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First moments captured…

One of the biggest trends across the globe is birth photography. Parents all over the world are hiring professional photographers to capture those precious moments during childbirth so that they can focus on the important tasks at hand. We sat down with Durban’s first accredited birth photographer, Darian Ryan, to learn more about how it works and what it’s like to document the moment a new life enters the world.

 

“As a mom to the most amazing human, birth photography makes perfect sense to me. I only wish that I could go back in time 23 years ago to when I was pregnant so that I could hire a birth photographer. Sadly, I cannot, and even if I could, birth photography was not a genre back then but, today it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to document the birth story. It’s about the moments before your life changes forever. It’s about the expressions and emotions of seeing and holding your baby for the first time.”

CHASING A DREAM…
A professional photographer specialising in black and white portrait photography, Darian first came across birth photography a few years ago, and back then it evoked such emotion in her that she immediately knew it was something she wanted to pursue. When the pandemic rendered her unable to travel, she returned to SA and did just that. “I chased my dream, passed my exams with flying colours and joined the South African Birth Photographers Association becoming the first birth photographer in Durban.”

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THE VALUE OF A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER…
“One of the biggest milestones in a parent’s life is the moment that their baby enters the world. With all that is going on, there are details that you forget. Babies change quickly in their first few hours. The father should be able to relax and give the mom support instead of having to worry about taking photos. A birth photographer captures those priceless expressions and emotions and the details that you miss.”
A typical day…
“I keep my phone on me at all times when I am on call. All my gear and scrubs are prepared so that I can grab it at a moment’s notice. I try to blend into the background once I get to the birth. It’s important to be quiet and not disturb mom. Being a mom, I know how sacred the birth space is and am totally respectful of that during a birth session. I understand the flow of birth so I know exactly how to position myself so that I am not in the way but still able to capture the important images. A birth session with me is not posed or staged and is totally non-invasive. After the birth, I get home and immediately edit a few photos to send to mom and dad so that they can use them for the birth announcement. As time goes by and memories start to fade, these photos will be treasured for a lifetime.”

MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS…
“Seeing a baby take its first breath is such an emotional experience for me.”

TOUGH TIMES…
“Birth can be very unpredictable. There is typically no predetermined time for when it will happen or how long it will last. It may be a few hours or it may be days. I am on call for 24 hours a day, every day for sometimes up to a month. I would rather wake up for a false start than miss the birth.”

THINGS PREGNANT MOTHERS SHOULD KNOW…
“SABPA accredited photographers have an oath of conduct to adhere to. Mom and babies safety is of the utmost importance to us. Book a photographer that you are comfortable with. This is one of the most important moments of your life so your photographer needs to be someone that you can trust.”

HOW GRAPHIC WILL THE PHOTOS BE…
“That is up to you. I only capture images parents are comfortable with. I can shoot from behind mom’s shoulder or from the doctor/midwife’s perspective. This is discussed when finalizing the booking.”

If THERE ISN’T a birth photographer in YOUR AREA AND YOU want to DIY it…
“Relax, don’t worry about posing. Be sure to get a family photo. The story does not end with delivery. Capture the first few moments of baby’s life. Must have shots include the first look from mom, cutting the umbilical cord, skin to skin with dad, baby being measured.”

Details: Darian: 073 222 8675, [email protected]

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