What is It like to be a birth photographer

There is something about being with someone when their world completely shifts. As a birth photographer you are witnessing your clients change from a couple to a family.

The shift from being non-parents to becoming parents. This quote describes it perfectly: ‘I was born as a mom on the day my child was born.’

As much as you give birth to a child, your child gives birth to a mom. This is what that shift is about, that realisation. To witness that is something that no one can ever take away from you as a birth photographer. 

If you have it in you to go really deep with someone – it is a powerful experience. Your clients are not just clients, the connection goes so much deeper. We photograph many client baby’s first and second birthdays just because we were there for such an intimate moment in their lives. This is a more profound experience than what a wedding photographer would experience, as special as that is. 

Birth photography is a calling. You can’t do it just for the money. You have to do it because in your heart that is what you want to do.  If this inspires you – that emotional connection with somebody, then birth photography is by far one of the most incredible careers to have. 

It is very intense work in terms of getting the shots that you want because there are no do-overs. You might have equipment in the way, you might have doctors in the way and nurses in the way. It is up to you to work around that. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t – it is about making it work for you and for the shot you are able to get in that very moment.

This is a glimpse into our passion for birth photography. It demands excellence.

You are capturing a once in a lifetime event in a specialised environment where your shots are precious, but you also need to give the mom, partner and medical staff space, understand the environment and be prepared for anything that might happen.

Navigating this space expertly is ever evolving and has taken years of conversations with birth photographers, doctors, nurses, paediatricians, anaesthetists and other medical professionals. We want to help you be a professional birth photographer as we have helped many others through the South African Birth Photographers Association (SABPA). 

This blog post and the blogs to follow are based around questions other birth photographers ask and information you need to become a birth photographer. You can also get in touch at any point. This is for you and each blog post is packed with crucial information so please enjoy the read and absorb all the information so that when you are ready to dive into your qualification you know in your heart that it is where you want to place yourself and your business. 

On our next blog we look at how birth photographers navigate each stage of their birth photography businesses. You will know much more about what is involved, and have even more questions answered.
Birth photography is a truly special and rewarding experience. As a single mom to three little children and a birth photographer for many years the flexibility this offers my family has been priceless. – Kristen van Staden