Parenthood is my most EPIC journey I have ever done. At one point of my life I was avoiding pregnancy, then as time went by I was forever trying to get pregnant. Then it finally happened! I got this tiny little human home and had no idea what to do and before I knew it one year had flown by.
As a photographer, I had a romantic idea in my head that I would photograph my own birth. I planned to lie back and document what was happening around me, who was involved and then just like that I would have a precious wee babe straight out of the oven, in my lap and have my lens in its face. I have never been more wrong. As per usual my birth did not go to plan, after ten days past my baby’s due date I was booked in to be induced. I was hooked up to machines, drips in my arms, I had to also get an epidural because the induced labour was so excruciatingly painful which left me unable to move my legs for half the day. There was no way I even had the energy to pick up my camera and start taking photos, and why would you when you have the sweetest bundle of joy in your arms.
Coming away from the whole experience I was like oh gosh I wish there had been someone there to capture the story to reflect on and show my baby girl one day. Not to put her off childbirth or anything too gory but to show those first moments of our wee family unit coming together and to show the look on our faces that simply cannot be described.
I decided I wanted to do this for others.
Below is gorgeous wee Thomas. I still get emotional watching this, what an amazing experience and I just cannot thank Shelley and Matty enough for allowing me to be part of such special moment.
Photos, Video and Editing by: Shave Photography & Design
Music: 'Montezuma' -Fleet Foxes
FAQ SHAVE BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY
WHEN DO YOU ARRIVE?
In active labour. If your midwife is doing cervical checks then I would like to come in from when you are about 7cm onwards. Or perhaps this is not your first baby and you think you may have a fast delivery let me know when it’s time to meet up. Communication with your Midwife/doctor is key.
They will always have a better understanding on where you and your baby are at.
HOW LONG DO YOU STAY AFTER MY BABY IS BORN?
Around 1 hour. Baby being weighed and measured. During first cuddles and first feed if you would like.
HOW MUCH DOES DOCUMENTING MY BIRTH COST?
Please contact Jenna-lee on 0272294493 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a pricelist on birth photography / birth video.
DO YOU DOCUMENT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING? EVEN THE BABY COMING OUT?
I will photograph/video whatever you feel comfortable with! I am happy to do so if you are. We can meet up and talk through things that you are interested in and not so interested in!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE IT?
There is a possibility that I just cannot make it. Therefore, I do not make you pay a deposit in case this happens. It may mean we miss the birth but I could perhaps come later and document your new wee bundle.
CAN YOU JUST COME TO THE HOSPITAL OR HOME TO CAPTURE THE BABY AS SOON AS THEY HAVE BEEN BORN INSTEAD OF THE LABOUR?
No worries, just get someone (you will obviously be busy) to keep me in the loop and we can try make this happen!
INSIDE LIGHTING CAN SOMETIMES BE DARK… DO YOU USE FLASH?
Cameras are an amazing tool and can function pretty well in low light. I will not be using flash as that is the last thing you want to see while pushing out a baby. With your permission, I may need to turn on a bathroom light for example or tilt the window shades slightly. You need to know that your images will have a bit of ‘grain’ to them if dark conditions.
DO I NEED TO LET MY MIDWIFE KNOW THAT YOU ARE COMING?
Yes definitely! I will be sensitive to all involved and I will stay out of the way when needed. If you need to have an emergency caesarean there is a chance they may not let me in. If it is a planned caesarean It is essential that you get permission from the team involved.
HOW MANY IMAGES CAN I EXPECT AND ARE THEY COLOUR OR BLACK AND WHITE?
Around 50 to 100 professionally edited images, if you have a very quick birth I will get plenty of the baby afterwards. Your images will be delivered in black and white, some may be suiter to both colour and black and white. I like the documentary style that black and white images communicate and find it helps with the sometimes-strange mix of artificial hospital lighting.
DO YOU OFFER NEWBORN AND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY?
YES I offer new-born and family photography. Please check out the portrait page here.
ARE YOU GOING TO PUT MY PHOTO’S ON YOUR WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA?
No! If I really wanted to share an image or video I would ask your permission. Feel free to say no, I will not be offended at all!
WHAT IF I DECIDE ON THE DAY OR DURING THE LABOUR THAT I HAVE SIMPLY CHANGED MY MIND?
No problem at all, just don’t call me! You can always get in touch after the birth if you would rather a new-born session. If I have already arrived and then you decide it’s not for you just let me know and I can leave ASAP. I will then just change you for my time and I can pass on any photo’s I had already taken.