BIRTH: 5 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY
The overall popularity of birth photography has grown quite a lot over the recent years. However, it is still viewed as unnecessary and taboo through the eyes of many.I want to bust a few of the myths surrounding birth photography, and help mamas understand that birth photography is beautiful and totally valid.
February 11, 2022
The overall popularity of birth photography has grown quite a lot over the recent years. However, it is still viewed as unnecessary and taboo through the eyes of many. I want to bust a few of the myths surrounding birth photography, and help mamas understand that birth photography is beautiful and totally valid.
I don’t know about you, but I am always underwhelmed by the photos my husband snaps of me on my phone (trust me, I love him to death, but it’s definitely not his strong suit – sorry babe). Now don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have some candid shots of me and my kids on my phone, but would I want to rely on that for my main source of recollection from one of the biggest days of my life? I’m gonna have to answer NO to that one. Your spouse is going to be so caught up in worrying about you and if theres anything they can do to support you better. I promise, the last thing they are going to want to think about is grabbing a camera right before your baby makes their big entrance. Also, who wants to watch their child enter the world from behind a phone screen? That’s also going to be a big no from me. That’s where I come in. As a third party and a valuable member of your birth team, who’s only job is to worry about taking photos, I am able to focus on capturing everything during your birth; the big moments, all the little details, and everything in-between. You most likely wouldn’t think “I don’t need a midwife or a doctor, my spouse will just deliver my baby”, so why would it be any different when it comes to hiring a birth photographer?
Birth photography is whatever YOU want it to be. Every mama has a different level of comfortability when it comes to what she wants shown. As a birth photographer, it is my job to capture your birth as it unfolds, in a documentary fashion. As most of you know, birth is totally unpredictable and I can never guarantee that I will be able to capture every shot you desire, but if there are things or details you prefer to be left out, that can definitely be arranged. One of the main purposes of birth photography is to empower mothers, and there are plenty of other beautiful ways to tell your birth story without including graphic details.
Here’s a little secret… birth photography is actually incredibly underpriced and undervalued. Think about it this way, birth photography and wedding photography are very much alike. In both scenarios, you’re hiring a photographer to capture a once in a lifetime moment. Most wedding photographers charge between $175-$500 an hour, multiply those numbers by 12 (for 12 hours worth of coverage) and that makes the average cost for a wedding photographer between $2,100-$6,000. And thats just for one day of coverage (just for reference, most wedding photographers don’t even offer a package with 12 hours of coverage – because it’s such a long time for them to be expected to shoot).
Now let’s circle this theory back and apply it to a birth photography scenario. The birth photographer you hire will be on-call 24/7 for you for up to 4-5 weeks, on top of the fact that they will drop everything to come to your birth at a moments notice. They will most likely be at your birth for long hours and even stay for a bit after you’ve delivered. If you apply that previous math to this, you can see how this would start to add up quite quickly. But yet, people still baulk at the idea of a birth photographer charging over $1,000. But for those who desire having their birth immortalized in photographs, can you really even put a price on that?
Heck no! I know speaking for me personally, I would never share images from your birth without consent. I completely respect each and every mama’s wishes when it comes to putting something so vulnerable out onto social media. There are many mothers that are totally fine with their birth images being shared, but it’s not for everyone and I totally get that! And don’t worry, even if you give consent at an earlier time, but then change your mind, I am happy to remove any and all pictures that you request.
This myth is the one that makes me the most frustrated to hear. I am a two-time c-section mama, and I have definitely felt this way in the past. I had planned to have both my children vaginally and unmedicated. I did all the research, read all the birth stories… you get the gist. However, my babies had different plans. I’ve struggled over the years to come to terms with the fact that their births were still valid even though they weren’t done the “traditional way”. Neither of my children’s births were photographed, and I regret it every-time I think about it.
I don’t usually feel the need to point fingers, but I think we have society to blame for teaching mothers that the only ‘acceptable’ way to have a child, is to have an unmedicated vaginal birth. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Each and every birth is beautiful, and valid, regardless of how you chose (or didn’t choose) to bring your babe into the world. It should make you feel empowered, not ashamed! You gave birth to a whole a** baby, one that you grew inside of you for 9 months. Who the heck decided that’s not something we should be proud of?!