Very few photographers have a job as special as what Melissa Ter Meer does
. Melissa gets to photograph new life being born. Birth photography is a relatively new genre, but is quickly gaining popularity. As a mother, I wish I would have had the insight to hire a photographer for the birth of my daughter to catch all of the moments I didn’t even realize were happening. Attention to detail and patience are a requirement, but both come naturally to Melissa. She has a way of showcasing emotional connections with such a delicacy that you almost feel like you are being let in on a secret when you view her images. In the highly unlikely event that I would decide to have more children, I would definitely make sure Melissa was there with me.
1. What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?
The most rewarding part of my job is definitely seeing the reactions on my clients’ faces when they see their images for the first time. When they say that I have given them memories of moments they didn’t even know were happening during the crazy moments of their session, it makes me feel like I did something significant for another person.
2. What inspires you?
LIGHT, MY CHILDREN, MUSIC, LOVE, AND BOOKS.
3. How do you prepare for photographing a birth? What challenges do you encounter because of not know when the moms will go into labor?
Preparing for a birth is always a little nerve wracking, the biggest challenge is overcoming the anxiety that I will miss it for some reason. The most important thing is communication with my clients, I make sure that they are contacting me regularly with updates on how they are feeling, how their appointments have gone. I make sure that 2 weeks before their EDD (estimated due date ) I am on call so I always have batteries charged and equipment ready to go, my phone on, a back up, as well as child care at a moments notice. You never know when you are going to get that call, it will most likely be in the middle of the night!
4. What’s your favorite lens to shoot with?
My two go to lenses at the moment are my 24-70 2.8 and my 50 1.4 (dying for a 35 1.4 though)
5. What advice would you give to someone wanting to get in to birth photography?
My advice to anyone wanting to start out shooting births would have to be make sure you are passionate about it. It’s more than just going there and shooting the moments you have to LOVE doing this especially when you’re in your 8th hour at the birth waiting and trying to stay awake and focused. Lighting is also critical, you never know when you might have to rely on bouncing flash at a really dark birth, or have not even be able to bounce in respect of the mother and the birth environment.
Check out some of Melissa’s awesome work below, including an awesome slideshow that she makes for her clients. More of her photos can be seen on Facebook
, and Vimeo.