Tips and ideas abound regarding basic photography, but when it comes to taking birth photos, very little information can be found. Here you will find helpful information that will breathe your two dimensional pictures to life.
Digital “point and shoot” cameras have changed photography forever. It is now possible to take hundreds of pictures without worrying about the cost of developing them. Yet most of those types of cameras have one annoying feature: the delay from pushing the button to when the camera actually clicks the shot. Because of this, it is vital to anticipate different parts of the labor and birth, paying attention so you don’t miss the actual moment you are looking for. A remedy for this delay is having a higher quality camera. Digital SLRs (single lens reflex) and the more expensive point and shoots eliminate the delay and in some instances, offer a rapid firing of the lens and flash. This is especially important during the exact moment of birth; capturing the baby coming out challenges even the most seasoned photographer.
One common mistake is standing too far away from the action or not having the lens tight enough to capture the nuances distant shots just cannot see. Bring your focus in so you are able to see the laboring woman’s furrowed brow, the comforting hands or the strands of hair matted to her face. Focus the lens directly on those observations –close– and do not worry about getting everything in the frame. Actually, the less extraneous the background, the better; the camera sees everything from the peeling wallpaper to the sweat under her nose. Find a way to “see” the universality of the situation, yet also photographing her uniqueness. The family appreciates these types of very close shots.
If you will be the only birth photographer at a birth or two, working through tears adds a layer of difficulty to the job. If emotion sweeps over you and the camera is in your hand, use the auto-focus feature (if you have not been up to this time) so the photos are seen in their best light.
Birth photography, fleeting as it is, can be a magnificent gift to a woman and her family. While the click lasts less than a second, the presentation lasts a lifetime.