Ever since announcing our pregnancy, the question has been asked time and time again and I think it's time I address it:
Will I, Rebecca Cook, have this birth photographed since I have photographed many births myself?
Well, the answer is a complicated one.
Many of you may not know but Jonathan and I were 19 when we welcomed our little Lacie into this world. Jonathan had gotten his very first job at Kokosing with pay barely above minimum wage and I was so sick the entire pregnancy, it wasn't possible for me to hold a job since I was constantly sick, every single day.
We were broke. We were really young. We had no idea what the world held for us but I had a passion to have our lives documented even though we had NO money to do so. Hiring a birth photographer would have cost half of a month's worth of income for us at that time and also, I didn't know birth photographers existed either. So instead of having a birth photographer for our first pregnancy, we had my mom and a point and shoot camera. That was it. With that, my mom and her point and shoot captured moments for us that I will treasure FOREVER. I think she also had fun capturing her first grandbaby's birth too.
Fastforward to five years later.... We are 24 and not as super broke as we used to be. We planned this pregnancy around my weddings I had booked, the timing had to be perfect (yep, you read that right... dedicated aren't we? haha) But as I looked at a positive pregnancy test in a Cincinnati hotel room on our anniversary trip, my first question to Jonathan was 'So do we hire a birth photographer?' (Oh yes, he rolled his eyes at me, FOR SURE.)
After a long talk, we realized that we would NOT have this birth photographed by a professional. Would I love to have one? Yes. Can I find a wonderful one? YES! There are so many talented people who photograph births in the area. But was it fair to Lacie? Not at all. I thought about the stories of people who always said 'Well my parents didn't do this with me but did with my sibling.' and I didn't want that for either of my children. From day one of this pregnancy, Jonathan and I went into this auto-parent-of-two mode and started planning and thinking really hard about trying to be fair to both kids.
Instead of a birth photographer, Jonathan and I opted for a 'Fresh 48' shoot. If you're not familiar, this is a shoot for clients to have a photographer come into the hospital AFTER the baby is born to take family pictures in that hospital setting. We thought this was perfect for our situation. I really wanted that hospital feel in the images and Jonathan and I both wanted images of Lacie meeting her little brother for the very first time. (I'm so beyond excited for that part, I almost cried just typing it out!)
In the end, pictures are so incredibly important. We look back at images to remember history, loved ones, and just plain old funny/stupid/happy/hilarious/beautiful moments. An occasion should never force you to have photographs taken, they should be taken all the time to document a journey. I once read a quote that said something along the lines of, your headstone has the date you were born and the date you die written on it but it's the dash in between the two that matters most. The same goes for photographs. You shouldn't have just newborn pictures, seniors pictures, and wedding pictures done in your lifetime because your life is so much more than just three events.
Before I was a photographer, I was someone who believed that life should be documented. Heavily.