Hi everyone! I am excited to publish our first post in our “Community Feature” series! Today we are interviewing Allie, our local birth photographer, from Lysia Cole Photography. She is a dear friend of mine and an incredibly talented individual. Let’s get started and answer some of your questions!
Why do people hire a birth photographer?
You’ve been growing a baby for months and you’re finally about to meet this new little human that is going to change your life in so many amazing ways. Wouldn’t you love to look back on all the support you had throughout your labour? The look on your face when you first laid eyes on your beautiful baby? Maybe you’ve left the gender a surprise and are finding out for the first time. Looking back, time comes and goes so quickly and this is one of those life changing experiences you never want to forget.
How do you work around anyone who doesn’t want to be in the photos?
My main focus is to capture the parents and baby/babies, so I don’t tend to make the focus of an image anyone besides them. If medical staff are in the shot, they are usually blurred as focus is elsewhere or their faces aren’t really shown. While I understand and respect that not everyone is receptive to having their photos taken, I am rarely in a position where I’m asked to be aware of who is within range of my lens.
What is the hardest thing about shooting births?
Definitely the spontaneity of labour. Unless someone is having a scheduled c-section or an induction, no one really knows when babies arrive. This is why it is crucial to contact your photographer once labour starts. Some people are in labour for hours and hours while others are very quick! I have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat.
What is the spark that makes you love this job?
Having done it twice myself and witnessing it from the other side, birth is such an unreal experience. It’s unpredictable, exciting and there is nothing like seeing new life enter this world. Seeing the look on the parents’ faces when they see their baby/babies for the first is unlike any other. It’s very emotional!
What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about having a birth photographer?
I think a lot of people have misconceptions about hiring a birth photographer and it’s important to understand that YOU set the boundaries. I make a point to go through EVERYTHING my clients do and do not want photographed ahead of time so that there are no surprises. I try to ensure that I am stealthy and not intruding in any way, like a fly on the wall. As mentioned before, labour can be very spontaneous and there are a lot of things you may or may not remember afterwards. I for one know that I wanted my husband to be in the moment with me and present, not worrying about capturing pictures on his phone. You’re bringing new life into this world and that’s something you’ll want documented. Babies change so much and so very quickly. Those first moments earthside are unlike any others.