The Rise of Pro Birth Photography

Do professional photographers belong in delivery rooms? More and more of them are showing up there. The New York Times has an interesting piece on the rise of birth photography as a up-and-coming niche:

Birth was once considered a behind-closed-doors affair — a messy, painful and fearsome event where neither mothers nor babies looked their best. Then, expectant fathers entered the picture, snapping photos or taking videos with shaky hands. Now, there is both a surge of interest in the experience of childbirth — not just as a means to a baby but also as a moment to be relished in its own right — and a greater desire to capture all of life’s moments (and often share them on Facebook).

[…] The photographers and their clients have grown accustomed to puzzled looks and probing questions (Pictures of what, exactly?). But their rationale is simple: If you are going to document a child’s every bite of mushed banana as if it were a historical event, does it not make sense that his or her entrance into the world be photographed by a professional?

There are also more and more photographers who are making their livings solely documenting childbirth: the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (did you know there was one?) has grown to around 400 members.

Honey, the Baby Is Coming; Quick, Call the Photographer (via SFGate)

Image credit: labor – the delivery room by koadmunkee

  • Wrietberg

    Surely you mean pre birth photography.

  • Sam

    I think they mean “Professional”.

    I photographed the brith of my son and thought about offering it as a service, still justa  though.

  • Wrietberg

    Duh, of course. Pro(fessional). Had a long day at the office…

    All in all, not a bad idea. I have two kids, and both births were fast and (relatively) easy, but still for a father it’s fairly stressful, and I’m pretty sure my wife would have killed me if I was sitting there playing with all the gear…

  • Merv

    Not surprising really.
    Must be up there in the top few most important days of your life (e.g. wedding, first house, graduation?).
    Maybe not an album to share on the net, but for private memory sake, why not?

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  • ilophoto

    We (the female half of ilo photo, of course!) offer this service. The shots are tasteful and ‘above the belt’ unless the client wants otherwise. The slideshows produced by these “sessions” would bring Chuck Norris to his knees in a ball of tears! If anyone is interested in seeing some examples feel free to email.
    It’s definitely fun to be in on the rush of a 3am phone call saying “it’s time!”

  • jdm8

    The concern I have is that the timing and surroundings don’t leave much to the control needed to make great photos, so the photographer is out to make the best of a optically crummy situation.  The surroundings are sterile, biologically and visually, with awful lighting, and I doubt the mother is often up to her usual standards of neatness, the gowns, smocks and masks probably don’t help.