Should I have a photographer at my birth?

If you are wondering if you should have a photographer at your birth, this is for you. Perhaps you are nervous to have another person in the room as you give birth. Or maybe you think that birth might not be an ideal condition for beautiful photos. Maybe you think you’ll just get newborn photos done after the birth. Or possibly even a fresh 48 session, which is getting photos taken after the birth, but still at the location of your birth (hospital, birth center, or a home birth) within 48 hours to get that “brand new baby” look. But what about a professional photographer at the actual birth?

As a Seattle birth photographer, let me share four reasons why a photographer at your birth is important.

image of a new dad without a shirt on, holding his baby girl for the first time about to do some skin-to-skin with his new baby.

Birth photography is becoming more popular and common. And more people are wondering if they should have a photographer at their birth. But before I get started, I first want to share what birth photography truly is.

Birth photography is a documentary type of photography that captures the whole story of your birth. A photographer at your birth focuses on the anticipation before your baby is born, and documents the exact moment you see and hold your baby for the first time, the moment you hear your baby’s first cry, and smell their smell, all photographed in a beautiful, artistic and professional way. Birth photography documents the many emotions you may have, since this is one of the most important days of your life!

The first reason you should have a photographer at your birth is because your memory quickly fades.

Think of it this way, if you have been married, do you remember your wedding day? Or maybe your graduation day, or some significant day of your life? Let’s use a wedding, for the sake of an example. If you were married, do you remember much from that day? It was probably a whirlwind, and I’m sure you remember some of the events, but a lot fades, am I right? Your wedding photos and video really help to bring back the memories! (Especially as time passes.)

It’s the same way with your birth. As much as you think you will remember, a lot of it fades. I’m still kicking myself for not writing down the time we went in to the hospital, and other details that I have now since forgotten. (Sidenote, write down the events of your birth in the week after your birth, before you forget!)

Another reason is to have photos to pass on to your children and their children.

My children love to look at their birth albums. I hired a birth photographer for both of my births, and I do not regret it. My kiddos love to hear the story of the day they were born, and they love to look at the photos of when they were so tiny! By the way, telling your kids the story of the day they were born is a fantastic bedtime story!

Do you have any photos of the day you were born? Do you have any photos of the day your parents were born? Think about what a treasure that would be! I would love to have an image of my dad holding me for the first time or a photo of my mother’s face when she first sees me!

A mother laughs with joy as she holds her baby after giving birth. Her husband is holding their tiny baby's hand with his finger as they enjoy their time together as a new family.

A professional birth photographer will ensure you get beautiful and powerful photos of your birth.

I could talk a long time about this! But what I’ll say, is that if you want to guarantee to have some flattering photos capturing beautiful moments, hire a professional. I have heard so many people say they wish they would have hired a birth photographer. But I have not heard anyone say that they regret hiring one.

  1. If you rely on your partner or a family member to take photos, often they are too emotionally invested and might not remember to keep photographing when they see you go through a painful contraction or when they are admiring a freshly born baby. A professional birth photographer is experienced and will photograph your whole story without missing anything.
  2. Sometimes family or friends might take photos that are too graphic to show anyone else. A professional birth photographer knows how to tastefully and artistically take photos during the moment of birth that are shareable.
  3. A friend with a “good” camera might work. They may get some good shots, but they also may miss important moments. They may not know how to handle low lighting or nonexistent light and then the photos may come out blurry or too dark. They might not be familiar with birth and not know where to stand to get the best images. A professional birth photographer has experience, an understanding of what to expect with birth, and the proper equipment, experience and understanding of all sorts of lighting.

Overall, a professional birth photographer will ensure that all of the important “first” moments are professional documented and preserved.

The final reason you should have a photographer at your birth is so that you and your partner can be fully present.

Your partner may be an excellent photographer (unlike mine-see image above.) However, you don’t want to deprive your partner of their most important role-supporting you! This is a team effort, and your partner is a big part of this experience. Also, don’t you want photos of your partner supporting you?!? Your partner may miss a moment because they were too busy fumbling with their phone or camera.

You can relax and fully experience your birth knowing that there is a professional photographer capturing all the important moments. You will only give birth to this child once, and you and your partner don’t want to miss a thing!

a new family enjoys time together after their baby has been born in the hospital room.

Ready to book?

If you live in the Seattle area, I offer birth photography and videography. Inquire soon, because I take a limited number of births each month! I’m happy to hop on the phone or zoom for a no-pressure consult to answer any questions you have. I love talking about birth, so just let me know!

If you don’t live in the Puget Sound area, you can find a professional birth photographer near you on the International Association of Professional Birth Photographer’s website, listed by zip code or city.

Other articles related to birth photography:

10 Misconceptions about Birth Photography

When Should a Birth Photographer Arrive?

12 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Birth Photographer

What Should I Wear for Birth Photography

Why is Birth Photography so Expensive? (And How You CAN Afford it.)

What’s the Difference Between Birth and Newborn Photography?

Maybe now you are wondering, “Are newborn photos worth it?” And I’m here to say YES! You want those images too; it’s just a different type of photography. I offer newborn photography as well, and you can bundle newborn and birth photography together!

  1. Brooke says:

    Love the layout and flow of your blog!

  2. Charis says:

    I love how birth photography captures some of the most important times of your life.

  3. Lisa says:

    Just such an incredible moment to capture in photos that you can forever look back on! Love it!

  4. Ashlie says:

    Such great reasons to hire a birth photographer. I love the real, raw emotions that are documented through birth photography. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Such a wonderful and thorough article! You make such good points. It is true, our memories fade so quickly!

  6. What gorgeous images! Birth is such a magical and special moment for the family – I’m sure they will cherish these images!

  7. I absolutely love your comparison of your partner’s picture and your professional photographer’s picture. I wholeheartedly feel this in my bones. My husband is the worst photographer!!! And I just want decent photos.

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