Would you hire a birth photographer?

Having a photographer present for your baby’s birth will provide you with mementos to treasure. Here, Jo Hegerty helps you decide if it’s an experience right for you.

Not content with grainy photos from a point-and-shoot camera or smartphone, some parents are inviting professional photographers into the birth suite to capture their child’s journey into the world. Birth photography is fast becoming big business in the US and UK, and is increasing in popularity here in Australia. But could you handle having a stranger in the room? And what exactly will she be doing?

Lyndsay Stradtner, founder of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, puts it beautifully when she sums up birth photographers as storytellers who describe the journey of a birth day. “There’s so much more to birth photography than the actual moment of birth,” she explains. “It’s the birth environment, the light in the room, mum holding onto dad, the midwife making suggestions. It’s the baby placed on her mum’s chest, the cutting of the cord, the baby’s toes and fingers.” And it’s worth noting that an experienced birth photographer will hardly be noticed by you. She’ll be busy quietly and discreetly taking candid, tasteful photos – so at no point will you be expected to say “cheese” during a contraction!

Photo by Jessica Chia | Essence Images Jul 26, 2013

Would you hire a birth photographer?

Having a photographer present for your baby’s birth will provide you with mementos to treasure. Here, journalist Jo Hegerty helps you decide if it’s an experience right for you.

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  1. Carley12:42pm Tuesday 30th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I agree with the concept wholeheartedly. Having my babies was a long process that I remember little of as it fades as time goes by. I wish I had had a birth photographer there to capture these moments for me so it can help me remember what I went through. May be odd to some people but I would love to have a capture of the first moment I met my children. When all the pain and worry and stress is gone in that exact instant you meet you child for the first time. I would trust the photographer to stay in the background and I doubt I would even notice them there until afterwards when I can cry and relive such an amazing moment over and over thanks to their hard work. I want my partner by my side not having to rush off to grab the camera and miss all those early moment. The midwives have a job to do instead of taking photos. This way you know it is under control and you can do what needs to be done.

  2. Amanda11:11am Monday 29th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Beautiful heart warming images capturing one of the most amazing experiences in a families life. I was completely blessed to have a photographer present during the delivery of my son & while there are definitely photo's of his actual birth (which i treasure), there are also many special moments captured during labour while we were waiting with anticipation to meet our little man & also after he was born,capturing the miracle of new life & beautiful bonding. These images are something I will treasure forever & I am so grateful to have. I have also had the immense privilege of having the above photographer Jess from Essence Images take some breath-taking photos of my son & I together & I would have her present at my next delivery in a heartbeat. If you are not a parent, you can't understand the emotions surrounding labour & delivery, & to have a keepsake of these special moments is truly a gift.

  3. Birthography10:41am Monday 29th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I wonder how many of the negative commenters above are parents... None by the looks of things. Its sounds like not one of these narrow minded imbeciles have ever experienced the beauty of birth.. You hire a photographer to capture the memories of your wedding day.. why not your birth. I smile knowing one day you will understand why we love our passion.

  4. NotaBimbo07:46am Sunday 28th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    If the moment of birth is beautiful, why is the moment of conception considered pornographic? After all that's where it all starts. Is it that a woman has to share conception with another person but birth is all about her?

  5. ManMana07:39am Sunday 28th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    This baby worship has become like all obsessions, unhealthy

  6. michael06:18am Sunday 28th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I saw a photo of a friends birth once the baby was covered in blood, i think if i was a little kid and saw that i would be terrified, i did'nt find it very tasteful, perhaps they could have chosen a better shot to have hanging on the wall ?

  7. Salina11:19pm Saturday 27th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Many years ago father were not aloud to go into the room while the mother was giving birth .. we have moved forward since then and its there choice. My husband was with me while I was giving birth and we got no pictures but I wish we had of cause my daughter asks about her birth all the time like I do to my mother .. It is the most magical moment in our lives don't see the big deal about pictures

  8. FTLOG10:22pm Saturday 27th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    its a choice thing. if you want it the market will make it happen, or if the market wants it then you think you need it

  9. Jack07:18pm Saturday 27th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    It's not pornography taking pictures of nude kids and of a female between the legs, and especially if that takes place in a hospital? What is then? Whether it's a woman or man taking the pictures makes no difference. It's a ridiculous thing in the first place even thinking of it. By all means, take all the shots AFTER the birth - mother and child, but it's down right sickening to take pictures while she gives birth.

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  10. Anna H06:54pm Saturday 27th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    If that's what you want to do, then do it. After all it is not pornographic. the photographer is a woman who knows quite well what giving birth is all about and she would only be taking the photo of the baby entering the world. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with it at all. Some women have their husbands, mums, and another person in the delivery room, so what's the difference? Nothing at all.