There are probably few more joyous occasions to photograph than the birth of a child. There are likely also few harder situations to bring a camera to — just think about the logistics of not knowing when the event will take place, how long it will take, and where (if it is happening in a hospital) you'll be allowed to photograph! For Ava Hristova of Zemya Photography, it's the nature of the job. A newborn photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ava has seen it all.
"Photographing a birth is such an indescribable experience," she shares. "There are unanticipated moments that bare so much emotion. I dare any person that describes themselves as staunch to witness and not feel their heart swell up and release through tears."
That's what happened when Ava photographed her client Charmaine Mirsky's C-section birth. Ava spent the day with Charmaine and her husband, photographing the scene as they awaited her operation. "We waited, joking around and generally killing time on Facebook," Ava shared. "Although C was contracting, luckily her only discomfort came from the IV tethered to her arm, and the little boy that was still doing flips in her belly."
But for the actual delivery, the photographer was not allowed in the operating room. For that portion of the day, the dad-to-be was given camera responsibilities. "I understand hospital practices for limiting the number of support people in the OR," Ava shared. "[But] I have to admit it makes me sad. Whenever you put a camera to your face, you assume the role of documentarian and step away from experiencing the moment. You're in it, and you feel it, but removed. It's just not the same."
As for the best moment of the day, "When [they] told her family their son's name for the very first time, and the meaning behind it — that was powerful. It's a moment I won't forget!" Keep reading to see how Ava photographed the day, creating a photo diary the family will look back at for years to come!