I never thought I would witness birth from any other viewpoint than the laboring mother. But my friend Jamie came to me when she found out she was pregnant and asked if I would shoot the birth of her daughter. I had my own labor documented by a trusted photographer, so was very flattered that Jaime even asked. The photographer in me was intrigued by the challenge, the promise of something new in more ways than one. And the mom in me was overwhelmed with honor and emotion at the thought of not only being present for such an intimate event, but capturing it for years to come for such a dear friend.
And I knew this would be a rare gig for me since photographing births is extremely hard to do when you shoot weddings and/or have a family. It requires you to be on call…for a month or more! But I loved it so much and would love to shoot one a year during down season!
When I tell people I’ve shot a birth, or that Weston’s was photographed, I get mixed responses. Some raise their brows in disbelief. Some blanche with the horror of mental images. Some purse their lips in thought and then nod as they think about how much it makes sense to capture the most pivotal day in ANY parent’s life. And others light up, fully understanding the weight and specialness of such a “job.”
Some comments have been on the order of, “Yeah right, like I need photos to remind me of how horrid I looked that day.”
I too was nervous when I thought about being on the other side of the lens when Weston was born. But the day of, that’s the farthest thing from your mind. And birth isn’t beautiful…on the surface. It’s not a surface event. It’s a raw, emotional, absolutely painful journey. And as ugly as it is if we self-loathers judge ourselves with our unfair standards, it is even more beautiful. So beautiful it hurts.
I enjoy shooting boudoir photos because of the resulting feelings with which the client is overcome once she sees her photos. That satisfaction is tripled, as a photographer, when shooting a birth and hearing how the images send the mom and dad back to a day that is forever imprinted on their hearts.
Having your baby’s birth documented is not about showing the mom as a sexy woman or empowering her with her femininity. This is about becoming a mom. And that truly is the most beautiful, empowering thing we, as women who wish to take that step, can go through.
Jaime’s birth story is a good one. Other than the fact that they had to induce early due to concerns about a low weight (which ended up not being an issue at all, woohoo!), the day went off without a hitch. Other than some nausea after receiving the epidural (the reason she is on oxygen in some of the images), Jaime’s labor went well. And I got to be there when “well” turned into WONDERFUL.
Here is the birth of Reese Juliana. The day that Jaime & Mark found themselves wrapped around the littlest of little fingers ever. 🙂
PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE SLIDESHOW AS IT'S NOT LOADING INTO MY BLOG RIGHT!!!
and now…for their newborn photos of the sweet lil’ Reese 3 weeks after she was born. 🙂 Jaime & Mark are such natural parents. They are calm, good-humored and adoring of the precious tiny one who has so smoothly taken the throne of their kingdom (much to their pooches’ chagrin!) Reese is fiercely loved by her aunts and uncles, her grandparents, and all of their friends. I am so excited for when Weston and Reese can have their first playdate. 😉