In the delivery room: Mom, Dad, nurse, and...photographer?
Parenting trends never cease to surprise and, apparently, neither do photographers in the delivery room. Hospitals are now allowing photographers into birthing centers (at the family's request) to document the intimate process.
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These days the number of people invited to witness the blessed event is expanding, with some families hiring a professional photographer to document labor, delivery and everything in between.
"People don't hesitate to have a photographer for their wedding," said Holly Buell of Oregon, who hired professional photographer Beth Skogen to document the birth of her son. "(Childbirth) is just something I just never want to forget," she told the Wisconsin State Journal before her son was born. "Even if it is painful and the labor is really hard, I think that's a part of my life that I will want to look back on and have some kind of documentation of."
Now, thanks to Ms. Skogen, Ms. Buell and her husband Jordan have a DVD with images documenting Brixton's entry into the world on Sept. 5.
"It went really well, and Jordan and I both couldn't be happier with how the pictures turned out," Buell said of having a birth photographer.
Locally, a handful of photographers and doulas offer birth photography. Area hospital officials say it's not common, but not unheard of, either, to have a professional snapping shots in the delivery room. At Meriter Hospital, birth photographers are allowed in the birthing center, which includes the delivery rooms and operating rooms, if agreed to by the provider and the patient. St. Mary's Hospital also allows professional photographers in the delivery room, but they can't follow the mother into an operating room.
More people are creating an experience around their child's birth, and increasingly, that includes birth photography, said Lea Wolf, a local doula and birth photographer. "The interest definitely has been picking up, even in the last six to nine months."
Ms. Wolf, of Lea Wolf Birth Photography and Doula Services, offers some photography as part of her doula services but also has done about a dozen stand-alone birth photography sessions in the last four and a half years. As professional birth photos become more common, those images help people realize childbirth isn't always how it's portrayed in the media — as frantic and scary, she said.
"I think birth photography has the power to capture the emotion, the relationships and the wonder of it."
Still, birth photography has been a bit of a "slow grow" in Madison.