Why You Should Hire a Birth Photographer

by Lara on September 16, 2013

“Birth is an experience that demonstrates that life is not merely function and utility, but form and beauty.”

~Christopher Largen

Why You Should Hire a Birth Photographer

(Hint: it’s not because you’ll look super sexy in the pictures.)

I know what you’re thinking.

“Pictures of my vagina?!  No thanks.”

Except that’s not what birth photography is.  Birth photography is about so much more than the actual moment of birth.  In fact, there are few things I’ve observed since becoming a parent that are as misunderstood as the idea of hiring a birth photographer.

I get it.  The idea of having a professional photographer at the birth of your baby can seem odd to many people; labor and delivery is usually a long, intense process that most consider to be a very private, sacred, and momentous journey.

But here’s the truth:  while there are moments of said journey that I will remember until the day I die, there’s a lot I don’t remember.  Because, well, I was busy getting a human out of my body.

But looking at our photos, I remember.  I remember how my hands squeezed my husband’s hand so hard with each contraction that I thought it would break.  I remember my parents both calling from hundreds of miles away while I writhed with pain and worry, how I grabbed the phone crying and calling my dad “daddy” for the first time in twenty years.  I remember the ice chips and the Gatorade and the God-awful hospital gown.

Why You Should Hire a Birth Photographer

And the moments I don’t remember?  I still have them.  Because I have the photos.  I have the very first breath my son took, still halfway between two worlds.  I have the first moment I laid eyes on my his warm, wet little body.  I have the cord being cut and the tears streaming down Matthew’s face.  I have the first of thousands of breastfeeding sessions, the first reading on the scale, the first sponge bath…I have what I hope will be the images that flash before me when I take my last breath.

Why You Should Hire a Birth Photographer

And guess what?  My vagina isn’t in any of them.

So while a younger me used to think that childbirth would be the occasion of my life that I would least want photographed, it has actually been the occasion whose photographs I treasure the most.  And while I once had my doubts about my picture being taken when I felt so very vulnerable, what I see when I look back is only the strength I didn’t know I had.

“There is a power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”

~Sheryl Feldman

For more information, check out the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers.  

All photos in this post are courtesy of the amazing and wonderful Aspin Photography.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Carey September 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

I had my husband take photos of my labour – well, he took them, I don’t remember asking!!

Second time round I had to delete two of the very first pictures of my son’s life because, well, my vagina WAS in them…..!!! Still, that’s what friends are for right? Taking pictures of your vagina right after giving birth….!! I don’t think a professional would have had time to get to me before D was born anyways, since the midwife didn’t… Or the paramedics!


Lara September 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Ha! I still can’t believe the story of your second birth!


Andrea@WellnessNotes September 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

What a great decision to hire a birth photographer! We almost didn’t have any photos of the kid right after he was born because Andy was too overwhelmed and the nurse had to ask him if he didn’t want to take some pictures…

Beautiful photos!


Lara September 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm

That’s really a cute story!


Marsha Fulton September 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I think this a beautiful attestation to how wonderful of an experience it is to have birth photography! I never even thought about having a photographer for my two sons, but I’m so pleased that we ventured down this path for our daughter. The tasteful pictures tell an amazing story; a story that conjures up so much emotion, pride, and amazement.

Finding the right photographer proved to be a task, but once I met her…I knew it before the first meeting ended!

Thanks for sharing your admiration 🙂



Lara September 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Thanks for your comment, Marsha! You are so right!


Kellie September 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

My daughter in law and I were just talking about this! Sharing…thanks 🙂


Lara September 21, 2013 at 7:46 am

Good luck to her! So exciting!


Lindsay September 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I am so glad that our doula and nurse took photos. We have so many amazing photos documenting Edith’s birth and I can’t wait to share them with her when she is older.

P.S. congrats on your new house!


Lara September 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

Thanks Lindsay! I remember your photos…they’re lovely!


Biz September 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I don’t have many photographs, but I have VIDEO! Well, until I went to have an emergency c-section. It starts with me getting to my parents house walking around having contractions while they ate pork chops, and ends at 2:00 a.m. when I finally wake up from anesthesia.

My twin sister took it – and every birthday for Hannah’s last 21 birthdays, I’ve watched that tape and I remember it like it was yesterday.

Good for you!


Lara September 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

What a treasure to have that video!


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