1) Birth is powerful, beautiful and should be celebrated.

However your birth unfolds, it's incredible and should be celebrated with beautiful photos to document the labour process and arrival of your baby. Whether it's in the hospital (a C-section or water birth) or a home birth; a birth will perhaps be the most significant milestone of your life and family story.

Birth photography isn't just the photos of your baby crowning or being lifted up for you to see, it's about the whole story and labour process.

Your birth photography story will show you in a series of artfully taken photographs, how incredible you were! Strength and endurance you didn't know you had both physically and mentally. It will catch the whirlwind of emotions you and your birth partner will experience to reflect on and relive the joy of the first moments you meet your child.

If you ask any parent what the most important moment of their life was, it's undoubtedly the birth of a child. Why would you not hire a photographer to capture this monumental time in your life?!

2) You will forget. 

All the emotions that you'll experience during your labour will likely be a blurry haze. Having a birth photographer present to create photos of the labour and your child's birth will be a record of all the moments with your birth partner that may otherwise be forgotten. Forehead kisses, stroking your back, pouring water to ease the pain, hand holding through contractions, how they're looking at you with pure awe while you're in the deep primal state phases of labour, up to the excitement as they see the baby for the first time. The shared look of unconditional love for the newborn as you hold them.

You created this baby. For months you've anticipated their arrival and for the first time you hear their cry, see them for the first time, feel their body on yours. You've wondered what they'll look like, imagining their tiny features, fingers, toes, eyelashes, wrinkly bodies.

Just like on a wedding day, many of the small details will fade in your memory, or maybe have been missed during the blur of emotions, adrenaline and excitement of labour. As a birth photographer, I'll capture those little moments and important details to tell your story and give you a visual record to treasure. These beautiful photographs will bring back the memories and emotions for you to treasure for life.

Following the birth, I'll stay for up to an hour to photograph the first moments together and all the little details so you'll remember how they looked the first time you saw them.

Imagine how you'll feel looking through these photos with your little one when they are old enough, telling them their birth story.

3) Birth photography allows your birth partner to be in the moment.

When you hire a birth photographer it means that your birth partner can be totally in the moment with you, helping, supporting and experiencing labour and birth with you, without thinking about taking photos. (Or you having to worry about reminding them in between finally pushes!).

We all have that friend who is constantly taking photos. You can't be in the moment and taking photos. When you pick up your camera or phone, you are separated from the what's happening. As a photographer I live for taking photos, but I consciously leave my camera behind, or phone tucked away when I want to really be present and take in all the feelings of a given experience.

Take the pressure of photographing your newborn's arrival away from your partner and they will be in the moment with you. Let them see how incredible you are, bringing life into this world!

This is a sacred time for you and your partner. One which a birth photographer will honour and capture with powerful photographs that include your birth partner.

There are no re-takes.

A birth photographer is trained with the skills and experience needed to anticipate where to be positioned throughout labour and birth, and how to get the best photos and frame birth in an artistic way. As well as having the knowledge and technical ability to correctly focus, expose, use flash, work with difficult lighting situations, work smoothly alongside the birth team...and the list goes on!

I'm sure you've seen photographs taken by birthing partners, or midwives who have been asked to do two jobs at once! Blurry, too dark, out of focus, over-exposed, (maybe too much for family sharing!)...there's no second chance to get these photographs. By hiring a professional birth photographer, you are hiring someone who is bringing all their photographic experience and specialised equipment.

You can be confident that no significant moment is missed, your story is being beautifully documented, and your birth team are free to support you as they are best skilled to do.

A friend with a "good camera" isn't a birth photographer.

Having a good camera doesn't equate to getting good photographs. You need someone who is proficient in operating the camera, with knowledge of the manual settings, knowledge of how to operate it in low (to almost non-existent!) light, how to creatively frame, be unobtrusive, be prepared for quick changes and ready to adapt.... On auto mode a good camera can take great photos, but in difficult light situations and relying on a cameras autofocus, you're taking a big risk on what the outcome could be. Would you let someone with a good camera be responsible for your wedding photos?

(I'm aware that hiring a birth photographer is an investment that not everyone thinks they can afford, or feel comfortable with. And at the moment, simply isn't possible with the one birthing partner limit in hospitals. I will share a post soon with a list of shots not to be missed to guide birthing partners).

A birth photographer can bring extra support.

Labour and birth is an incredibly intimate time. It's important for me to meet all expectant mothers before their labour and build a connection from the time you enquire. Count me as an extra support. I'm there to be trusted and give you confidence. I will offer reassurance, assist with coffee or snack runs for you and your partner, sense when it's time to sit back quietly. Wedding, newborn and birth clients have commented on how my calm nature helps them feel at ease and I hope I can bring the same to you.

Yes, I want a birth photographer to document my child's birth story!

Ready to find out more about how I can serve you as the Belfast Birth Photographer? Email me, helen@belfastbirthphotographer.com or click the link to fill out my contact form. I'm excited to hear from you and about how I can help tell your story.