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4 Reasons to Hire a Birth Photographer

A Seattle-based pro offers her advice

Whitney Hardie

Published on: November 01, 2018

Mother giving birth
A mother cradles her newborn shortly after birth. Photo credit: Hardie Photography
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A mother cradles her newborn shortly after birth
"When people find out that I’m a birth photographer, they’re either delighted or utterly confused." Photo credit: Hardie Photography
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When people find out that I’m a birth photographer, they’re either delighted or utterly confused — “Why would I want to have my birth photographed?” 

More and more families are choosing to hire a photographer to document their child’s arrival. While some remain skeptical, the couples who invite me into the delivery room know a few important facts about birth.

Birth deserves to be celebrated

In the hospital or at home, a planned C-section or unmedicated water birth — however it happens, birth is remarkable!

The day your child comes into the world, it changes everything. You feel the weight of their warm body against yours and kiss that damp, fuzzy head. Where words fail to capture the depth of this moment, an artful photograph preserves all the emotion of your first minutes together.

You grew this baby. You birthed this baby. Birth photography provides evidence of your incredible strength — and you may need that reminder during the grueling newborn days ahead.

Birth photography enhances family connection

Some people fear that inviting a photographer into their birth space will disrupt the intimate connection between a birthing couple and their new baby. I find quite the opposite to be true.

Hiring a birth photographer allows your partner to be completely present with you throughout labor and delivery, and especially in those precious bonding moments after birth.

Give your partner the gift of experiencing this day fully, without worrying about getting a good picture. Let a professional capture your first sacred minutes as a family so you can just live them together.

Birth is unpredictable

When it comes to labor and delivery, there are no do-overs. Hiring a professional birth photographer means securing someone with the specialized equipment and knowledge to handle all the challenges a birthing situation can present.

Whether your child is born in a dark and crowded bathroom or a brightly lit operating room, you want the person documenting this momentous event to have the technical skill and artistic ability to make art in the most unpredictable circumstances.

You didn’t trust your cousin to photograph your wedding — don’t leave her in charge of capturing the moment you become parents.

Birth is a team effort

A birthing mother deserves to be surrounded by people who know her, believe in her and support her in this vulnerable time. Birth photographers are intimately acquainted both with the families they serve and also the birthing process itself.

People hire me not just for photographs, but also for the calmness I bring to their birth experience. A good birth photographer knows when to offer words of reassurance, when to quietly hold space, and how to artfully tell the story of your delivery as it unfolds. 

Each birth I photograph reaffirms my convictions that women are powerful, that wonders still exist and that no story is more compelling than a child's entrance into the world. May your birth be empowering and transformative in all the best ways.

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