Giving birth can sometimes be a blur, especially when it comes to the first few moments after birth when you get to meet your newborn for the very first time. Birth photographers Bel Pangburn and River Bennett from Sydney, Australia, have dedicated their entire careers to capturing those brief, fleeting moments between parents and their babies through The First Hello Project.
Both Bel and River are freelance photographers with their own personal websites who decided to take on a new challenge together when The First Hello began. They had been bouncing ideas off of each other when River shared that photographing a birth was on her bucket list.
After capturing a birth together, they couldn't stop talking about photographing "that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when a parent meets their child for the first time," and knew they were onto something — and so The First Hello Project was born.
"It's a profound honor to be in that intimate, highly emotive space and it's one we don't take lightly," Bel told POPSUGAR Moms. "We both deeply believe people everywhere are hungry to see the real beauty of humanity. So to share these images of such purity has been a complete thrill."
When asked about their favorite birth story so far, Bel said that there have been so many incredible moments. "But recently we had the privilege of documenting a father delivering his daughter with his own hands," she said. "The obstetrician was carefully directing him from behind and it was stunning to watch this father, with tears in his eyes, welcome his daughter into the world."
The pair's ability to capture the raw emotion that comes with a parent finally meeting their baby for the first time leaves their clients with powerful images they can cherish forever. "Delivering the images to the new parents is what fulfills us the most," Bel said. "Through the journey of birth we always develop a really special connection with the couple, so to present them with the photographs of them meeting their child for the first time is just so meaningful. They always cry as they look through them (as do we!) and can't thank us enough. We know that those images will be treasured for a lifetime!"
Scroll through to see some of Bel and River's stunning birth photos, which all capture that beautiful first hello.