According to a CTV news story, the Fraser Health Authority in B.C. is saying no to contract baby photographers and I, for one, say good riddance.
Let me explain why. I've had the privilege to partake in the birth experience at both the Fraser Health and Coastal Health institutions. I've had the pleasure of complete strangers who were not doctors or nurses barging into my room moments after I expelled my progeny asking if I wanted photos of them. And why would I NOT want adorable photos of this new miracle of life. How can you say no when you haven't slept in 48 hours and can't sit down because your nether regions feel like hamburger and you are consumed with crazy-making hormones?
How about when the photographer barges into your room at 7 a.m. after you've gone through a night of induced labour to deliver the baby that was already dead? Yes, that happened to me.
The day before, I had been casually sent by my Ob/Gyn for an ultrasound. The panicked technician then hurriedly sent me back to the specialist who told me there was no heartbeat and sadly my boy number three was dead at 25 weeks. From there it was an agonizing call to my husband and then off to Burnaby General Maternity where they hurried me into a corner labour room to start being induced.
Seventeen hours later, I held and said goodbye to my little boy and then returned to my room for some rest. Then the cheery and pushy photographer barged in to ask me about baby pictures. To put it nicely: Not cool.
Yes, contracted photographers apparently do donate part of their profits to the hospitals, which we all know is needed. But I have to say, I think there are better ways to earn a buck. The photos that I had taken of my first two children by these "professionals'" were frankly horrific and did not make it into any baby books and are only ever brought out for a chuckle.
I don't know about you, but I was barely rational after the birth of my children and neither was my shell-shocked husband. We were gullible and easy targets for pushy photographers barging into our private time with our newborns. Or as that photographer found out, barging willy nilly into my time of greatest grief.
The news report stated that photography like this was a dying breed due to our age of digital cameras and smart phones. Perhaps they are. Perhaps instead, people are learning that some patience and time ALONE with their babies is precious.
Or perhaps the powers that be are easing up on the blast into epic consumerism that is having a baby. A maternity ward where the hustle and bustle leaves you barely a moment to think, let alone focus is hardly the place to decide what sort of baby photography you want. There are loads of really great baby photographers out there. Why not wait until you are home to 'professionally' record the first few days of your new arrival?