Indiana + Michigan Birth Photographer / Birth Photography - Why a Documentary Photographer is Your Best Option for a Birth Photographer

If you have made the decision to have a birth photographer but are struggling to decide which one to book, here is something to consider: obviously, I would hope you would choose me to be included in your amazing birth journey, but I also know there are other great options out there! But there is one statement I'd like to make and explain: documentary photographers are your best option when booking a birth photographer. Here's why...

1). Documentary photographers are experts at the unexpected. 

Think about it: while most other photographers work in ideal settings (see reason 3) and are used to giving closely followed directions for poses, documentary photographers are always photographing in uncertain, unpredictable situations. We don't pose our clients and so we are well trained and practiced at catching moments as they happen, yet still make sure our composition and ascetics are spot on. We are used to dealing with moments that happen quickly so the unpredictability of birth is not surprising or out of our comfort zone. It's just part of the job! 

Take these pictures for example. You can image that these kiddos didn't just meander into the room calmly to meet their new sibling but despite the chaos and movement, I was able to capture each kiddo's reaction to first seeing their new baby sister.

2). We can find beauty in the most complicated moments. 

As documentary photographers, it is our job to capture and showcase moments and emotion in a beautiful way. Birth photography allows us to do this. Moments can be fleeting and in birth, can change quickly. Documentary photographers are able to predict what might come next and best position themselves to tell your birth story and present you with images that show all of the emotions and relationships and interactions that happen during labor and delivery. 

 This momma powered through an intense induction by breathing through the surges and relying on her amazing support team. Just look at the calm all over mom's face and the steady reliability of her midwife and husband. 

This momma powered through an intense induction by breathing through the surges and relying on her amazing support team. Just look at the calm all over mom's face and the steady reliability of her midwife and husband. 

 If this doesn't tell their story, I don't know what would. 

If this doesn't tell their story, I don't know what would. 

 Mom's reaction to first seeing the result of her hard and long labor is always a fleeting moment but one of the most honest and beauitful moments. 

Mom's reaction to first seeing the result of her hard and long labor is always a fleeting moment but one of the most honest and beauitful moments. 

3). Documentary photographers can work in any lighting situation. 

Most photographers work with ideal lighting situations, whether it's artificial light in a portrait studio or a carefully placed family in a lifestyle session. Documentary photographers come into clients homes unsure of the available light (if any) and work around the challenges. Lack of natural light, artificial light, low light; we've seen it all and know how to work around it and still produce beautiful images. So the challenging lighting that can be present in hospitals and birth centers and even home births isn't a challenge we are unfamiliar with and thrown off by. It is a challenge we will meet head on and confidently. 

 The only light in this room was the overhead light above the bed and yet this is still one of my favorite images! Just look at those highlights and shadows that capture that perfect dimpled chin.

The only light in this room was the overhead light above the bed and yet this is still one of my favorite images! Just look at those highlights and shadows that capture that perfect dimpled chin.

 Lets face it, babies never come when it's light outside! Working around hospital lights is challenging, but the result can be amazing. 

Lets face it, babies never come when it's light outside! Working around hospital lights is challenging, but the result can be amazing. 

 No flash? No windows? No problem. 

No flash? No windows? No problem. 

4). Documentary photographers know how to blend into the environment. 

We don't do posing and we strive to capture real, honest moments and to do that, we have to learn how to be present but also non-disruptive to the environment. This is so important in birth! You don't want a photographer who is unsure where they belong in the dynamic or who is a little too involved. Having someone who knows just how present to be is important and reassuring to everyone involved in the birth. 

I could go on and on, but these are my four top reasons for truly believing that documentary togs are your best option when booking a birth photographer.