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New Trend: Birth Photography

New Trend: Birth Photography

From weddings, to birthday, to the first day of school, Mom always has the camera on-hand to capture every little moment. And a new photography trend is all about capturing one of the most special days in a couples life: the birth of a new baby. Professional Photographer Jessica Kettle shares her passion for the up and coming trend of birthing photography.


We are essentially living in a picture obsessed time. Everyone seems to picking up interest in digital photography, we bring our cameras everywhere, in fact some argue that we are so busy photographing, video taping, blogging and journaling our lives that we are forgetting to just experience things and live in the moment. Especially parents! We don't want to miss or forget a thing our children do!

This is part of what caused me to explore birth photography as a photographer AND as a parent. I was pregnant with my second child when I caught onto the birth photography trend. I started seeing some big photographers photograph birth in a beautiful way and I wanted to offer that to my clients, and have those kinds of images of my own birth experience! I photographed a good friend's birth to test the waters and I was totally hooked. It was an exhilarating experience as an artist and the clients loved their images. I then had my birth photographed and absolutely loved it, and of course i plan on doing it again in a couple of months!

What is birth photography?

Most people expect birth photography to be an intrusive, graphic, medical documentation of someone's birth experience, which is completely untrue! to me, photographing a birth is about documenting labor/delivery/postpartum in a way that is centered around the relationships and emotional aspect of the birth experience. giving birth is one of the biggest events in a parents life and it deserves proper photographs just as much as a wedding! birth is also so physically and emotionally draining and happens so fast that it's easy to miss or forget all of the sweet moments that make the day so special. having someone else document your birth day completely alleviates the worry of forgetting. i.e. your husband rubbing your back during labor, the nurse who took extra special care of you, holding your baby for the first time, baby meeting siblings for the first time etc. it's also so special to have great pictures of your brand new baby on their first day of life- they seem to change by the second!

How does a typical birth story shoot go?

There is a lot of correspondence with mom as the due date approaches. i get updates after OB checkups, updates on induction schedules, and then as SOON as mom goes into labor the texting begins! i usually show up to the hospital when mom is dilated to a 5 or 6.

Detail Shots:

Pictures of the room, medical equipment, the baby hat and soap just waiting to be used, the hospital doors, view from the room. All of the little things that contribute to the birth experience, much like you would photograph the details of someone's wedding!

Labor Shots:

Pictures of mom and dad pacing the halls, holding hands through hard contractions, and relaxing.

Delivery Shots:

Photos of the actual birth are documented in a modest, respectful way. I tend to stand at moms shoulder so that I get photos of mom and dad in active labor and as the baby is delivered and is lifted onto mom's chest without actually seeing anything graphic. They are ACTION shots, not GRAPHIC shots.

Bonding Shots:

These are my favorite! There is nothing more amazing than a mother and father holding their baby for the first time and capturing those first bonding moments- it's exhilarating for everyone!

Weigh & Measure Shot:

We then move into cutting the cord, the baby being weighed and measured and cleaned up, then usually passed back to mom and dad for more bonding time.

Meet the Siblings:

Capturing big brother or sister meeting baby for the first time and the whole family being together, priceless! There is also usual a casual "family picture" taken at this time.

Newborn Portraits:

After baby is fed and happy we take portrait style shots of the little bundle in the bassinet including hands, feet, toes, nametags etc.


Jessica Kettle Photography:
Jessica offers a fresh, modern perspective specializing in newborn, child, family and wedding photography.

You can contact Jessica at www.jessicakettle.com

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