WHY Hire a Birth Photographer?

How often does a woman (or anybody really) see how strong they are?

How often do you see PURE love without any conditions?

Birth is meeting someone for the first time face to face and loving them with every fiber of your being. Birth is like a wedding day. Full of emotions, sometimes stress, adrenaline, and at the end of it all there are things you just aren't going to remember. It's so important to be able to look back & see what you looked like when you met your baby, for you to see what your partner's reaction was, or how they looked at you when you weren't looking.

It's the greatest love story of all.

It is life changing, and not something we (women) should fear. 

~ Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Hamilton /  www.jhmamarazziphotography.com  / San Antonio, TX

Jennifer Hamilton / www.jhmamarazziphotography.com / San Antonio, TX

Birth Photography is more than just photos of a woman in labor.

It's the ups and the downs, the hard parts and the easy parts. It's a story of a mother being born, a child being brought into the world. A story that every child deserves to see when they are older. There are so many details that a woman miss because they are in a primal state. Pieces that help make the whole process more cohesive. A reminder of smells, lights, support, the emotions of meeting your little one for the first time. You've worked hard for 40ish weeks to grow and nourish a child, and then you bring them into the world with such power. You shouldn't miss any small detail in their story. 

Why is it so expensive?

Because we are dedicating our life to you. To be there for you and document every minute of your hard work. To be there at a drop of a pin, no matter what we are in the middle of, to stand by your side and help tell your story. Birthday parties, family vacations, day trips, date nights. We are so passionate about being there for you, we are absolutely ready to leave our lives to document the beginning of your little ones.

~ Ashlie Moon

Ashlie Moon /  www.mamabearupstatebirth.com  / Greenville, SC

Ashlie Moon / www.mamabearupstatebirth.com / Greenville, SC

Ashley Short /  www.ashleyshortphotography.com  / NW Ohio

Ashley Short / www.ashleyshortphotography.com / NW Ohio

During consultations, I always ask my clients why they want a birth photographer.

Usually, the answer is because they know things get blurry, or sometimes because they regretted not having any good photos from their first birth. The real answer is obvious in this photo (above) - the look in her eyes that he's going to want to remember forever. The way they held hands, without thought connecting their new family. How the baby wiggled right to her home- new, but familiar all at the same time. When you're feeling more emotions than you can name, it's important to have someone who can see clearly, document those moments, so you can come back to them forever.

That moment, that love, that image... it's priceless.

~ Ashley Short

Season Hurd /  www.seasonhurd.com  / Denver, CO

Season Hurd / www.seasonhurd.com / Denver, CO

Because sometimes Daddy has his hands full.

This mama had three traumatic brain surgeries last summer and had to have her c-section under general anesthesia. She wanted me to document dad being there for her son's first moments since she knew she wouldn't remember them. He very much rose to the occasion. They needed to resect baby's cord a little more, so dad asked if she could do it since he missed the initial cutting. Baby needed to be fed with donor milk and he spoke right up that he wanted to try it.

Birth stories are about families becoming fuller and the love we have for these little people. Family should be part of the story, not behind the camera.

~ Season Hurd

Rachel Utain-Evans /  www.rachelutainevans.com  / Philadelphia, PA

Rachel Utain-Evans / www.rachelutainevans.com / Philadelphia, PA

Birth photography to me is about helping birthing people reclaim the story of their birth.

So much of the empowerment and ownership of birth has been removed by the modern medical system, and we can obviously never know for sure how a birth is going to end. But through my photography, I hope to help families see the beauty in their stories, and the power in their accomplishment of birthing their baby, no matter how that story unfolds.

~ Rachel Utain-Evans

Lee Pettigrew /  www.leepettigrew.com  / Washington, D.C.

Lee Pettigrew / www.leepettigrew.com / Washington, D.C.

Labor can be a blur and it’s helpful to have your partner’s full support.

Hiring a professional birth photographer allows your partner to give you the attention and support you need without having to worry about capturing the moment or even missing the moment. Your partner is fully present. I’ve had clients not remember a thing about their labor, but when they view their birth story, the emotions and memory come flooding back. It’s as if they are reliving that exact moment again.

~ Lee Pettigrew

Cara Bettcher /  www.bornebackphotography.com  / South Bend, Indiana

Cara Bettcher / www.bornebackphotography.com / South Bend, Indiana

In life, we invest in so many things.

We don't think twice to invest in wedding photos or family photos, yet we often hesitate when it comes to investing in birth photos. Why is that? If someone were to stop you right now and ask what the most important moment of your life was, I can confidently say that nearly every parent who answered would respond with the birth of their children. If we categorize this moment as one of the of most important events in your life, why would we hesitate to invest in it? Birth photographers are passionate about what they do and they are investing their time (often much more time than a typical session or wedding), their money (for equipment, training, etc), and their talent. They are making themselves 100% available to you in your biggest moment. They are choosing to invest in you and your baby so it seems only just that birth photos should also necessitate some investment, too. Its absolutely worth it!

~ Cara Bettcher

Dallas Arthur /  www.dallasarthurphotography.com  / Jacksonville, FL

Dallas Arthur / www.dallasarthurphotography.com / Jacksonville, FL

That "first look."

