Photographing a birth

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by stsinner, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking for tips and opinions on photographing a birth. In this case, and probably the only case that I'll ever do this, the birth will be my offspring. There will be the opportunity, of course, for pictures that only my wife and I will see, so how do you guys feel about this kind of thing, and are there any shots that are taboo when it's your child and you're looking at the human body in a completely different way for this event?
    I'm kind of struggling with what to capture and what to leave behind and balancing that with actually acting like I care what's going on!!

    Or is it a bad idea altogether until the baby is cleaned up and cuddling with mom?

    Just so the conversation doesn't get steered in the wrong direction, my wife has told me she's fine with whatever I decide.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  2. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    I would say just try to be present with the birth...that is the MOST important thing, even if it means missing the pictures. Those moments are so incredibly emotional and although you want to capture it on film, nothing will replace that moment (especially if this is your FIRST!!)...you don't want to miss it because you were behind the viewfinder. That said, OH BOY, how lucky that your wife (and you) will have great pictures of this incredible event, both intimate and to share with everyone. GOOD LUCK and I'll leave the technical stuff to the pros!
     
  3. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    This is just my personal opinion but I would nut kick my husband (if I had one and was pregnant :lol:) if he was taking photos when I was going through labour. But your wife is alright with it so ignore that statement ;) I would probably hire or ask a photographer friend to take photos if I wanted it documented.

    Anywho, back on topic. Kind of the cliche thing to do is every 30 minutes take a picture of the clock, so you can see how time is passing. I would probably ask the doctors/nurses where it is okay to be standing (if I was a doctor I would nut kick a fellow who was getting in my way ;) ). I would start taking pictures errr.. *ahem* down there *ahem* until the babies head was seriously crowning or out.

    The main thing is to make sure you stay out of hte doctors and nurses way, otherwise, have at it. It will be a wonderful documentation of a very important day of your life :)
     
  4. suki

    suki TPF Noob!

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    You can either A) ask your doc in advance if someone in the room can take the pics or b) do it yourself.

    That being said, avoid the woohaa shots, unless you both REALLY thing a stretching/tearing/bleeding vajaya is a beautiful thing and can stomach looking at it over and over again, i would just avoid that altogether. I witnessed my nephews birth and got the "view" and let me tell ya, it aint pretty! lol

    Some good (and common) angles are shooting from her head down so that all you see is her belly and her legs and the baby as the doc is holding him/her up. From the side you can get that shot but you run into the chance of the doctors arm blocking the baby or her leg(s). Have a nurse hold the baby to mom and get that shot, and also when mom kisses the little bundle for the first time.

    Those are probably the "safest" shots that a) with some creativity you can hang up and b) you won't miss anything from.

    My husband got this shot of me and our son, though we had him via c-sect so no bodily fluids or anything else "gross" to be seen, lol!

    [​IMG]

    I ended up making it b/w and doing a soft focus on it, then made a collage with a couple other pics that I had taken, one including my avatar pic in b/w and another one with his feet and his daddy's feet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  5. c0ps

    c0ps TPF Noob!

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    All I ask, is that you DO NOT put up those pictures here for C&C. I'll have nightmares! :lol:
     
  6. nsupanda

    nsupanda TPF Noob!

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    to each his own...
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's what my wife said.

    That's what I did.
     
  8. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Wow, Peanuts, you're like a mule!! I'm glad my wife isn't into "nut kicking" people... Maybe I should wear a cup, just in case...

    I do appreciate your advice, though, and if it changes the conversation at all, it is our fourth child, so it's not like it's the first and we're all giddy.. The other three have been normal vaginal births with no complications and short labor, so I think I have the perfect candidate for some pictures. Not sure if we'll have any more, so it was actually my wife's idea to get some pictures.
    Also, I think the frame of mind is different when you're in that clinical setting. I don't think thoughts go so quickly to tasteless, but rather stay in the clinical realm, but we'll see when we get to the hospital.. Everyone in the room will be staring right at her business, so it's not like it's a big deal to them or pornographic in that setting. Keep that in mind when giving advice.

    Maybe I should be more specific-should I get any pictures of the head when it's seriously crowning and when the baby is halfway out and all the way out? Does anyone think these will be memories that will be looked back on fondly or just become pictures that we want to safeguard and are always nervous that someone will see one day? I go back and fourth. When I was in the Army a family friend offered to show me the video of her son being born, but I declined. It felt weird then, and it kind of feels weird now, but it is a rare opportunity to make an unusual memory and also for my wife to see what she can't see from her vantage point..
     
  9. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    Well, it's the FOURTH kid..anything goes! I say shoot away and get it all. Later you and your wife can cringe over them and decide what stays and what goes. Better safe than sorry you missed something.
     
  10. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Keep in mind it is very hard to take photographs when you have a wife who his pulling your bottom lip over you forehead screaming, "YOU DID THIS TO ME YOU B@$&#%*!" :lol: :lmao: :lol: :lmao: :lol:

    Leave the camera at home, or at least wait till things have calmed down. Just be there to support and help her. Remember it took both of you to have this child, you should both assist in the birth.
     
  11. UncleRico

    UncleRico TPF Noob!

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    You don't hear the phrase "nut kick" enough in a day. Thanks for making me laugh.

    @sstinner I was no nervous when my daughter was born I almost cut the docs fingers when I was cutting the cord. I guess it's a good thing you'll only be armed with a camera.

    Congrats.

    Ryan
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My wife had to have a c-section when my daughter was born.

    I got pictures of everything. The doctor was pretty cool about it. After making the incision, she stops and says "did you get a shot of that?", after I said yes she continues with the operation. I even got some great shots of the doctors in action.
    I honestly think it was some of the best photography I've ever done.

    Sadly, I lost every single photo from that day due to bad back-ups.
    (I'll never make that mistake again.)

    I'll have another chance in October though. ;)

    I say, don't hold back on anything.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009

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