If ever there is a moment you can clock off from your career, it’s when you’re in the throes of labour right? Even though photographers are known to go to extraordinary lengths to get the perfect shot, we’re sure most draw the line at documenting their own birth experience.
Not Californian photographer Lisa Robinson-Ward. Usually a wedding and portrait snapper, she most admirably pushed through her pain (pun totally intended) to take a series of photos capturing her own labour and delivery.
The pregnancy was a welcome surprise for Lisa and her husband who had tried for years, suffering two miscarriages along the way, to give their nine-year-old son a sibling, she tells Huffington Post.
Lisa says she thought photographing her daughter’s birth would be a calming distraction.
“I had my mind set on doing it, but I wasn’t sure I’d actually be able to pull it off,” she says.
Well, she did, capturing in exquisite detail a side of childbirth rarely remembered.
“I had been having contractions on and off for a week, then my water broke at 3am. We grabbed our things, and the camera, and got into the car to go to the hospital – thankfully it wasn’t a long drive. When we got there, I was shaking with every single contraction and at one point I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m going to be able to hold the camera’,” she tells Huffington Post.
“In between contractions, I was able to take photos of what I saw around me – the IV, the monitors, stuff like that. But it was intense.”
Lisa says she asked her doctor earlier on in the pregnancy if he’d mind her photographing the birth.
“He was all for it. But when he came into the room and saw that I had a camera right in my face, I think he was kind of amazed.” she says.
“I took pictures while I pushed! When I was ready to push, I’d bring my hands and the camera up to my face. I didn’t know what I was getting at the time, and I didn’t know if anything was going to be in focus. But it helped me focus.”
“Part of me worried that if I was taking photos, I was not going to really be there. But I was totally there. I was so present when she was coming out of me.
“When I look back at these photos, I can remember exactly how I felt. I can relive the moment my daughter was born.”
“I loved seeing my husband’s face the moment he saw our daughter for the first time. He was crying. He was just so happy,” she writes.
“I know that I’m lucky. I had a really easy labor and delivery… Our daughter is really easy going. She’s mellow. She sleeps! She’s a happy baby.”
Take a look at Lisa’s original post for even more images of baby Anora’s arrival.
It is amazing methods people are finding to capture births in new and interesting ways such as this dad who used a GoPro camera to capture his wife’s labour and daughter’s birth.