'Birth Photography' Gaining Popularity

The photographers and their clients have grown accustomed to puzzled looks and probing questions (Pictures of what, exactly?). But their rationale is simple: If you are going to document a child's every bite of mushed banana as if it were a historical event, does it not make sense that his or her entrance into the world be photographed by a professional?

"I want to see that moment when I'm in labor," said Rhisie Hentges of Long Beach, Calif., who paid $1,895 to have Briana Kalajian, a co-owner of Shoots and Giggles Photography, document the birth of her first child. "That moment when both my husband and I look to see what the sex is? That's something that I want to see happen." (As it happened, she had a Caesarean section last week, and the photographer was not allowed in the operating room, although she got many artful shots of the before and after.)

Shelly Kuhn, a family portrait photographer from Tonawanda, N.Y., has Photoshopped clients' sonogram images onto their maternity shoots several times, and sees it as an artistic portrayal of pregnancy.

"Clients have asked me for it. Women love seeing what their children look like on their belly, they find it intriguing," Kuhn told The Daily. "I would love to do more of these. But there is a debate over whether it's morbid and disgusting or beautiful."

Image: Pregnant woman in the hospital, via Shutterstock.

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