Wedding photographers get it...they zoom in on the groom at the front of the aisle, gulping back tears as he watches the love of his life walk toward him. Now take that emotion and multiply it, and you've got a peek at the powerful emotions that pour out when a parent lays eyes on their child for the very first time. Birth photographers are there, we are ready, and we cannot wait to capture that sweet moment for you.

~ Dallas Arthur

Noleen Thurman CD(DONA) /  www.doulanoleen.com  / Phoenix, AZ

Noleen Thurman CD(DONA) / www.doulanoleen.com / Phoenix, AZ

Firsts.

First breath. First cry. First glance. First touch. First kiss. All of these evanescent moments and more, that are so precious and irreplaceable, and for me to have the privilege of capturing them for families is a gift. These moments that pass with a blink of an eye, I get to freeze them in a split second for the images to be kept for a life time.

~ Noleen Thurman

Heather Hite /  www.akronbirthphotography.com  / Akron, Ohio

Heather Hite / www.akronbirthphotography.com / Akron, Ohio

I don’t have a single photo of myself in the hospital with my first born.

I was a single mother, embarking on a life changing and Incredibly important journey, and I cannot remember ....anything. The moment I became a mother my entire being was changed. My purpose in life, my dreams, the very core of who I am as a woman was all flipped upside down and I wish so much that I had photos commemorating the start of this chapter of my life. 

That was almost 10 years ago, and if someone told me that for some amount of money they could magically go back and and photograph my birth, I’d ask them where to sign, instantly. 

So today, if I were to give birth again, knowing how important those moments are, and how little you remember after hours or even days of laboring, I would happily pay a small fortune to have those memories in photographs, forever. Luckily, birth photography is much more affordable than a small fortune, and what it gives us as Mothers is truly priceless. 

~ Heather Hite

Kathryn Johnson /  www.kjbirth.com  / Dallas, TX

Kathryn Johnson / www.kjbirth.com / Dallas, TX

Birth photography is so much more than bodily fluids and graphic images, its about capturing a powerful love story and all the special moments that take place during one of the greatest days of your life.

The thing about birth is that it is SO fuzzy and blurry after the fact. Regardless of your birth, epidural, c section or drug free, you turn into a beautiful pile of mushy gushy oxytocin bliss and everything is just so fleeting, its easy to forget all the special moments. Birth photography allows you to revisit those powerful, life changing, first moments as a new family. You can see the way your partner held your hand, your smile when you heard that first cry, your older children's excitement when meeting their newest sibling.

~ Kathyrn Johnson

Lindsey Eden /  www.lindseyedenphotography.com  / Denver, CO

Lindsey Eden / www.lindseyedenphotography.com / Denver, CO

Empowerment and Normalizing

This mama’s words capture the full embodiment of my, “why”:

Right after the birth, I was feeling almost protective and had some fears around the images of my breasts being shown. But after some distance and some more thought, I've decided that it's really important to me to share my story and the images to show others that it's possible to have an empowering, beautiful, and even healing birth experience.

So many of my peers seem like they expect birth to be inherently traumatic and disempowering and I want to show that it doesn't have to be that way. I realized that my fear around showing my breasts was due to some patriarchal ideas that I was still holding onto - that my naked body is somehow 'bad' or should be hidden. I believe that those sexist ideas are a part of the problem our country has around birth when the truth is that my body, all women's bodies, are amazing!

I created and birthed a beautiful baby and now I am keeping her alive with my body and I don't want to hide that truth! So please share any image and the video on any platform you decide. I think this is another step towards reclaiming my power and I just really want to say thank you for being a part of my process. I never once felt along through my birth journey - before, during, and months after - and I can't thank you guys enough for that. You have helped me more than you know.

Kourtnie Walker Scholz /  www.kedocumentary.com  / Dallas, Fort Worth, TX

Kourtnie Walker Scholz / www.kedocumentary.com / Dallas, Fort Worth, TX

Oh, how I love labor.

When asked what my favorite part of birth is, I always say labor. There is something beautiful in the raw power, of having no control, of seeing your support team support. Labor is empowering. It’s such a big part of your story. Labor is such a great connection. The storm before the gift. After I labored with my two I noticed life wasn’t so hard, that I could labor breath in other areas of my life. My self-esteem was amazingly higher after birth and I feel like a #badass , for in this struggle... as I prayed to God and got to the point where I could go no further. I did. I finished. And their blessing of a cry met me at the end. And to top it off, I fell more and more in love with my husband with each of our children as he was my rock.

Each story is different, but each changes you.

As you think about your birth team and your birth plan, remember that we have little control over our birth stories. Some go really close to what we want it. Others weeks before or after the date you have originally thought. Or maybe you have a surprise home birth, or in need of an emergency cesarian. Maybe your baby flips last minute. Each story is different and you will be telling your birth story the rest of your life.

What I have learned from my own births and those that I have had the honor to document, is that the images and films from the births show so much more than the story in our heads. We don't just see the pain, but the love. We can see those moments before and after our little ones are earthside. The moments leading up and the moments after. To see your full story in front of you is one of the most amazing gifts.

Recently a mother told me "All I remember was the negative and then I saw your images and saw so much love. It changed my view of my birth. The pain and frustration were there. But so was so much more. " I LOVE hearing this.

~ Kourtnie Walker Scholz

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