Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/28

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Baby Photos
From: "Ted Grant" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2001 07:17:04 -0800
References: <> <> <>

"Nathan Wajsman wrote:  Subject: Re: [Leica] Baby Photos

> When my first child was born 11 years ago, I brought my entire outfit to
> delivery room (a couple of Pentax SLRs plus assorted lenses). Because my
> labor lasted many hours, there was plenty of time to lay it all out on a
table in
> a corner of the room, ensure that everything was ready etc. The
> turned out to be into photography as well, so we had a nice chat about
that. But
> when the labor became serious I forgot all about photography and just
> on helping my wife. And when the big moment came and I saw my son for the
> time, I was so moved that I forgot all about pictures and the doctor had
to remind
> me to take a couple of shots!<<<<<<<

Hi Nathan,
I usally have 4 cameras with different lenses, but all the same film, B&W.
bag is on the floor in the corner & cameras hanging around my body.

I work in this fashion simply because I've arrived at the hospital with the
mother and cameras hanging at the ready as I've had the event over in less
than 20 minutes. Other times it's 12 hours later before delivery or a
complication has occured and venue site switched to an OR instead of
birthing room. And I've changed clothes to OR greens.

My most difficualt time at the big moment is not to get all emotional, even
though the mother is a stranger. Each time I've shot a bambino's arrival I
get kind of choked up it's such a marvelous thing. In some cases after the
woman has had a difficult time and I've suffered along with her, my emotions
are at a high. And being the emotional jerk I am, I've had to keep shooting
with tears streaming down my cheeks due to my happy feelings for the mother.

> The moral of this story is that pictures are at best secondary and that it
> not really matter what you bring. <<<<<<

I agree with you whole heartedly, as the father isn't the person to shoot
the pictures unless they want a few happy snaps after it's over and the baby
is wrapped and cuddly. I was shooting one with the father insisting he would
also shoot as he wanted the baby emerging, that was cool by me as I don't
believe in baby emerging pictures!  Quite often it's just a bloody mess and
who really wants to be looking at your wife's bottom in any case!

At the moment the head came out the father put the camera to his eye and
promptly fainted at the sight! A couple of extra nurses had to be called to
get him out of the way and out of the room.

>>>>I am not sure if I would want a stranger in the delivery room at such a
> moment, and I do not see the need for a whole bunch of pictures anyway.
Ted's case
> is special, he was working on a project to document the medical

Nathan, one question? Have you ever thought that everyone else is a stranger
but you? And they see much more than the photographer. ;-)

And the pictures I shoot as a photojournalist are family oriented and very
moving, heart warming and after the many I've done I've never had a mother &
father say anything but praise at the end result as a documentary of the
day. In some cases two or three times with the same couple.

What I create in the end is a 50 to 60 picture documentary portfolio of the
hand holdiing, stroking of the head, wiping the brow with a cool towel,
attention of the nurses during labour, the smiles and tears of the couple
and one trys never to miss the ultimate moment of the baby being held up for
the parents and in particular, the mother's first look at the baby.
> When my daughter was born 6 years later, I do not recall even having a
camera with
> me at the hospital. Things went so quickly this time that I would not have
had any
> time for pictures anyway.<<<<<

And that's just why you need an experienced shooter there allowing you full
attention to your wife.

I've had calls from women, complete strangers, who've seen my Sir William
Osler book on the medical profession or a birthing portfolio of a friend,
asking me would I photograph their birthing . One girl was a little
apprehensive about me being a stranger, but when I showed her a series on a
previous birth she was in tears and almost begging me to do hers, as she
thought it was the most beautiful series of pictures she'd ever seen. And
nothing like what she imagined they'd be.

Three children later! yep everyone of them. :-)

So Nathan on the next one maybe I should just come along and do a shoot for
you and your good wife. ;-)
Ted Grant Photography Limited

In reply to: Message from (Re: [Leica] Baby Photos)
Message from "B. D. Colen" <> (Re: [Leica] Baby Photos)
Message from Nathan Wajsman <> (Re: [Leica] Baby Photos)