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How Would You Photograph a Birth Scene?

Image: Image by Andrew®

Image by Andrew®

Our last community workshop gave one of our readers some great tips on how to approach photographing a model so I’ve decided to post another reader question. This one is a question I get quite a bit – how do I photograph the birth of a baby?

Here’s the latest question from one of our readers – Drew.

“My wife and I are expecting the birth of our new baby daughter in two weeks time and I’m wondering if you might have any advice on how to photograph the birth?

It’s such a special time for us as family that we want to capture it somehow but I’m a little nervous about how to do it tastefully, meaningfully and without my camera dominating the event.”

I know not everyone will have experience in this one and that there are probably different opinions on whether people would take a camera into this situation – but if you’ve got some advice or tips we’d love to hear them.

What advice do you have for Drew?

PS: As a dad of two and an avid photographer I’ve found myself asking the same question. I know some families choose to make a birth a camera free event and can respect that – while others take an ‘access all areas’ approach. In our situation we did take and use the camera but were certainly not using it during the seconds babies arrived.

One piece of advice that I did share a while back here on dPS that came from a friend who took a lot of photos through the birth of his kids was – sometimes images in black and white can be good for this type of situation where color images can be be quite overpowering and graphic. My friend took a lot of photos during the birth of his babies but they were so vivid in color that it was very confronting. He experimented with converting some to black and white and found that the images were still very powerful but not quite as confronting.

The other piece of advice I’d give is to talk about it before labor starts! You probably want both of you on the same page before you start pointing cameras on a day like that!

Looking forward to hearing your tips on photographing the birth of a baby!

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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