Acclaimed birth photographers Selena Rollason and Victoria Berekmeri, both based in Australia, specialize in capturing the incredible first moments of a child’s life. They want their photography to show just how beautiful childbirth is.
Rollason believes that birth photography helps moms process the experience, saying, “Birth is very much something we can’t control. [Photographs] help women who had a traumatic birth process what’s happened and look on it in a positive way.”
“It not only shows how strong they are, it helps society understand that birth is beautiful and shouldn’t be feared.”
“I would love to see a reversal in that societal preconception that childbirth is an awful experience. At the end of the day, my images show it’s not.”
Berekmeri thinks that her birth photography plays an important role in educating people about childbirth.
“It’s opening up questions to women and they’re beginning to understand there are variations of normal in birth.”
“It’s helping women to make empowered decisions and ask empowering questions.”
Berekmeri and Rollason came first and second, respectively, in the recent Australian Photography Awards, with the images in this article commended for their power and beauty.
But the photographers have courted controversy in the past, with one of Berekmeri’s images showing a woman giving birth on all fours being removed from an exhibition.
Not that she’s bothered: “I feel like the social value of sharing what this looks like has so much more potential than the short term offenses that certain people might find.”
Both photographers also think their work has particular value for new fathers, charting all the complex emotions that men also feel during the birth of their child.
“Men can get quite emotional when they see birth photography and see themselves in birth photography,” says Berekmeri.
“It’s such a mind-shifting experience for them they first time they become a dad.”
But above all, these stunning shots show the very human reality of childbirth which is, above all, love. As the photographers say, the “bird’s eye view” helps partners value each other as a family.
Simply put by Berekmeri: “It makes you value what’s important in life.”