Births...there is nothing more beautiful to photograph. There are many experiences in life that are momentous and important, but there is no other way to forever capture the beauty of childbirth to forever look back on other than having a birth photographer. So many of the little moments are forgotten in the chaos, so much is going on. However, the beauty is indescribable...from the very beginning stages of birth until you bring your baby into the world.
I decided to create a collection of some of my favorite birth moments I have captured. My only regret in doing birth photography is that I didn't start doing it sooner. It is by far and away my favorite thing to photograph.
1. The peaceful moments while in labor.
This incredibly strong Mama was so focused, so amazing...I will never forget this very moment when I snapped this picture. She delivered only about 25 minutes later. As she lowered herself into the water, the room was silent, there was a beautiful peace. I adore this image...
2. The Calm.
This moment was so beautiful. A smile from the parents to be as the sun was coming up after a long long night of contractions and exhaustion. The beautiful view of the city and the state capital in the background. We all knew that no matter what, today would be the day that their little girl would arrive.
I love capturing the moments of support that the laboring women I photograph get from not only their husbands, but staff at the hospitals, doulas, midwives, friends and family. This moment was intense and one I will never forget...it was from the first birth I ever photographed! A laboring mama to be wanting to give up...it had been a very long, intense night of pushing after laboring for several hours prior. Her amazing mother was there to encourage her and keep her going. What a beautiful moment!
4. The emotion.
It's funny how I look at an image and it takes me immediately back to the moment. I remember this moment so vividly. I also had a tear escape my eyes as the doctor told this mama to be who had been laboring naturally for almost 24 hours that she had still not progressed from her last check. Oh the disappointment.
5. The pain.
The pain that women go through to bring their babies into the world is more than just physical. The whole process is intense and painful before the indescribable joy arrives. To capture the amazing beauty and pain that a mother endures is also something so special. It is love. This strong mama was enduring so much pain and for so many hours...she was finding strength where she didn't even know it existed.
6. The first breath.
The moment when baby arrives, takes it's first breath, cries out...wow...there is just nothing like capturing that moment. The most beautiful thing in the world. I remember each and every image I have captured of baby's first breath. What a miracle! This little man was sunny side up and stuck for a short bit before he finally arrived and we all took a huge sigh of relief!
7. All births are different.
I have photographed births in a hospital and at home. Each birth I have photographed has been nothing like another. All so beautiful. This moment was the first time I had photographed a home birth and this mama pulled her own son out of the water. Indescribable!
It isn't even possible to express the joy that fills the room when that baby arrives healthy. This moment was after over 24 hours of labor and I will never forget how wet the back of my camera was from my tears!
9. Fresh from God.
Is there anything more beautiful than the miracle fresh from God? I think not. This moment was so special as it was when my dear friend birthed her 2nd daughter.
10. The relief.
After all of the worry and pain and work, you get to hold your little miracle. The relief I have captured from each mom is always immense...and so incredibly beautiful! Again, this was a dear friend of mine and I am not sure I had breathed for the 20 minutes prior to her daughter arriving...relief filled the entire room after an incredibly long labor!
11. Seeing the life you created.
The first time that baby is placed on your chest, that moment is one that creates a mixture of love and relief and disbelief and joy...a feeling that there is no word to describe. This gorgeous little boy was so peaceful and calm on his mommy. Very fitting ending to a very peaceful and calm delivery.
12. The love.
The feeling that is even more than love...the feeling that your heart is now outside of your body. You don't think there is any way anyone could love anything more than you love that baby. As a tear escaped this mama's eye and she breathed in her beautiful daughter, I snapped this picture and I immediately knew it was the perfect moment captured that would depict the raw emotion.
13. The rush of emotion that comes over you.
This moment...I remember this incredible mama saying through her tears, "Oh my goodness, I love him so much...I love him so much!" What a moment!
14. Finally holding your baby in your arms instead of carrying it in your womb.
The wait is over, your first moments with your baby are precious and fleeting. Those are such incredible moments that should be captured so you can cherish them forever and go back to that moment whenever you look at them! I remember this moment as the new parents gazed at their son and he grasped onto his mama's finger.
15. Once again calm.
When all is said and done...the labor is over, the relief has set in. You are thankful, in love and exhausted. You just did something so incredible. You are strong, your baby is here. I love capturing that moment. This mama had an incredibly fast, natural home birth and after the whirlwind, the calm in that room as her husband and 4 other children gazed on was so amazing!
After every birth I have photographed, I have left in complete awe of each of these women. They are all so strong and beautiful. The fact that they allowed me into such an intimate moment to capture it in pictures for them is humbling beyond words. Each woman I have photographed their births for have said the same things. They cannot imagine not having those images and they wish they had them for their older babies or if this was their first baby, they would never have a baby again without having birth pictures.
If you have any questions about birth photography or you are looking for a birth photographer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to talk with you! To view more birth images I have taken, check out my birth photography portfolio at www.jenniepeakinphotography.com.