Having a photo shoot may not be the most glamorous of activities for a woman giving birth, but they are becoming a more common request according to a Dapto professional photographer.
For Natalie Rachlewicz, it has helped her get noticed by industry professionals and in turn be approached to head the new Illawarra/South Coast chapter of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers.
Mrs Rachlewicz has only worked on a handful of full birthing photo shoots, but said they were the most rewarding type to be involved with as you only get one chance to do it right.
“Even though I don’t do them very often they’re just so special,” she said, choking back tears.
“Doing a portrait or newborn shoot, if you get it wrong you can do it again. But you can’t redo a birth.”
Her birthing sequence called Amelia – with the centerpiece a little girl and her reactions to the home birth of her new brother Judah – was recognised recently at state level awards by the AIPP.
Mrs Rachlewicz chose to show the hour-and-a-half birth through the eyes of the child rather than through the usual perspective of the parents.
Doing a portrait or newborn shoot, if you get it wrong you can do it again. But you can’t do redo a birth.Natalie Rachlewicz
She said the timeless images also help parents with the postpartum, especially first-time mums and dads who may be finding parenthood tough.
“About six weeks in when that really hard bit kicks in, to go back and have a look at those pictures it really helps them … and kind of soothes the soul,” the mother-of-two said.
However it was Mrs Rachlewicz’ dark and ominous portraits of children which earned her second prize in the national competition.
“My fine arts is something I adore and gives me a similar emotional connection without all the blood,” she laughed.
The Dapto photographer has just begun a new role as the head of the recently established Illawarra/South Coast chapter by the AIPP, with the aim to assist networking and professional development in the industry.
“As part of their regional outreach to professional photographers who are accredited they have started regional chapters,” she said.
Mrs Rachlewicz said self-employed people in creative industries often struggled with keeping their finances and business in order, so was excited to be part of the support network.
“Everybody has the same struggles, everybody has the same issues,” she said.
“We can help each other out with everyone’s different versions of knowledge.”
According to their website, the AIPP advocates for excellence in imaging and is the membership organisation of choice for professional and aspiring image makers.