do their job.
- Be sensitive. Chose your angles and always maintain your client’s dignity and respect her privacy.
// Adore Pictures Studio //