While still relatively new, birth photography has grown in popularity over the last few years and because of that there are several articles explaining why you should hire a birth photographer. They highlight the love that is experienced between mother and their partner, the support that is crucial to bringing life into this world, capturing the moment that you see your baby for the first time and so many other beautiful reasons. All of which are absolutely valid and are, in fact, part of the reason that we love what we do. But in order to truly understand why we do what we do and why it can be so important to document the whole process for some mothers, you have to understand, appreciate and respect birth itself.
One of my favorite books, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (if you haven’t read it you MUST!) has a line that reads, “Why did I not know that (child) birth is the pinnacle where women discover the courage to become mothers?...Until you are the woman on the bricks, you have no idea how death stands in the corner, ready to play his part. Until you are the woman on the bricks, you do not know the power that rises from other women.”
To some, that might sound a little scary and dark but for those who truly work to understand birth and are ready to support women through the most vulnerable, transformative experience of their lives, we know it is just another layer to the process of bring a child into this world.
There is a moment in every labor, regardless of how your baby is born, when no one breathes and time stands still. When a woman has to come out of her own body, she leaves herself and this world to meet her baby and bring them back with her.
This is what that moment looked like for me during the birth of our second son, Lowry. I was lucky enough to have our very own Claire there with me to document my VBAC and while these photos are so incredibly personal for me and my family, I felt an urge to share them with this post. To share that we know what that moment looks and feels like and how important it is to share what birth can and should be.
In that moment, if you feel loved, safe, supported, heard, and empowered you carry those feelings with you into your first few days, weeks, months of motherhood. If you are able to trust in your providers, your support system and your body during labor and delivery then you can carry that same trust into your instincts as a mother and begin your journey with confidence in your abilities and the wisdom to know when to ask for help.
So, why hire a birth photographer?
To document the story of your family, the day when you had to fight through two worlds to give your child their first breath, to help process the intense emotions that inevitably come with becoming a mother (even if it's for the second, third or fourth time), to improve the birth culture in our country and help other women see what birth can be, to show the next generation what they are capable of and what true love looks like from the very beginning.
As a collective, if we can help women understand how their birth has impacted them, allow them to see how incredible their bodies are, improve their journey into motherhood, and help them believe in themselves and what they are capable of, then we have done exactly what we set out to do.
Welcome to The Collective everyone. We are here and ready to get to work.