EDMONTON – Thanks to social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, it’s not uncommon to see a marriage proposal, a couple’s first dance or wedding video go viral. But now, the once private experience of childbirth is also being made public by some who are choosing to document the important life event in a new way.
Stephanie Scade and her husband Sean, both photographers, are among those who made the decision to invite a fellow professional to capture their daughter’s birth back in December.
“At first I didn’t want anyone else in the room. I thought Sean could just take the pictures,” Stephanie explains. But as she started getting more excited about going through labour, she realized she didn’t want her or her husband to miss a moment.
While Sean was immediately on board with bringing in a photographer to capture Stephanie’s labour, not everyone was as quickly sold on the idea.
“(My mother) thought it was crazy, because it’s such an intimate process,” Stephanie admits. “It’s just something that’s kind of newer I guess.”
The new mother doesn’t have any regrets about having friend and fellow photographer Kelsy Nielson in the hospital room, though.
“I knew that I could tell her ‘I don’t want anything graphic. I just want what was going on with us, I don’t want you to show all the details.’ And so I trusted her completely not to do that.”
The result: “I was able to come back to the labour and remember the good parts,” Stephanie says. “I was able to look at it and just be excited about how we did and how great of a team we were, and how exciting that night was.”
“There’s a couple (shots) of (Neko) right when she was first born that are just priceless, but there are also a few where Sean’s holding my hands and a few where he’s looking like he’s actually really proud of what I’m doing, which was neat to see.
“And there’s one I guess when I saw her for the first time, I didn’t even know that was me because that was such a crazy face, but it’s pretty sweet to see that reaction again.”
“I was a little worried that people would say ‘why would you put that on Facebook. It’s a little bit personal.’ And it is personal, but it was a really, really great part of our lives that people get to see.”
In the end, even Stephanie’s mom came around.
“When she saw the pictures she was in tears and loved it and thought it was fantastic.”
For those considering to hire a photographer to document their child’s birth, Stephanie has the following advice:
“Just like any other photographer you choose, you want to make sure you have a good connection with them. And because labour is such a big moment in your life, I would make sure you know the person coming in there and not just that they can take a good picture.”
When it comes to birth photography, prices range, but it is important to keep in mind the photographer is basically on-call and could be at the hospital for hours, so that has to be reflected in how much he or she will charge.
With files from Erin Chalmers, Global News