Near the top of my, "things I want to experience as a photographer list" was birth photography. Some people say, “Why?” looking at me baffled, sometimes mortified when I share this aspiration. That response always makes me smile. It is a reminder that “beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder”.
On March 13th, 2018 for the very first time a live birth fell into place for me. On my way to the hospital I was freaking out with excitement and I’ll admit I was a little nervous too, being my very first time navigating the birth of a human being with my camera. I had never witnessed a birth outside of giving birth to my own child. Completely different experience. The raw authenticity of giving birth would be the same, but this time I would get to watch the miracle unfold before me through my lens and had no idea what to expect.
So what is it like to shoot a live birth? Intense. Those who know Kierstin know she has a heart condition that makes giving birth a very tricky event to navigate through. Birth is an incredibly intimate moment that has been placed on a roller coaster and everyone in the room is on that roller coaster. There are peaks and valleys. Triumph and defeat. Moments of uncertainty and fear. moments when mom wants to give up, she is done, she can’t do it, but then she finds the strength to breathe, to gather herself back together try again and guess what she COULD do it. I was there. It was beautiful. Forever grateful to my couple Kierstin & Blake who trusted me to be a part of this moment with them. I am truly beaming with pride over my first birth session and in awe still that I took these. That I was present in this moment.
This type of photography is not for every photographer nor every client, but it is the type of photography that showcases a real moment completely unscripted, posed or directed. A moment that changes everything for a two people who have created a life together comes full circle after 9 months of anticipation right in front of you. A moment you can’t redo or fake. I will always chase moments like this with my lens because they are the moments that tell every beautiful part of their story just as it is. When this couple looks back at these in 20 years my goal is to have exactly how they felt in this moment will wash over them. When I do that, when I am able to give my clients images that take them back vividly to a different chapter of their story I feel I have succeeded in the most important way as a photographer.