Giving birth in a few week’s time? You must be excited to see your little bundle of joy.
Why not make the most out of your birthing experience by documenting it? You can preserve the best memories of your birth story with a photo book or a photo collage printed on photo paper, metal, canvas, or acrylic. It will make for a lovely keepsake that you and your family can look back on and treasure as years go by.
Whether you plan to hire a seasoned maternity photographer to capture the process or ask a family member to do it for you, here are a few things you can do to make sure that everything will go smoothly:
1. Choose the right photographer.
Not every mom can take her own birthing photos. So look for a birth photographer on the internet and ask your friends for recommendations. Once you’ve rounded up your list, talk to each one of them. Get to know a bit about them and how they work. Make sure you feel comfortable being around your chosen photographer. Remember, the photographer will cover a very private moment of your life (and see your private parts, too), so make sure you choose someone you can trust, not just someone with good reviews.
2. Make sure that correct camera settings will be used.
If someone who’s not a professional photographer, like a family member or friend, will take photos of your delivery, remind him to avoid using the flash. Lighting is not exactly flattering inside hospital rooms or any enclosed areas, but compensating with flash will make your photos look unnatural. A workaround for this is to set the ISO high enough for shooting in low light.
Also, make sure that the camera has a shutter speed faster than 1/250 for good exposure and sharp images. In terms of aperture, select within the ISO range from 800 to 1600 to avoid blurry images.
3. Plan out your shots in advance.
A few weeks before your expected due date, sit down with the person who will be taking your photos and let him know the kind of shots that you want.
Also try to take practice shots. For example, if you plan to have a homebirth or water birth, ask your husband or friend to take practice shots of you in the bed or birth pool where you plan to give birth in your home just to see how the light and shadow will play in your photos.
You can also look at pegs from other birth photography sites and magazines for inspiration.
4. Focus on the emotions.
More than good lighting and photography techniques, you should also ask the photographer to capture the whirl of emotions that will transpire that day. You’ll remember the memories of your childbirth more vividly when you see the mood and emotions that day captured in pictures.
Ask him to take multiple candid shots of you holding your baby or your husband seeing your baby for the first time. A shot of the baby crying as the midwife or doctor holds your baby up for everyone to see can also be heartwarming. If you’ll have a doula or birth supporter with you that day, you might want to ask your photographer to capture moments of her helping you.
There’s beauty in every woman’s birth story with or without photos to accompany it. But having photos of your birthing process weaves your story better, making it more relatable and inspiring to every expectant parent out there.
Lacey Hauptman is a freelance writer and budding travel photographer. She has been doing freelance writing since 2009, and has written extensively on the subjects of digital marketing, travel photography, and home design. You can find her on Google+ and Twitter.