“People want to see cute babies.”
“People love photos smiling and looking at the camera.”
Both of these statements have been said to me and I still have no intention of providing photos of cheesy smiles. Im here for bigger work. Im here to capture the magic moments of the everyday, to facilitate a space where you can be so completely yourself that I get to take a photo of exactly who you are. Lets be honest, the ‘say cheese’ smiles only exist in photographs, I don’t Ive ever seen a cheesy smile come organically.
When I shoot a birth, its not about the baby. Even though I feel like other people want it to be.
For me,its all about mums experience, this incredible transition, regardless of whether this is her first born, her fifth or somewhere in between.
At first it puzzled me when mums would say to me yeah I’d love to have a birth photographer but I didn’t do it with my first so I would feel guilty. It was only later when debriefing with my husband I realised these women thought the photos were about the birth of a child. They aren’t, they’re about the birth of a mother. (side note. My sister is 9 years younger than me and my mum had a photographer at her birth. It never occurred to me that I missed out as the older sibling. Though when it comes to her being allowed to have her ears pierced at six, thats another story.)
I swing between desperately wanting to tell these stories and also wanting to keep them tucked away precious only for the families I serve. These photos and these families mean so much to me that it can feel almost intrusive. When I send out a birth gallery I worry about whether Ive done their birth justice. When I write about individual births I make sure I run it by the families first before sharing. This work isn’t about me, its about them and I want to make sure they’re feeling honoured.
My favourite moments are the in between moments. Your partner feeding you jelly or attempting to help you tie up your hair. The bag of Allens lollies in the freezer waiting. Your partner peeling you a banana and making a cup of tea while you’re lying on the couch having some skin-skin time with your new baby.
These moments matter. Your memory will fade but these photos remain to remind you.