Birth Story

I don't really market myself as a maternity photographer, but when the opportunity presented itself to shoot a birth, I couldn't pass it up. I knew Ingrid and Scott as friends of a friend, and they approached me about a month ago, looking for a photographer who wasn't a total stranger, but also not someone they knew very well. Childbirthing is so intimate—and, let's face it, potentially fraught with awkwardness—that you probably don't want your best pals hanging about with you in the delivery room. At the same, it might be uncomfortable to have a complete stranger there, asking you to smile for the camera or pose awkwardly while you're out of your mind with contractions. So, this yeah, we've met a few times before dynamic ended up working perfectly. It was a real honor to be there with Ingrid and Scott, and I think the experience definitely made us closer friends in the end! They've kindly allowed me to share some of their photos here, and while the images mostly speak for themselves, I've added some explanatory captions for a few to better fill out the story. If you'd like to read these, just roll your cursor over the images as you browse.

 I arrived at the hospital around 11:30pm, and Ingrid had just begun to go into labor proper.

I arrived at the hospital around 11:30pm, and Ingrid had just begun to go into labor proper.

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 The relatively comfortable post-epidural,
 Trying to catch some sleep before the heavy contractions start.

Trying to catch some sleep before the heavy contractions start.

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 I had no idea about this pull-the-sheet technique for pushing.

I had no idea about this pull-the-sheet technique for pushing.

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 Very Joan of Arc, I think.

Very Joan of Arc, I think.

 3:25 a.m.

3:25 a.m.

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 After five and a half hours of labors, the doctors—thinking the baby might be under a bit of stress—decided a C-section was in order. I couldn't go into the operating room, unfortunately—and I totally would've—so I used the time to grab a quick nap.

After five and a half hours of labors, the doctors—thinking the baby might be under a bit of stress—decided a C-section was in order. I couldn't go into the operating room, unfortunately—and I totally would've—so I used the time to grab a quick nap.

 Scott suits up. Total hero pose.

Scott suits up. Total hero pose.

 Parents awaiting the news.

Parents awaiting the news.

 Scott announces the gender—It's a girl!—but the baby has to be taken to the ICU to recuperate. The next half an hour is a bit stressful for everyone.

Scott announces the gender—It's a girl!—but the baby has to be taken to the ICU to recuperate. The next half an hour is a bit stressful for everyone.

 Scott was allowed to bring one guest at a time down to the ICU, so I got to make a quick visit as he checked in on the baby, who was having some difficulty breathing but improving every minute.

Scott was allowed to bring one guest at a time down to the ICU, so I got to make a quick visit as he checked in on the baby, who was having some difficulty breathing but improving every minute.

 Introducing: Vesper

Introducing: Vesper

 A few days later, after Scott and Ingrid and Vesper had come home, I dropped by to take a few more shots of them together.

A few days later, after Scott and Ingrid and Vesper had come home, I dropped by to take a few more shots of them together.

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I can't say I'm ready to out-and-out throw my hat into the baby photographer ring, but I would absolutely shoot another birth given the chance. An amazing—literally amazing—experience, and I'm so happy Scott and Ingrid shared it with me. It was also fantastic prep considering Julianna, my own very pregnant wife, will be going through the same thing in mid-March with our first child. I can't wait.