Photography allows us to capture special and unique moments in our lives. The birth of a child is one of those moments. Traditionally, the photos have often been taken by a small camera in the shaky hands of a nervous husband. Now however, there's a new trend gaining ground.
Professional birth photographers are a more common sight in many delivery rooms in the United States. A specialist photographer is booked by the parents-to-be and is present at the hospital to capture the moments before, during and after the baby is born. Some photographers even offer package deals where you can buy studio shots of the baby bump to complement the shots from the actual birth.
Birth photographers are booked in a similar ways as wedding photographers and the somewhat unusual specialization has proven a valuable career move for many professional photographers. Jane McCrae received an Editor's Choice Award in National Geographic's photo contest for this photo. She has been working as a birth photographer for several years. She shares her thoughts on what makes a good birth photographer:
The trick is to treat the birth space as sacred. I feel like I walk into a church when I enter a woman’s domain, so without saying or doing anything else, I simply capture things quietly as they unfold and tell the story with my camera. When I sit down with my couples later to view the montage of images that I’ve put together for them depicting their journey, I watch them as they re-live it. There are always tears and I see how proud and amazed they are at how their bodies have been so awesomely created to birth their babies. A great birth photographer captures emotion, which in turn creates emotion in the person who is looking at the photo.
Many still think that child birth should be a private moment for the the family only. Birth photographer Becky Williams explains that birth photography is not what most people originally imagines:
The pictures created are tasteful and precious, capturing the most intimate and special moments, such as the babies first breath or the first skin to skin contact between the mother and her baby. The intimacy of both partners is captured, which otherwise would not be seen if the father is behind the camera.
An intrusive trend or a practical way to document a special moment? What do you think? What's certain is that 1x has many photographers who could make a new career in this profession if they wanted to. Here are a few examples.