mom and dad with newborn baby

Dads are great. They tell dad jokes, they fix booboos, they read bedtime stories, and they play pretend way better than mom (at least this mom). But there is one thing that dads should not be: the birth photographer for their newborn child’s birth. Why, you say? Aren’t they already there, armed with a camera in their pocket, ready to capture the moment? Perhaps, but here are 3 reasons why Dad should just sit back and let the professional do it.

Why shouldn’t Dad be the birth photographer?

Reason #1: Support

I have this written on my website in probably a hundred different places, but BIRTH IS HARD! Having someone there to support you during your birth is so, so important. And if Dad is that person, then he should be supporting you. 100%, fully committed. He shouldn’t be worried about his phone in his pocket. He shouldn’t be letting go of your hand to grab it. He shouldn’t be stopping the massage he was giving you so he can tell you to look at him for a photo (probably during a contraction, no less). Dad should be focused on helping you get through this labor and delivery. Pictures should be the last thing on his mind.

Reason #2: Cherished Moments

My birth clients will all tell you the same thing. Some of their favorite pictures from their session are of them with their birth partner and their birth partner with their baby. Without photos to remember them, years from now, those memories will be lost. Dad cannot take those pictures. He cannot capture the moments that he is a part of. Those small touches on the back as you have a contraction, the look of wonder in his eyes as he holds his child for the first time, those are moments that he cannot capture, and they are the most precious moments for many moms.

Reason #3: Quality

These pictures are some of the very few photos that I have of my children’s births. My husband took them with his cell phone. Cell phones are amazing, and having a camera in your pocket wherever you go has made it possible to keep memories that you never would have been able to before. But there is one thing that most cell phone photos have in common. They’re generally pretty terrible pictures. They’re great to remember the moment, but they are not of great quality. Your birth memories should be high-quality photos, not grainy, poorly-lit ones.


What if Dad has a nice camera? What if he is a hobbyist photographer? Surely then, right? Not necessarily. Not all cameras are created equal. Births are dark, in general, and you need a camera with great low-light performance. You don’t get great low-light performance until you get a professional camera with a wide-aperture lens. Not only that, but working in low light conditions takes loads of practice, and most hobbyist photographers haven’t done much of it. So even if dad thinks he’s good with a camera, chances are he doesn’t have the practice and skill level necessary to really bring your newborn child’s birth photos to life.

In the end, of course, the decision is yours, but the best quality photos and the best birth experience are going to come from hiring a professional. As they say, you get what you pay for.

So what do you think? Should Dad be your birth photographer? Let me know in the comments below.

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