I wish I could count on one hand the amount of inquiries i've had for birth photography that end in "I'm sorry, my husband doesn't want anyone else in the room". Unfortunately, I can not.
Before an interview, a complimentary consultation, or an in person meeting, just like that, the answer is no.
While I can completely understand and respect this decision, I'd be lying if I said it didn't frustrate me. Mostly because I have seen first hand what an amazing gift a gallery of birth images can be to mom...AND DAD!
So let's dive in, shall we? Dads, here are 5 reasons you want a birth photographer present for your baby's birth.
1. You will look like her hero.
That time you offered her a sip of water after a particularly difficult contraction? Or held her hand while she pushed? The way you kissed her once your baby arrived safely on her chest? Or how you admired how perfectly your baby fits in her arms? She may not even notice these moments, but you can bet your birth photographer will. And when she sees the gallery of birth images that show just how supportive you were, her memories will reflect that. Each time she looks at those photos, you will be her hero all over again.
2. Their calming presence.
While this may be your first birth, it likely won't be your birth photographer's. Sometimes birth can be scary if you don't know what to expect and it helps to have a calm, reassuring presence in the room keeping you grounded. If you're lucky, your photographer may even be a certified doula (hello!) and may be able to offer special packages to provide that service for you as well.
3. You get to enjoy the moment.
This is a big one. We live in a digital age where we need to capture everything with our cell phones. Wouldn't it be nice, just for once, to be completely present in the moment and not having to worry about documenting it? You'll have your hands full of baby, allow your photographer to handle the pictures. Enjoy this monumental moment with your own eyes, not through a lens.
4. These moments are precious.
This goes without saying, but i'll say it anyway. Each birth is a once in a lifetime experience. There are no do overs in birth. Your baby will only be born once. They will only take their first breath once. You will only see them for the first time once. You will only hold them for the first time once. When your child comes to you and asks about their birth story, you can give them vague details and send them to ask mom, or you can pull out an album and show them. Show them how strong their mother was. Show them how supportive you were. Show them how tiny their fingers were, wrapped around yours. Show them how incredibly happy you were to finally meet them. And with each page, relive those emotions over and over again of one of the happiest days of your life. Imagine how much it will mean to your child. It's an incredible gift to them as well.
Alright now this is the big one..
5. Your partner wants it.
As much as i'd like to write "period" and stop here, i'll elaborate. Guys, your partner is about to either push a human being out of her vagina, or have major abdominal surgery. I can promise you that however she births your child, it won't be easy. While she may never forget the pain, she may forget countless other details of the birth story. If she chooses to have a medicated birth, it may make her memories foggy. Or she may be so far in her own world, dealing with each contraction, that she doesn’t notice anything happening around her. She may just be so physically exhausted, sleep deprived, and hungry that she doesn’t retain the memories. Whatever the reason, there is a good chance that she will forget parts of one of the most important days of your lives. If she asks you for birth photography so that she can remember the birth of your child, say yes. I promise you, those pictures will mean more to both of you than you know.
And if you still need another reason, refer back to number 1. Who doesn’t want to be the hero?