I didn't realize how hard it would be to choose just TEN images from the whole year until I started going back through my archives! To be honest, I probably could have chosen ten per birth for this particular category - each birth experience is so different and the images truly tell the story of a woman's journey to bring her baby into the world.
Birth Photography is an intimate specialty. Not only do you have to be well versed in different lighting situations and maneuver quietly and stealthily in a hospital or home environment so as not to disturb the laboring mother, her support team, and the staff (if in a hospital), but you also have to read body language and cues well. After photographing births for nearly 2 years, I feel as though I know when to take a step back and put the camera down and when to keep the camera in my hand because things are going to move quickly. It's a delicate balance between knowing when to snap that perfect moment's photo and when to allow for privacy or modesty.
But the emotion captured in the images from births takes my breath away. There is something so raw and so deep about the moments surrounding the birth of a child...and being privileged enough to witness and capture it? Priceless. Enjoy my top 10...okay, 11...favorite birth images of 2011.
And I had to add this one of last week's Christmas birth. It isn't often that I am allowed or able to capture this moment, so when I am, I take full advantage!