Follow along in our 3-part tutorial series on Birth Photography by Heather Nan Photography. If you missed the other parts of this series, you can find them here:
Birth Photography Tips Part Two | Baby’s Arrival
Last week, I mentioned that I station myself behind the shoulder of the mother during labor. This ensures a prime spot to capture the baby’s first cries and the expressions of those awaiting his or her arrival. From there, I become engrossed with following that baby wherever it may go.
I find this part of the story to move rather quickly depending on the situation. In hospitals, the time the parents have to physically bond can vary immensely. You must be quick on your feet to capture those first bonding moments. The cord may be cut immediately or the cord may wait to be cut, depending on the mother’s birth plan. Be sure to ask about this in your pre-birth consultation to prepare for this particular shot. During home/birth center arrivals, I find this time to be much more relaxed, allowing for a bit more time to take photos of these precious first moments.
More often than not, the next phase after the baby’s arrival is weighing, measuring, and taking footprints of the wee one. If you’ve been able to quickly establish a good relationship with the nurses as I mentioned last week, it will pay off. They will allow you to document this first information about the baby well.
Once again, the progression varies, but generally the first bath comes next, particularly if the birth occurs in the hospital. This is done either by the nurse alone or with help from the new daddy. Sometimes the bath will come quite later in the story. This is something to discuss with the mother. Ask if it is important to have you there, especially if it takes place away from her, in the nursery, for example.
There is so much obvious emotion and subtle observations to be documented during this first moments of a baby’s life. Follow that little one and watch for those tender moments transpire.
Heather will be back again next week with her conclusion of this inspiring series on Birth Photography.
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 .