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Birth Photography

I do a little photography as a sideline (just for fun and friends). I get news feeds from several professional photographer’s pages via my Facebook because I like to see what others do and get inspiration and ideas. However one of these photographers -who specializes in babies- posted something that had me a little puzzled and rather bemused (or is that grossed out?).

You see, she is now offering photography of you (the client) in the act of GIVING BIRTH!! That’s right, she comes into the delivery suite with you and photographs the entire process! The photographer claims that she will do it in a sensitive ‘photo-journalist’ style….but I had to wonder….is this going a little too far?!

Hey, I’m okay with a nice portrait of mummy showing off her big round belly or a cute shot of the newborn (although I’m a little puzzled by the ones that insist on photographing it naked). But do you really want a special occasion like giving birth, a time when frankly nobody looks their best, being captured by a stranger wielding a camera and flash equipment? And what do the doctors and nurses feel about this? I’m wondering what the EtiquitteHell world has to say on this. 1011-13

The hospitals and some birthing centers in my area limit the number of “guests” in the birthing room to three or four — the husband, doula, and grandmom to be, for example.   When my eldest daughter gave birth, I yielded my “spot” to my younger daughter because the staff would not allow more than three in the room during delivery.   If my youngest had been bumped out of the room by the photographer, there would be some hard feelings about that.   Hiring a professional photographer to record the experience who must therefore displace a family member seems to me to be an example of wanting good photographs taking precedence over relationships.




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  • Sorka Hanrahan November 8, 2013, 9:58 am

    This whole post just comes off as very mean girl to me, and nothing to do with etiquette. As long as no one foists the pictures on you and the medical professionals are ok with it, what business of it is yours?

    I’m not sure why so many people think that the ONLY reason someone would take photos is to show them to others. I have pictures that are only for the hubs and I, if you catch my drift. I have pictures from my first two births that I’ve never shown to anyone outside of our immediately little family (my girls are fascinated by them). I have pictures that no one, even DH, has seen as they were part of working through my grief process after a miscarriage. Photography is a form of art, of documentation, of storytelling, and sometimes are taken for no one else.

    And yes, I’ll be having a friend who is a professional photog do the photo-journalistic style of photography for this next birth. How about I won’t show them to you, and you won’t criticize my deeply personal choices behind my back while pretending it’s an etiquette issue.