Looking good isn’t exactly a priority for most women while in labor. And if your due date is fast-approaching, you probably already know that you’re bound to be more worried about your next contraction rather than the state of your hair. Because of this, some may find it surprising that a growing trend involves hiring professional photographers to document the labor process and the miracle of childbirth during a pregnancy.
Now that social media outlets are more popular than ever, it seems like many moms are willing to put it all on display for their friends and family members. To meet the growing demand, more photographers are specializing in birth photography, which is a lot more demanding than you might think.
After all, birth is totally unpredictable. Due dates are really just estimations, so you never know when labor is going to start and you’ll need to be taken to the hospital. That means photographers have to be on call a lot – sometimes weeks before the scheduled due date. And of course, false labors happen too. And what if you have to have a C-section, after all? Photographers usually aren’t allowed in the operating room.
But that hasn’t stopped this business from rapidly expanding. Even though most birth photography sessions cost more than $700, women are shelling out the cash to capture these special moments and remember them forever. Just think – wouldn’t you do this for something like a wedding?
Of course, the individuals hired for the job don’t get in the way of doctors, doulas or midwives during the birthing process – they’re somewhere in the background taking pictures of every momentous event, from your expression during your first contraction to the moment when you and your partner first get a glimpse of your baby (note – they don’t take graphic photos of the crowning unless you ask for them!). And of course, they stick around to shoot the interactions between your little one and his or her visiting relatives after your hard work has been done.
If you’re thinking of scheduling a labor and delivery photo shoot, it’s a good idea to check with your hospital to make sure it’s allowed. Then get ready for your close-up! What do you think? Would you hire a birth photographer?
— Abigail Tuller