I was captivated by his work from the moment he joined the directory on birthphotographers.com and I clicked over. His use of light, his vision, just everything, drew me in instantly. I think you’ll be a fan in no time as well.
Name: Alex Firmani
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Tell us a little about yourself….married? children? pets?
I’m a father of one young boy, Benji, who is about to turn two and I’ve been married to my wonderful wife, Andrea, for four years. We have an older Aussie Shepherd named Maggie that accompanies us almost everywhere.
I studied photojournalism at the University of Florida and I worked for newspapers and wire services through high school and college. My background is in event coverage and it is what I love; capturing the ‘decisive moment’ that happens in a split second. In the past few years I’ve been exploring street photography; I was recently honoured to have a few of my street photographs hang in a local gallery group show.
I gained my love for photography from my dad and I hope I’m passing it on to my son now, too. He took his first photographs of me, using my camera on a tripod, when he was about 16-months-old! I grew up on film but Benji will grow up on digital; he loves pressing the shutter then instantly looking around the back waiting for the image to appear on the screen.
How long have you been in business?
Canon or Nikon?
Canon currently; started with Nikon
What is your most used lens while photographing a birth?
Canon 16-35 f/2.8; the wide-angle gives the viewer an intimate feeling of being involved
Did you / Will you / Would you have one of your own births photographed?
I photographed the birth of my son and I will hopefully photograph our second child, as well.
What drew you to photograph births?
My wife is a labour-and-delivery nurse and I was lucky that she let me cover our son’s birth in a documentary style. She was comfortable enough, even as a first-time mother, that she didn’t mind me occasionally behind the camera while she was in-between contractions.
I printed a coffee-table book of the birth images, which she brought to work to show around. That led to a project for the hospital where they hired me to produce a series of wall-hanging prints highlighting the importance of skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. That project for the hospital led to other documentary-style births on the same ward.
I don’t know of any other male birth photographers so it is always great when a woman is open enough to accept me in the room with her and her friends and her family during the most amazing time in her life.
Tell us about a favorite moment you experienced while photographing a birth.
My favourite moment is the first look between mom and baby. It is so full of joy and exhaustion and exhilaration that it always gives you stunning images. This image is from the most recent birth I attended and the tears in her eyes and smile on her face say everything.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us Alex! It is truly stunning and the women who invite you to capture their birth journey are, indeed, very lucky!