It is not…. gross, disgusting, dirty, perverted, shameful!
“EW. I do not want to see what I look like in labour”
“No one wants to see that”
“I hope you have a splash guard on your lens”
“I do not want to see my vagina that close!”
“I will look disgusting birthing my baby”
These are just SOME of the WILD things I have heard when I have told people that I am a birth photographer and I am here to break some of this down and tell you why I truly believe that these thoughts are cray cray.
First off, this day RIVALS any other big and important day that you have paid to have photographers at! As big as a wedding is, this day is so full of MAGIC that it as well needs to be documented. How often are you meeting your baby for the first time?? This beautiful human that you have grown for 9 months. You have thought of all the other important details surrounding this person… how you want to parent, where they will sleep, what carseat they will sit in. You have spent hours researching breastfeeding/bottle feeding and cosleeping and babywearing and stroller types and a million different health choices. You have spent 9 months loving on this little person and now they are finally here. Your hard work is done and you finally get to see what they look like… their hair and eye colour, how their little finger grasps yours, how they cry for you and instantly recognize your voices. This is YOUR MOMENT. You get it one time. This moment is EVERYTHING. Having a professional there allows you to soak in these moments and EVERY time you look at your images, you will be taken RIGHT back to this moment, this FEELING.
Now to discuss this idea that you will look disgusting, or that these images won’t be beautiful… There is NOTHING more beautiful than the strength of a woman in labour. You will never feel stronger, or more capable of anything. This is as raw and as real as life gets. You are vulnerable and the love between you and your partner is so evident. You lean on each other for support and comfort and strength. One of my birth clients viewed her gallery and through her tears said “wow. I never realized how ROMANTIC this day was” ROMANTIC! There is a true romance story captured when you hire someone to document this day. You might think that you can snap a few pics throughout day with your iphone but let me tell you something… this will not tell you the WHOLE story. And the quality is NOWHERE as good. Hospital lighting is not always the greatest, at home with the dim lights is not always easy to get a great photo. Professionals have the BEST gear to get the highest quality of images. We know where to be to tell your story appropriately so you can see your strength, your beauty, your commitment to your family and your JOY.
I want you to be present in your labour!!! Labour is hard! I do NOT want you focusing on trying to remember every detail of your day. Focus on your breath, your surrender and your baby. I will do the rest! Your partner can then focus on you and supporting you rather than trying to capture the small details. Lean on each other, hold each other, and breathe together. I will get the moments you won’t want to forget. The way your partner caressed your back or wiped your brow. The looks of concern and determination. The fearless strength you have inside of you as you breathe your baby down. The pure joy you feel when you see and hold your baby for the first time. The tenderness and excitement. I will capture it all so you can relive these moments anytime you choose.
Your vagina is not the star!!! Yes, there will be some images at the end of baby crowning and babe entering this world but this is 1% of the story, although a VERY IMPORTANT part of the story. Women’s bodies are beautiful and AMAZING. Embrace and celebrate this!!! You are powerful, mama!
When I think back on my births I know that these memories are imprinted DEEP in my soul but looking back at my photos, I am taken RIGHT back to those incredible days. My heart literally skips a beat seeing me lock eyes with our babies or seeing the way my husband looked at me that day. I cannot wait to share these images with our kids when they are older so they can see the beauty and ecstasy that they brought into our lives. (yes they have seen these photos now as children, but sharing as adults is such a gift!)
So, please, put your negative thoughts about birth photography aside and see the beauty, the empowerment, the strength and power and celebrate your love and support and vulnerability.