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After my photographing babies post yesterday a reader emailed to ask for my advice on taking photos at the actual birth of a baby.
Having never been at the birth of a baby (we’re expecting our first in a couple of months) I don’t have any first hand advice to give. I do however has once piece of advice that was given to me by a friend who recently gave birth to twins.
She said that they’d taken photos just after the birth of her with her babies but that the photo were fairly confronting as a result of the vividness of the blood that was on the babies.
As a result every time she (and others) looked at the photos the reaction was one of ‘wincing’ rather that one that conveyed the beauty of the moment.
Her husband had the brain-wave to play around with his photo editing software and to turn the images into black and white shots. The results were stunning.
The color gone the focus returned to the babies for what they are (beautiful) and the photos now convey incredible emotion.
I’ve illustrated this technique by posting a photo of a baby at a birth on this separate page here (warning, not for the squeamish) and have put a colored version (the original one) and a black and while one that I achieved by simply switching the image to black and while in my photo editing software (iPhoto from Apple iLife ’06).
PS: This tip is obviously not for everyone. Some people choose not to have photos of a moment like the birth of a child and others will appreciate the color of the moment and think it adds to the beauty and drama of the moment. Really it’s up to parents to decide for themselves what a moment like this should be like but I hope the black and white option might give another option to people preparing for the birth of their child.