PPB Reader Poll: Labor & Birth Photography


Whether it takes place at the hospital with a doctor, at home with a midwife, or in a taxi stuck in rush hour traffic, your birth story is entirely unique to you and your family. While it’s an intensely personal event, and you’ll likely remember your labor and delivery the rest of your life, many parents choose to invite a labor and birth photographer along on the big day to document the momentous occasion—to capture the moments of utter pain and tremendous joy.

One of our very own Petunias is expecting her first baby in July, and she’s particularly curious to hear whether those who’ve already been through a birthing experience would recommend labor and birth photography. She shares her thoughts here:

I’m so excited to meet our baby in a few months! With a plan to have my midwife, doula and loving husband present at the birth, I’m not too keen on the idea of inviting another person into the space. At the same time, I can imagine that I might regret it later if I don’t have any visual documentation of my family’s first moments together.

I know that there’s a third way: I can ask my husband or doula to take pictures along the way, but I fear that that would distract my husband from being truly present as a participant in the experience. And, truthfully, being a photographer myself I hesitate to put the responsibility of capturing these moments on somebody like my lovely doula who may not be very familiar with a DSLR camera. Is that silly? Petty? Maybe. I would love to hear the thoughts of those with experience!

While many of us here have our own stories and thoughts to share, we’re asking you, dear readers, to weigh in. Did you have professional or semi-professional labor and birth photographs taken of your baby’s birth? Did you snap your own shots along the way? Did you forgo taking photographs in favor of keeping the memory of the big day solely in your minds and hearts? Please share your thoughts on labor and birth photography in the comments below. And if you too are planning to give birth for the first time, please share any plans you have for documenting the experience.

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photos: header via The Daybook; above via Brook Schwab Photography






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Children Around the World

Maudy — Kalulushi, Zambia / photo: Gabriele Galimberti

We recently came across the stunning Toy Stories photo series by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti. The series documents children living all around the world surrounded by their favorite toys. In Texas a boy lines up his collection of plastic dinosaurs on his bedroom floor, while in Malawi a little girl stands watch over her only three toys—given to her by volunteers of a local NGO when she was born—in the small hut she shares with her parents.

While the photographs display obvious differences in living conditions for children in various developed and developing countries across the globe, it also serves to show that kids are still very similar the world over despite these socioeconomic and cultural differences. For instance, the little girl in Malawi’s favorite of her three toys is a plastic dinosaur figurine, and she likes it for the same reason that the little boy in Texas likes his own dinosaurs: because dinosaurs are protection.

Though some of the photographs come across as quite serious in tone, some or all of them could serve as a way to introduce our own children to the diversity of children’s experiences around the world. Wherever your family lives, your kids will likely be intrigued by seeing the way other kids around the world live and play. Other ways to do this—besides actual foreign travel—could include checking out the books Where Children Sleep by James Mollison and A Life Like Mine: How children live around the world.

We’d love to hear if and how you teach your little ones about the ways their counterparts around the world are living. Please tell us about any resources and experiences you’ve had in the comments section below!

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