This is the conclusion of Heather Nan Photography’s 3-part series on birth and newborn photography tips. If you missed the first two weeks on how to photograph a birth story, you can find those tutorials here:
This final part of this birth and newborn series is quite simple and varies with each family. Depending on the birth plan, time of day and the energy of everyone involved, I will stay to photograph baby portraits after the first bath. By this time Mom has moved out of the delivery room and into the postpartum room, the energy of delivery has settled and embracing this new life has just begun.
The portraits are very casual and organic, utilizing baby’s first surroundings and first connections. The time involved with these moments can vary, and I may only have a brief opportunity to get the baby shot in the manner suggested before extended family is invited into the room. If I haven’t shot all that I wanted, I will wait until the opportune moment resumes.
It is very helpful to be in tune to your surroundings, the energy of the parents and not to push your needs beyond that of the new parents. I often play much of this time by ear. There have been certain birth stories that I have returned to the following day due to long labor or late nights to capture these portraits.
I love to focus on skin to skin moments and those tender visions of mom and dad bonding with their child. I tend to favor my 50mm lens for these images. If I have more room, I will use my 85mm.
Another exciting element of these portraits is the siblings meeting their new brother or sister for the first time. It’s a wonderful time to capture this shift in engery. Granted this does not apply to every birth story, but I definitely recommend implementing it into the birth story if it applies. This, of course is something to discuss with the mother during the initial consult.
Interested in shooting birth stories? I have nothing to offer other than my own experience. As I mentioned prior, in part one of this birth and newborn series, I photographed my first two birth stories for friends complimentary to build my portfolio. From there I began to charge a small amount and gradually built upon that with every few birth stories.
My means to find clients? Simply through my blog and word of mouth. Other photographer’s may suggest establishing relationships with doctors and clinics, which is wise if this is your whole pursuit. For me, with my family and the wedding side of my business, I find myself happily shooting a birth every one to two months on average, which word of mouth brings me.
I have also found great support and suggestion through various Facebook birth photographer groups. Do a search, find one… they lend a great forum to answer any additional questions you may have. You can also connect with me directly through my Formspring page.
I wanted to thank I Heart Faces for this opportunity to share my personal approach to birth stories. I look forward to my first birth story experience this coming October as we anticipate the arrival of our second child, a boy! Lastly I want to thank all the wonderful families who have invited me into their lives to document such an incredible moment in time, always an honor. Thank you, thank you!
Heather Parkinson, owner of Heather Nan Photography is a lover of capturing the significant moments of life, focusing mainly on wedding, birth and lifestyle family photography. Like her on Facebook, keep up with current work on her blog, ask questions at Formspring, follow her ramblings on Twitter, and her daughter’s hijinks on Tumblr .