Why Birth Photography is so rewarding to me by Brianna Waltman
Birth Story Photography
Birth Story Photography was not something I planned on doing on the regular. I thought I’d try it once, probably be so overwhelmed that I wouldn’t do it again, but I was wrong.
After just photographing the first birth of a child, I was hooked, and soon people were buzzing about that I was photographing births and I started getting more women who were interested in booking with me.
It’s harder to book a birth because you must be on call 24/7 for anywhere from a week to 2 months because as you know babies don’t arrive according to any other plans but their own.
And coverage could be anywhere from 2 to 30 hours. You could get called at 3 in the afternoon or 1 o’clock in the morning, there is nothing straight forward about doing birth photography, but that’s what makes it exciting and rewarding is how unique each experience is.
For me, birth photography is so rewarding because I am honored to witness and be part of the most intimate moments in someone’s life.
Even more than the mother experiencing labor and delivery, I also witness siblings and parents and grandparents as they are also a big part of the process.
It’s rewarding for me to be able to add assistance in for the mother where I can, and I love learning about the entire process so I can help educate my clients on what to expect.
It’s rewarding to see the different environments and approaches that women take when bringing their baby into the world. I’ve photographed births at hospitals, birthing centers, and homes.
I have even had a client once have her baby in the truck on the way to the hospital. When I was born, I was born at home and I will always cherish that special part of me, and I believe that’s a big part of why I feel so connected to birth.
Being at home is sacred and I believe it is the perfect place to bring a baby into the world, and I really think it’s beginning to make a come back especially the more normalized it becomes by shedding light on just how beautiful that process can be.
When I documented the birth of Alakai, Ashley was able to eat all she wanted, she was able to roam her house freely and the most important people (and pets) were able to play major roles in the whole process.
Ashley may not have recalled many of these moments had I not documented them, so for her to be able to reflect on the event outside of her pain and focus, gives me great joy from my birth story photography.
I’ve always loved delivering images to people and they express how they had no recollection of certain things had it not been for my photos.
Sometimes one photo can ignite multiple memories otherwise lost, which is a miracle on its own. It’s rewarding for me to give moments back to people that didn’t even realize those moments were occurring until later.
Some moments are not even moments that involve people but objects that tell parts of the story such as the list of possible baby names hung in the kitchen, or the memory that I will never forget when Alakai’s grandfather began to gently play the piano moments after his birth.
That’s rewarding for me to witness, these innocent moments that can’t always be documented but simply felt and remembered by those who were present, and being given the job to translate them into telling a story.
And if you look closely there’s an image where Ashley is using the toilet and the grandfather is at the kitchen sink wearing 2 pairs of glasses. These moments are rewarding for me to document as I always look for the out of the ordinary moments during my birth story photography.