When the phone call came at four in the morning I knew it would be R. calling to let me know that the labour had started. R. and I had talked about photographing the birth of her third baby Jake. Here are some photos from Jake’s newborn session a few days later and a slideshow of her labour and Jake’s home birth. (Click Play here to see it)
There is so much to say. I could say what a miracle it was to see this sweet life enter the world, or how I admire the strength and grace with which R. (and mothers everywhere for that matter) laboured and gave birth, or how the love and joy in this little family as they welcomed Jake made it hard for me to keep back tears. I am grateful for the trust placed in me and I hope you enjoy and are inspired by these images as much as I am.
If you are interested in other births I’ve photographed click here and here. The images in this video are emotional and real (but I think, tasteful) but if you are nervous around the idea of birth then you may want to skip this video.
These photos and the video were featured on Inspire Me Baby (A Blog with Inspiration for Baby Photographers)
“my feet shall dance because of you
my heart shall beat because of you
…and i shall love because of you”
Chilliwack Newborn & Birth Photographer/Elizabeth Kowal
For Photographers: (from Inspire me Baby feature)
I recently was asked to photograph a home birth after she had seen some of the photos I took when my own daughters gave birth. Before I was a photographer I worked as a labour and delivery nurse. As a nurse I don’t know how many times I swallowed back tears and wished I was photographing these amazing moments. I’m also a mother of three, and to me there is no time more beautiful than when a brand new person is born, whether it is in a hospital setting or safely at home under the watch of a licensed midwife.
5 Tips for photographing a birth session:
- Tell the story. Every birth is different. Don’t forget to capture the little details like father’s expressions, grandma’s response or even the little things like the clock telling the time on the wall.
- Be confident. Know your camera and make sure you are comfortable shooting in low light. Look for the light. Be prepared to use high ISO and a low aperture when you need to.
- Be calm. Put your feelings on hold. This is all about mom and her family. Be a fly on the wall (real photojournalism!).
- Be professional. Make sure you are knowledgeable about birth and be prepared for the unexpected. Stay out of the way of professionals and be respectful of nurses, midwives or doctors trying to do their job.
- Be sensitive. Chose your angles and always maintain your client’s dignity and respect her privacy.