Updated: Jun 29, 2019
Here is my own personal "Why":
Birth Documentary / Birth Photography is still a relatively new concept in the world of photography. I had my first child in 2011 and it was unheard of at that time (or at least to me). To make a long story short, my firstborn was delivered via emergency c-section and all we had on us was a little point-and-shoot camera at the time. My husband was unaware of the rules within the Operating Room at the hospital, so he kept trying to "sneak" pictures over the surgical curtain. This resulted in some blurry photos, but we had photos none-the-less. Later, we would upload these to our home computer which was just a laptop at the time. And a little later after that, said laptop would have a crash and fall from the kitchen table resulting in a corrupted hard drive. If any of you have faced that before, then you know that means you are unable to retrieve any data or files.
It was at THAT moment that I realized just how much those pictures and video clips on our tiny point-and-shoot camera meant to me. All of our photographic memories from our first child's birth- gone. Just like that. I ended up doing some research on how I could possibly retrieve these images and videos. I discovered there was a drive savers company out in California that would take a look at it for a little over $800. Again, that was 2011! My husband and I did not have a lot of money back then. In fact, he was still finishing up his Bachelors/Masters degree at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
But I. Wanted. Those. Photos.
They were invaluable to me- absolutely priceless. So we basically drained our measly savings account that we had at the time in order to get even some of those files and data back.
What was the end result? Thankfully, the company was able to extract about 35% of the photos and videos we had taken from my son's birth and the following days after. Only 35%. But you better believe I was super grateful and excited just to have something. Many of these photos and videos have lines going through them and the audio on the videos is all wonky, but hey- I still enjoy sitting down every year with my eldest son and rewatching the slideshow that we do have.
Now, had I known ahead of time that I would be spending over 800 dollars to retrieve a tiny fraction of everything we took, I may have been smart enough to google, "Oklahoma City Birth Photographer" and see if anything popped up. My point is this: those incredibly precious and truly unique moments that you will never, ever get back or experience again (every birth is different, as they say!) are 100% worth being captured, filmed, and documented. I promise you- you will not regret having that enormously special day captured and stored away in your family albums, safe, hard drives, etc. You WILL revisit these images and/or video frequently. They will always hold a near and dear place in your heart.
What are other benefits in having a Birth Photographer in your room?
- Your spouse, birthing partner, mom, etc. won't have to take on multiple roles. He or she can focus solely on you! Trust me on this one- that's super important!
- You'll get to hear another person affirm how great of a job you did and how you rocked your birth!
- You may receive a discount towards other services such as newborn portraits or family portraits
- You may receive a special deal if your Photographer is in close relationship with your doula or birth provider.
- You'll get some really great and fun family photos immediately after your birth that you may not otherwise have gotten if your spouse or partner was assigned the task.
- Should you lose your files due to a corrupted hard drive or God-forbid your house burned down, many photographers like myself have a backup storage system that contain your images and video for a certain length of time.
- You are likely to gain another friend when it is all said and done :). I did with mine when I finally learned my lesson and hired someone for my next two deliveries!
So, is Birth Documentary right for you? I would argue that for most people- yes. Yes, it absolutely is. However, some women only see themselves giving birth in a space surrounded only by their spouse or medical staff. And that's ok, too!
If you are worried about the financial aspect of a Birth Photographer, try asking about any payment plans that might be available. When would the balance be due? How much would you have to give today just to book? These are important questions. I cannot speak for other Birth Photographers, however, I do offer and customize payment plans to my clients if necessary. After my first personal experience with my own birth and losing so many images, it is my deepest desire that my clients are able to have Birth Documentary as an option if possible.
Dani Marie Photography
Contemporary Portrait & Birth Photographer
Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas