Sunshine Coast Daily Newspaper 10th April 2013
Birth of a new style of family photography
“BREATHE, breathe, now push, I can see the head. Don’t forget to smile.”
Years ago, birth photography would have been considered taboo, but documenting that precious moment of welcoming a newborn into the world has become more common over the last six months, with photographers becoming a part of the theatre room furniture.
Sunshine Coast Private Hospital obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr James Orford said while photographing or videoing a birth wasn’t new, allowing a professional to capture the special moment was, as it was traditionally done by the father or a family member. Dr Orford said he was welcome to the idea and from the recent experiences he’d had with birth photographers, found them to be “pretty unobtrusive people”. “They’re not taking over the situation, they’re out of the way,” he said. “For the first couple, I thought they were support people (for the mother-to-be), they had a really good relationship with the woman.”
Dr Orford has worked alongside Noosa photographer Rebecca Colefax, who said she had experienced an increase in the number of parents interested in birth photography. “It comes down to a couple of things, it’s being promoted now and the other reason is women are increasingly becoming more confident with their choices,” she said. “Birth photography isn’t for everybody, but it can be an amazing part of somebody’s life.
“I’ve had three children, I’ve also done uni degrees, won Australian Tiles and a world title in my sport. “I documented the uni degree when I graduated, I documented winning the world title in kite surfing, but I didn’t document the most memorable and amazing experiences, which was my three children and their births.“That’s what brought me to this situation and why I’d like to offer this service to people, I regret not having those moments captured.”
Rebecca said what the parents wanted photographed was up to them and it was done very discreetly. “It’s about capturing an amazing moment in time, one that goes by in the blink of an eye, hopefully parents will look back on their images with great memories and fondness,” she said. “I feel really honoured and privileged to be invited into their space, into their journey. “I thoroughly respect what the parent’s wishes are, while I’m there I don’t have flashes or tripods and I don’t have my camera pinned to my face for the whole labour, if I need to help or support, I can be there.”
From her experience, Rebecca felt birth photography could also help in dealing with post-natal depression, as the mother could see how beautiful her birth was. Women in labour tend to be very focused so don’t remember much of what was going on around them, the images show her just how strong she was. “It can be beneficial in a lot of ways,” she said.
Health Reporter Sunshine Coast Daily
A very special thank you to Brooke Hodgins and Sylvia Kaiser-Burkhardt for allowing me to share their images. Big love and hugs to you both xxxx