With the increasing use of social media, content creation and sharing intimate stories, many people are opting to have a photographer capturing the blissful moments their baby is brought into the world, and all of those hours leading up to it.
If you are heading towards the last leg of your pregnancy journey, or even just beginning, you may be wondering whether you should invest in a photographer for your birth. Speaking as an Australian, and someone who has done majority of her research within the Australian states and territories, below is generally what you can expect from one, and why you should definitely consider bringing one onto your birth team. Keep note, no matter the birth you are planning or the birth that happens, a photographer can adapt services to still capture what is possible, including a hospital birth, a caesarean birth, a homebirth, a water birth and all other births.
These are moments you can never get back! Even if this is not your first child, each birth is different, with each birth you are born a mother again. Each has its own unique flow. Hiring a photographer allows you to look back at those moments of power, support, and euphoria as many recall bits and pieces of the birth process. Those moments between surges, the way you sway in circles, the way you instinctually move into new and different positions, and the first moment your baby opens their eyes and looks around are all perfect moments of strength, beauty and pure magic. A birth photographer will pinpoint these special moments, even the moments you think you do not want captured, and bring light to it in a way you will cherish forever.
From my research regarding Australian Birth Photographers, you can expect a range of figures for the price of their services. Depending on experience, inclusions and the possible add on, the price seems to stick anywhere between $1000 and $2500. If you’re opening to having a student or less experienced photographer, you may catch a price below $1000.
Many birth photographers will set up at least one or two consultations prior to the birth. Here you get a feel for one another, get to talk about your expectations, your birth plan and what you would like the photographer to cover. Generally, they will be on call for you from 37-38 weeks pregnant, for roughly 4 weeks. Depending on the photographer, you can also expect to have anywhere from 50 – 150 pictures of the birth, possibly an inclusion of a mini video clip and a debriefing after the birth. From my knowledge, many birth photographers are also doulas. You can therefore request for some birth support in between photographs if they are open to it.
Many photographers have packages you can choose from depending on your interest or birth plan and place. They also have separate options you can add on to each package. Ranging from maternity photoshoots, doula services, the first 48 hours or family portraits, they will ensure they suit your needs and wants!
The Golden Hour
This is something you want captured! The process of labour can leave both mothers and partners feeling overwhelmed, in shock and down right tired. However, right before your baby is born, your body produces a boost of adrenaline to aid in helping baby be born. The amazement that I guarantee will be in your eyes as you hold your baby for the first time, the tears, the smiles, the sobbing, the overwhelming relief that they are here and in your arms, is an incredibly beautiful moment. These moments are full of complete surrender and vulnerability, as your hormones work to create an unbreakable bond between you and your baby, you will unleash a love you've never felt before. Often in the golden hour, you can also expect things like the breast crawl, the first breastfeed, skin to skin, fathers first skin to skin, your first cuddles as a new family. It is, after all, called the golden hour for a reason.
Even though there are many benefits from having someone else there to capture these moments and create lifelong memories through photograph or video… there have been many reservations noted in hiring a photographer. Price being a main factor in many family’s hesitations. However, we invest in what we value. If you feel like you would value having these photos, or you would value in having the pressure off you and your partner on documenting this special moment then it is well worth it.
It is also important to note the funds spent on days such as weddings, 30th birthday parties or other such celebrations. There are no second thoughts to the expenses to make the day what you desire. Your birth is no exception. It is not like any other day of your life, it is completely unique and something you will never do the same twice. Many photographers offer payment plans and things can be worked out for you to be able to afford the time, energy and expertise of the photographer.
Others have said they would not necessarily want to look back on such a time - my partner included. After some questions and thought out answers, he came to the conclusion that it would be quite nice to revisit such an exciting time in our lives, and he sure as anything won’t have the spare time to snap a photo here and there. I agree.
A photo of your baby crowning, of you roaring at the top of your lungs, of your body working magic as your baby moves through your pelvis, is often said to be something many women do not want to see. I have to strongly challenge this statement! All are welcome to their own opinions, sure. But this day, my goodness, is something I promise you will want to look back on. You will draw on strength you didn't know you had, your partner will be in absolute pure awe of you, as the goddess you are. These are moments you want to be able to witness, as well as live.
I am a student birth doula, offering also birth photography, birth preparation, mother blessings and Bengkung belly binding. I emphasis the practice of consciously connecting to yourself, your partner, your pregnancy and therefore your baby and your birth. Only once we do this with intention can we have the depth of the experience that we desire. I hope to help you reawaken your ability to do so, and support and guide you when you need it. I hope to shine the light on the magnificent, awe-inspiring being you are. Contact me on email@example.com or on the 'Work With Me' part of my website.