How to prep your home for great birth photos
Home births and their photographs are filling the social media popularity walls - not only for freedom of choice but because they’re beautiful. Much like your reasons for choosing a home birth for your baby's delivery, home birth photos give you the flexibility and freedom to create the birth story you want.
Simply choosing to birth at home over a hospital isn’t the only action item you can to take for great photos. When it comes to home birth photos, there
Clear the clutter
While I love to embrace the reality of real life, not everyone loves the clutter that shows up in their photos. It's funny the things we don't notice till we see them documented. For. E. Ver.
Take the piles of stuff, clothes, and clutter and stick them in a laundry basket in the closet or other room. Be sure to pick up any dirty clothes off the floor because your bra in the corner of the room will end up in a photo.
I suggest doing the bulk of this work a week ahead of your due date, because in the moment, you won't care - but you will when it all ends up in the photos. Then when contractions start, pass off a honey-do chore to the hubby. It doesn’t have to be perfectly put away, just outta sight.
Move any unnecessary furniture
If it isn't something you will be using while you are laboring, just move it out. Stick it in another room where you won’t be going. This will give your birth team, partner, photographer, and YOU space to move around. Especially if it is something you don’t love, but have no where else to put.
After the birth and photo reveal, it is very common to hear “I should have just taken that out” from mothers (i.e., the blanket ladder in this picture.)
Choose the same color temperature light bulbs for every light source in the room.
This one is my favorite that NOBODY ever thinks about. It seems like such a simple, nonsense thing, but cameras see light. That’s all they do.
While temperature can be set in camera, multiple light bulbs with different temperatures create crazy, not-so-pretty, colors in photographs. Hospital birth photos are the prime example of this - mixing florescent lights with tungsten lights, creating a mix of orange and green light in your photos.
I set up these two side-by-side lamps right next to the wall so you can see the different color cast each bulb will throw during your home birth. The Standard tungsten bulb emits a warm orange pink tone, while the LED gives off a green tone.
Neither are incorrect, but choosing one solid light temperature for your birth room has a great impact on your photos and skin tones. Otherwise its a mix of yuck and fixing is a butt…for lack of a better term.
Please excuse this horrid cell phone pic, but it did a really good job of showing my point.
My favorite bulb temperature for photos is about 5000K bulbs (or daylight bulbs) which most closely match natural daylight - important if you give birth during the day and have light streaming in to the windows. If you’re purchasing LED bulbs, GE brand bulbs are known for great skin tones in photos.
Add some sheers
Window light is awesome! But that doesn't mean it's going to be perfect. Adding some sheers to the windows will diffuse the light coming though the window to create soft, even lighting. This is essentially like bringing in a giant soft box light to your photography your birth story.
Stretch flat for one layer of diffusion or bunch the curtains for windows with hard, bright light streaming in. No need to hang a curtain rod - some string and command hooks are all you need if you only want to use these for your home birth.
Using a birth tub? Place your tub in the middle of the room.
Placing your birth tub in the middle of the room will give your birth team, partner and birth photographer room to work around you and your tub. Placing your birth tub up against the wall or wedged into a corner will limit the available angles to shoot from, and any open areas will be filled with your birth team who need access to you.
By keeping as much of the area around the tub accessible, more and different angles and shots can be photographed (i.e. not just your back side.)
I know this is more to add to your already long home-birth to-do list but they really will make a difference on the end result of your birth story and liking them vs loving them. Thankfully, they are pretty simple and inexpensive things that don’t take much added time or effort to get done.
Want to make sure your birth is prepped to it’s optimum for your birth photos? Schedule a consultation to book your birth story and we’ll walk through your birth space together and create your custom plan for your birth photographs.