The Truth About Birth Photography

A week or so ago I was interviewed by a reporter at The New York Times about birth photography.  I was excited and so happy that something I love so much was getting national attention and possibly a larger audience.  I love birth photography, I love the business side of birth photography.  That’s why I founded the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers in 2010.  At one time birth photographers were difficult to find in many areas and I wanted to help other moms connect with photographers in their area.  I know how much Teagan’s birth photos mean to me, they are priceless, and I wanted to spread that gift far and wide.

The article, written by Elissa Gootman, appeared on the front page of the New York Times on June 17, 2012.  I was excited, elated, nervous, thrilled….until I read it.  By the time I got to the end of the article I feel degraded.  Both as a professional birth photographer and as a mother who chose to have her birth photographed.  That article spurred a rash of other articles popping up including Yahoo, MSN, The Stir, The Project, The Bump, Baby Center and many others.  Major networks including Good Morning America and The Today Show have also shown an interest in the concept of birth photography.  I believe exposing the masses to the idea of birth photography is a wonderful thing.  But I also think there are many negative things being written and shared that are, well, simply untrue and not accurate.  Ms. Gootman and the other writers missed the mark.  They missed the beauty.  There was so much they could have said, but didn’t.

So I did.

You can read it here.

It’s not the front page of the New York Times, but it is the truth.

2012-06-19T06:15:22-05:00June 19th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Please go vote!

Most of you guys know that I am the founder of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers.  We started out as a small group and have grown by leaps and bounds in the last year!  We have several hundred members in 10 different countries around the world!  I love it!  I love that more photographers are photographing births and more parents are seeking us out.  These moments are so precious, and once they have passed, you don’t get them back again.  But with photos, you can relive those moments and revisit them any time you want.  I can remember when the number of birth photographers I personally knew wouldn’t have filled one hand.  To have this amazing group of photographers who respect birth, is so amazing.  I’m thankful for each of them.

This year, we decided to award one talented photographer and have an image of the year contest.  With 41 entries, there are some absolutely amazing, stunning, beautiful images to choose from!  Voting is open until the 19th of February and I’d forever be grateful if you guys would head over and place a vote for your favorite image! The ultimate goal of birthphotographers.com is to put this resource in the hands of the moms and dads looking for a birth photographer, so if you know someone who is expecting, please forward them our website:  birthphotographers.com!  We have an extensive resource section that includes how to find a midwife or doula as well as a ton of recommended reading on a variety of topics.  Lots of great stuff, check it out.

Just to be clear, I’m not asking you to vote for me.  I didn’t enter as I felt it was a conflict of interest with me running the contest.  Instead, I’ll just post my favorite birth image from Kennedi’s birth in 2011 here and share it with you guys….

Please go vote for your favorite image!

2012-02-15T21:07:06-05:00February 15th, 2012|Austin Photographer|

NEW WEBSITE: birthphotographers.com for IAPBP | Find A Birth Photographer

I am so excited to share this with you!  This has been a work in progress for months and months.  I’ve known this was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  And now, with the help of my very technically skilled husband, it is finally ready!  Be sure to scroll down for a quick Q&A!

FIND A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER | birthphotographers.com | IAPBP

What is birthphotographers.com?

It is a resource for parents.  Expectant parents who are looking for a birth photographer in their area.  It is a tool for photographers.  We can now bridge the gap between the people who want a birth photographer and the professionals who provide the service!  I’ve felt the need for this for SO long.  I get TONS of emails asking if I know somewhere in California, Michigan, just about every single state, every single week, sometimes daily!  Emails from women who desperately want their birth documented but they can’t find anyone to hire.  There are days I have a few minutes to help parents track down someone, but many days, with a busy business and three crazy kids, I just didn’t have the extra time.  Simply put, birthphotographers.com brings parents and photographers together!

What does IAPBP stand for?

International Association of Professional Birth Photographers

But wait, didn’t you already have a directory through your mentoring program and The Birth Experience?

Yes, but it was for members of my mentoring program only.  Looking at the bigger picture, not all birth photographers have a need, or perhaps the means, to be mentored and memberships were limited.  The Directory at birthphotographers.com is open to all photographers across the world.

What else does birthphotographers.com provide?

First and foremost, it is a Directory for parents to find a photographer in their area.  We also created a blog (yes, I will be blogging even more!) where I will post birth related articles.  We will have guest bloggers including doulas, midwives and other birth professionals posting on a wide range of topics.  There are several articles that I am writing on the ins and outs of hiring a professional birth photographer, and there is a detailed Resource Center that can help you find a midwife, doula or birth center in your area.  You will also find a suggested reading list!

What is a Feature on birthphotographers.com?

We will feature one birth photographer each month (it may become more frequent based on traffic).  Each feature includes an interview and images linked from the birthphotographers.com front page.  Emily Weaver Brown is our first featured birth photographer this month.  Check it out!  Once you are a member of IAPBP and your listing is active in the directory you can apply to be a Featured Photographer by filling out THIS FORM.

Features aren’t just for photographers though, we are also asking moms to submit their birth stories to be posted on the blog.  Who doesn’t love a good birth story?!  I sure do!!  We are looking for birth stories of every shape, size and variety.  We know each one is unique and can’t wait to hear all about yours.  If you are a mom with a birth story you want to share, you can send it to us HERE.

Is there a fee for parents to search the directory?

No.  It is 100% free.

Is there a fee for photographers to be added to the directory?

Yes, there is a small, one time fee of $10 to set up your listing and help defray the costs of running the site, hosting, etc.  This is not an annual fee.

What if I sign up and later change my business name or website address?  Will I be charged for a new listing?

No.  Just email me your new information and we’ll get your listing updated right away.

How long will it take for my listing to appear on birthphotographers.com once I pay?

I do my best to get them up as quickly as possible.  It should never take more than 48 hours.  Many times it will be much faster than that, but I am giving myself 48 hours just in case I am off photographing a birth.  If you don’t see it within 48 hours please email me at lstradtner@mac.com.

I am a photographer in Austin, can I be listed in the directory?

Of course!

Will you provide a logo to put on my site to show that I am a member of IAPBP?

Yes, it will be sent to you via email once your listing in the directory is posted.

Can I subscribe to the RSS feed for the new birthphotographers.com blog?

Yes, click here for the RSS feed link.

Is birthphotographers.com and IAPBP on Facebook?

Yes, you can see the fan page here.

If you have any other questions please post them in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.  I truly hope that this site is an amazing resource for parents and photographers that results in many births being documented!

Now go look at it already, I’m excited!!