Updated: Mar 7, 2020
Birth photography is a rapidly growing industry and it's no secret that a lot of people are still very shocked and maybe even put off by birth photography. One common trend I seem to find, though, is that a lot of moms really want a birth photographer, but are hesitant because their partner is not on board. For Dads-to-be, birth photography is often not at the top of the "to-do" list. And understandably so. My own husband was hesitant to hire a birth photographer when I mentioned the idea. His reasons were a little more "practical".
He said that it seemed so "extra" and that it wasn't an "investment" but just an extra place to waste money on photos that would probably be annoying (he HATES having his photo taken and has a massive disdain for photography in general). He ultimately decided he should default to me for the final decision because, after all, it was my "healing birth experience" and if that's part of what I "needed" then he obliged. But what do husbands of non-birthworkers think about photography?
Matthew from Medford, New Jersey shared that when his wife hired a birth photographer, it seemed "unnecessary, intrusive, [and] weird". He went on to share that he really wasn't a fan of the cost (notice a trend here?) or having an extra person in the room.
I think most fathers can relate to Matthew's concerns. After all, the birth of your child is an intimate experience... why do you need someone else intruding in your space, with a camera no less? For starters, most births are full of strangers and unnecessary interruptions... so having a professional birth photographer who knows how to conduct themselves in a birth space shouldn't be any more of an intrusion than any other nurses, doctors, and random hospital staff. Your birth photographer will make an effort to get to know you and ensure you are comfortable together before the big day... But the bottom line is... it is an extra person.
Is that extra person really necessary? Brannon, stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst thinks so!
Reason #1 - No need for Dad to worry about taking photos
Brannon shared that his reason for wanting a birth photographer was that it was important to have "someone taking pictures of an extraordinary moment so [he] could focus on [his] family". Brannon is right. This is an EXTRAORDINARY moment... just like your wedding day, where it was a no-brainer to hire a photographer, right...? I get it. I get it. Most weddings don't have the bride naked from the waist down... But nonetheless. The moment is special. It's life changing. Why would you not want photos? Don't you want to be IN those photos?! Do you really want the photos to be blurry with your thumb accidentally covering part of the photo.... or an awkward selfie that flatters no one? FOCUS ON YOUR FAMILY and let a professional document the moment.
Reason #2 - Birth is exhausting for everyone and is a total blur.
Matthew told me that after the fact, he was glad to have a birth photographer because, "the experience was a bit of a blur, so it’s amazing to be able to relive and remember it". And I don't think I could have said that better..... And more importantly... if it is a blur for dad, what do you think it is for mom?! What a wonderful gift for your wife to be able to look back at the day she became a mother and see you by her side loving and supporting her, admiring her strength and witnessing the love?
Reason #3 - Some professional birth photographers also offer doula services
Both times I hired a birth photographer, she was also a trained birth doula. This meant that the extra woman in the room documenting our story was trained in how to behave in the birth space. More importantly, both times, I was blessed that my photographers were able to add a supportive presence to the birthing experience. My first birth photographer's husband worked on base with my husband, and when we ran into him at the BX one time, my husband stopped him and thanked him for lending us his wife for houuurrssss to be an important part of our birth team. This ability to offer a unique kind of support can not be under stated.
Of the three dads I talked to, each one agreed that, in the end, birth photography was worth the investment. Brannon says that if a dad asked him his thoughts on investing in a birth photographer, he'd tell him to "do it for the memories". There is nothing like being able to look back at the photos of your child's birth. Matthew echoes this when he says that birth photography is "a great way to capture and relive the moment". When he looks back at their birth story he feels "joy" and a sense of "pride in [his] wife".
Don't you want your baby's birth story to be told? Don't you want to remember the joy, the love, the strength, the amazement year after year? Find your birth photographer now, stop putting it off, and make like Nike... and just do it!
Jaimie Zaki, owner of Little Bear Services, LLC is a Birth Photographer, Labor Doula, and IBCLC serving families in South Jersey and Central Jersey. Jaimie enthusiastically supports hospital births and home births in Burlington County, Camden County, Mercer County, Atlantic County, and Ocean County. If you reside outside of this service area, reach out! Jaimie may still be available to serve your family! Learn more about Jaimie and the services she offers now!