My favorite birth. {and a bunch of reasons why a birth photographer is a must!}

I was recently asked what my favorite birth I've ever attended has been. What a question to could I possibly have a favorite? It's impossible.

I have been attending births as a friend, doula, and birth photographer for over eight years. I have watched my sister and best friends give birth. I have watched people I have only just met a few weeks ago give birth. I have given birth myself twice. And I can't pick a favorite.

What I can pick though? Are moments. Favorite moments from every birth I have ever attended in my years as a birth team member.

I favor the moments when a dad breaks down in tears because he is so madly in love with his partner and new child. I savor the moments I watch women reach to the deepest depths inside of them to find the power they have to bring their baby earthside. A woman who sang throughout her labor and birth. A woman who roared.

I've witnessed and documented the armored ties a partnership has during the most transformative moment in a couples' lives. How a woman reaches for her partner and finds the strength she needs through their touch and affirmation. How much they cling to each other to get through the trying times.

A sibling watch wide eyed at their new playmate emerging. A family pet instinctively comforting the laboring mother.

I have no favorite births because they are all favored! And documenting these moments for families has been the most wonderful experience.

Why would anyone want to hire a birth photographer? Because of these moments. These fleeting moments that are easily missed or forgotten but are now etched in your memories forever because of the skilled eye of an experienced, professional birth photographer.

What if this dad had been in charge of the camera on the day of their sons' birth...? The laboring mom would have never known her husband cried when their baby was born. This was a favorite moment for me...

Documenting those moments of his constant support and attention. The moment he reacted to this new life. I'm so glad to have captured this dad in their story so they can look back at their birth and remember he never left her side...

...or that I was able to freeze this emotional moment when these two grandmothers watched their granddaughter enter the world! (Definitely another favorite in my book!)

A birth photographer has to battle challenging lighting and tight spaces. A trained professional will have the skills and equipment necessary to take high quality, amazing images to preserve those cherished events regardless of what the shooting conditions may be like.

A photographer specializing in birth is familiar and comfortable with the flow of birth. We can recognize when it's too early or when to be on our toes and in a great location because baby is almost here.

Like making sure to get that shot of a little soul being lifted out of the birthing tub, still tightly curled up as if she hasn't yet left the womb...

A birth photographer knows their gear well. We know how to handle lighting conditions changing in a split second and we have the equipment and expertise to shoot in little to no light.

We are also accustomed to the "on-call" lifestyle and the difficulties that faces. We have a large support system and many secure plans for instant childcare, and back up instant childcare, and back up back up instant childcare. Our plans are never set in stone and we are able and willing to drop everything and put our lives on hold in a split second and for an undetermined amount of time.

We hear so often, "Other than the day my children were born, my wedding day was the best day of my life!" You document weddings. You document the second best day of your life by hiring a professional wedding photographer. The same thought should be given to documenting the birth of your child(ren)!

It's not just about capturing the raw, intense moments of birth, like baby crowning or the profound sensations you will experience. It's about telling your birth story from beginning to end and giving you those memories forever. How wonderful of a gift to be able to show your child the images you had captured from their birth and relive those moments vividly time and time again!

I can't tell you what my favorite birth has been. But I can promise you that I am so, so glad that I could witness so many years worth of favorite moments and freeze them in time for these incredible families.