That’s right. Dads, Birth Photography isn’t (really) about you.
Think about that time you reeeeeaaalllly wanted something. Maybe it was a boat, or a holiday, or a top-of-the-line surround sound system, or a new car. Let’s go with a car (this is happening in our house RIGHT NOW, for real….so the rest of this paragraph is based on a true story). It’s not JUST a car, it’s THE car. It’s your DREAM car – one that you’ll use to travel around Australia, a car that has a long-range diesel fuel tank, towing capacity, blah-blah-blah whatever engine, reversing camera, blah-blah-blah suspension….etc etc. You know, all the crucial stuff that makes THIS car different to the cars you already have that get you from A to B. Your wife is confused – can’t you just use the car(s) you’ve already got to travel around Australia? One of them is a 4WD, surely it could do the job? Or couldn’t we just hire one? What’s the difference between the $30 000 car and the $60 000 car besides leather seats and the year it was made? You get frustrated. She just doesn’t get it, she doesn’t understand. You tell her about all the amazing features it has, about the grand plans you have for road trips to places she’s never heard of, about how you can trade in one of the other cars and that they have these low interest loans on offer and you’ll do overtime shifts to help pay for it (or give up beer, apparently – I’ll believe it when I see it!!). She doesn’t really care about that – she still thinks it’s kind of stupid to buy a new car when the current ones are fine. But she goes along with it, and it’s not because of the blah-blah-blah engine or anything else you’ve spent weeks or months (or years) trying to convince her with…..it’s because of YOU! Because she loves you, and she knows that to you it’s more than ‘just a car’!
Now, if you want to stop reading now, I urge you to AT LEAST watch the slideshow (below). But, reading the rest is even better.
I feel like I’ve spent the best part of 5 years figuring out how to make dads see why birth photography is important. I’ve tried to help women ‘convince’ their partners why they should hire me.
Let me first say, I’ve had a LOT of skeptical dads. Most of them have only agreed to hire me because it was important to their partner. I will also say, NONE of those dads have regretted it that I am aware of, and many actually end up being thankful for it.
You wonder why your partner would want someone taking photos of their vagina (trust me, there’s way more to the story than that).
You cringe at the cost (which can be as little as $35/week, for something you will have FOREVER).
You don’t like being in photos (don’t worry, I won’t show anyone if that’s what you want!)
You are worried about having another stranger in the birth room (understandably protective of such sacred moments, but I like to think that I will get to know you both during the pregnancy, and actually bring a POSITIVE presence to your birth space).
But again, this is not all about YOU!
There are two other very important people to consider here. Your partner, who has grown and carried this baby for many months. The person who is going to go through the physically and emotionally intense journey of bringing this baby earthside. And your baby, who will one day grow up and be able to look back upon the day they were born (which yeah may briefly gross them out while they’re teenagers, but not forever!). This day is incredible, it is LIFE-CHANGING. There are no do-overs. There are no second chances. This is not something for ‘maybe later’, or even ‘maybe next time’. THIS baby is only born ONCE.
Maybe she doesn’t want dark, grainy, blurry photos taken by you on an iPhone.
Maybe she wants you to be holding her hand and whispering in her ear how much you love her and how amazing she is.
Maybe she wants photos that will make her feel beautiful, not photos that make her look like she has 5 chins.
Maybe she wants to see the way you supported her as she laboured, and the way you cradled your baby so gently (and sometimes awkwardly) for the first time.
Maybe she wants to see images like this (and maybe secretly you would love that too):
Maybe to her, it’s not ‘just some photos’.
I will say again: most dads that have agreed to hire me, have done so (at least initially) only because it was important to their partner. Sometimes, we don’t have to understand something to be supportive of it. I don’t understand my husband’s desire to keep wanting to buy cars when we have two cars that work fine! Yet, we’ve had more cars than I can count on one (almost two) hands. Sometimes, it’s only important to us because it’s important to the person we love.
I asked my husband if he knew/remembered how much our birth photographer charged.
I asked my husband how many times he had watched our birth video.
We got a video? (Yes, we did, and I do believe he watched it ONCE when we first received it).
I asked my husband if he cared about whether we got birth photos or not.
I don’t believe my husband has ever seen ALL of our birth photos. Our baby is three.
But I cherish them – they are one of my most precious possessions, and I’m so grateful that he supported me in that decision even if he didn’t understand it.
HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE!!!!
(and then maybe when you ask about that new car/boat/tool/gadget….. 😉 )