Warning: This project contains graphic photographs of childbirth that may be disturbing to some viewers.
After photographer Christian Berthelot‘s son was born through a caesarian section procedure, an obstetrician at the hospital asked Berthelot if he wanted to shoot a series of photos showing her work in the operating room — a strange and graphic view that most people never see. Berthelot immediately agreed.
Professional birth photography is a growing niche, as more and more expectant mothers are hiring photographers to document the first first few moments of their new child’s life. Miami, Florida-based photographer Emily Robinson offers birth photography services, and is accustomed to photographing deliveries as they happen in hospitals and homes.
However, she recently found herself working her camera in a location that’s quite different from either of those two places: Robinson captured a delivery in a hospital parking lot. Her beautiful photographs are now going viral online and gaining national attention.
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