Answering the Question: Birth Photography – Gruesome or Awesome?

Photography: Capturing Life Birth Photography

By Emily Holdaway

Early on in my pregnancy I came across an interesting article on one of the news sites I often frequented: Birth Photography -Gruesome or Awesome?

Birth photography? I had never heard of it before. What on earth is birth photography? You can have a photographer there? Who would want a photographer there? Do they take photos of . . . down there?!? Ewwww! Ewwww?

Well at that was what I thought until the moment I saw the first image. Holy wow. I was entranced. The images were beautiful. The emotions captured on the faces of these women, their partners, their families were raw, intense, mesmerising.

The photographer taking these beautiful shots was Hamilton based Cassie Emmett. I visited her website and spent the remaining hours at work being totally unproductive, enthralled by her work.

At home that evening I showed AJ what I had found. ‘I want to do it’ I said, ‘I want Cassie there for our birth’.

I’m not sure he was all that keen to begin with. The thought of a total stranger there for the birth of our child, when even our parents were not going to be there was a bit, odd. And taking photos? Would it feel intrusive? Would she get in the way? Would it be distracting? I could tell AJ was going to take a bit of convincing. For me however, the more I thought about it, and the more of her work I looked at, the surer I was that this was something we had to do.

Floating the idea to friends was interesting. The first question everyone asked was ‘does she take photos of . . . down there’. Such a fascination with the idea of a vagina photo. Well, she is a birth photographer and it’s a pretty important part of the process. She’s not there to take photos of the wallpaper.

Such a fascination with the idea of a vagina photo. Well, she is a birth photographer and it’s a pretty important part of the process. She’s not there to take photos of the wallpaper.

Before we made a decision, and so AJ could meet this stranger who was potentially going to a big part of our birth, we met with her. We needed to make sure her vibe was one we liked. Birth is intimate, and precious. The last thing you need in that situation is to feel uncomfortable with the people you have in the room supporting you.

We met Cassie, and she was lovely. She has a genuine warmth about her and you can tell she loves what she does. Talking to her and seeing the examples of her work she bought along, allayed any worries we had. AJ was on board, we were doing this.

Photography: Capturing Life Birth Photography
Photography: Capturing Life Birth Photography
Photography: Capturing Life Birth Photography

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