One question that many of my clients ask during the booking process is “what happens if I have to have a c-section?” and it is something all birth photographers should have a plan and answer for as part of their business policies. There are many parents out there that feel that c-sections aren’t the “regular” or “normal” way to birth (their words, not mine) and therefore may not be worthy of documenting by a professional photographer because the photo opportunities are different and possibly more restricted depending on access granted by the hospital. There are many hospitals that allow photographers into the OR, but even if that isn’t the case, the day a baby is born, the moments, the memories, their story, from the very beginning, IS VALUABLE. And that is my answer: all birth stories are valuable. There are beautiful moments worth documenting at every birth.
I do feel strongly that if it is likely that a c-section will be necessary, hiring a professional to document the day, in many ways, is even more beneficial. Why? Because the reality is that mom just had surgery, and there are moments that her photographer will capture that she would have otherwise totally missed. Yesterday I spotted an image from birthphotographer.com member, Sarah Maxey, that exemplified this for me. This moment of joy, it lasted only a split second, a chance meeting on the way to the nursery with the new grandparents in the hallway. Without this photo, mom would have missed it. But now she, their baby, and their entire family, has that first meeting, that celebration, the pure joy to cherish forever. If dad would have been the one armed with the camera that day, the camera would have been slung over his arm and unused during this moment. This moment is just so powerful. And very valuable, indeed.
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