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Through the Lens of Birth Photography

My name is Diana Hinek and I am a professional Birth Photographer and Doula serving the West Los Angeles area.
Often people stop in their track when they hear what I do -“You photograph what??”, so I wanted to talk about what the experience of birth photography might look like from both behind the lens and from a subject point of views.
 
In this capture by ArtShaped Photography and Birth Services mother and father celebrate with a kiss the birth of their first baby, moments after meeting her earth-side.
 
Mothers choose ( hopefully) where to birth their babies; so the first requirement to be a good birth photographer is to invest in a good DSRL camera and lens so that whether mom decides to meet her baby under the bright spot lights of a hospital room or in the darkness of her closet ( mama cats!), It will be possible to capture her birth journey and provide them with good quality digitals and prints.
To be a birth photographer takes lots of skills, patience, knowledge and flexibility – mentally and physically. I have been called to a birth whilst in the middle of the most inconvenient times: concerts, my children birthday parties, holidays, airplane landing, teacher/parents conferences, hairdresser appointments and I have had to climb furniture, balance on toilet seats and bath tubs in order to get a good shot of mom and her family.
 

In this color image by ArtShaped Photography a newborn baby sleeps on his side on a cosy blanket and surrounded by baseballs.

It is a very emotional, physically exhausting and engaging profession that is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is also extremely rewarding because I get to witness the miracle of life, the whole spectrum of emotions embodying a woman’s heart during her process of becoming a mother.

Often we need to remind mothers that for every labor surge she has to breath through, there a break in between where she can gather herself as shown in this West Los Angeles labor picture by Artshaped photography.

It is the most sacred experience and closest to the divine, besides giving birth. No matter how many times I have walked into the birth space and attended the love fest party of a family giving birth, I always leave high on happy hormones, with a heart full joy for the hope that a new life may bring to the world.

Right after birth this baby is resting on his mother's chest with his eyes closed and looking beautiful and pink. Photographed by Artshaped photography in west Los Angeles.

In a way I am also the first person in the room who has a clear sense of the story that just unfolded; as often while OBs nurses, midwives and doulas are busy delivering their tasks and fulfilling their roles, aka taking care of mom and baby, I get to notice details such as daddy’s tears, or the sunset light entering the room, the expression of siblings, relatives and best friends present at the birth. The reaction of pets. The first touch between mom and baby and the surprise in her face in discovering she just birthed her fourth boy!

In this black and white photo, Artshaped photography captures the emotions of the first bond between mon and her baby, while dads looks over them with a loving smile,Above are few images gathered from different births that I loved attending and that I feel honored to have captured through my lens.