This is a brief day in the life / birth story.

I spent 12 hours with Agata & Robert; I started at their home where they spent the morning with their daughter Maja before heading off to the hospital for the caesarean section birth of their new son, Lenny.

Please note, there are stills from the real life birth in this film.  I think they are beautiful, but you may not want to watch when eating dinner.

As a family documentary photographer, I don’t think there is any more precious a moment to capture than the start of a new life.

I’ve been photographing Maja since her birth and I hope to continue the story now that Lenny is here.
This photo story starts with Maja and ends with Maja & Lenny.

I know from the connection between my own children how important they will be to each other, for the rest of their lives.

All photographs taken with Fujifilm X-Pro2 & X-T2 with XF23mm F2 and XF50mm F2 Lenses.  The F2 lenses were my obvious choice for this assignment.  Smaller, and quicker, than their 1.4 and 1.2 siblings (siblings….see what I did there?)

I absolutely and firmly believe that I would not have been given permission for this shoot, nor been comfortable shooting this, with a larger (and louder) DSLR system.

That doesn’t mean I couldn’t have done it of course.  There are many great examples of birth photography out there using other equipment than Mirrorless.

However, for me at least, using the electronic shutter and remaining 100% silent during this, the most precious of times…..the start of a life, was paramount.

You can see a bit more of my family photography, and more photo films from this series in fact (including Maja’s birth story) on my website.

I hope you enjoy this short Photofilm.  It’s best watched full screen and with audio enabled:

  • Alexei Vladykin

    I know that you love children very much! Thank you for humanity and art view, Kelvin!

  • Paul

    Strong pictures.
    Weren’t you afraid of banding using electronic shutter in that hospital lightning?

    • No banding. I always check the EVF for banding while shooting, and if it’s occurring, I’ll try and set the shutter speed to mitigate it….It’s never really anything I worry or think too much about.

  • David

    Hi Kevin, really nice shots!

    why not the x100f? Very quiet without even using the electronic shutter plus a lot smaller. Too slow maybe?

    Cheers
    David

    • Thanks, David. I decided to opt for interchangeable cameras that day as I wasn’t quite sure if I’d move to 16mm or not. The X100F would have done just as good a job though. The previous birth story I shot on the X100S.

  • So lovely. Made me cry!

    • Thanks & I’m glad you liked the film. It’s an incredible thing (for me) to be able to document such moments.

  • Hi Kevin,
    Really beautiful the video and the incredible photos, my congratulations. In this respect I would like to ask you, if the photos had done with the X100F, would you have achieved the same quality with the 23mm f2? And the other question is, the photos you took in some movie simulation or in STD and you got that result in the post process?

    Regards

    • Thanks, Sergio. Yes, pretty much the X100F would have yielded similar if not identical results to the images shot on the 23mm. The mono images were Acros and the colour ones were Provia (both edited slightly).

  • Neil Horner

    Fantastic ! I did a similar thing in March at the birth of my daughter Lily. Being there as a dad as well meant I did not get as many shots but it was still great to be able to document the whole process from the moment we arrived at the hospital until she was brought into this world ….

    • Thanks, Neil. And yes, I remember my own children coming into this world and it’s just not quite possible to be supportive dad and photographer at the same time 🙂

  • Stunning.
    I felt the honor you had shooting this momentum.
    Thanks for sharing.
    M

    • Thank you, Marion. I’m glad you liked it. And yes, it was an absolute honour to shoot it.

  • Lovely work Kevin. Having photographed a few surgical procedures myself I know how difficult theatre lights can be in terms of exposures.

  • I know I left a message on YT… but I’d like to echo those thoughts on here. Excellent work Kevin. This is a legacy piece like no other.

  • A priceless moment turned into a powerful and beautiful story. Bravo Kev, real life in it’s purest form 🙂

  • Having recently gone through this a year ago this really brought back memories. I’ll tell you one person who appreciated some of the photos was the doctor. We shared some with her and she was genuinely happy since a few were very similar to your documentary style and showed her work and process. Neat stuff as always Kevin.

    • Thanks, Scott. I believe the doctor has been gifted a print from a previous birth I photographed. I hope he likes it 🙂

  • Colin Bateley

    Brilliant.

  • Hi Kevin
    To be true: when I first read the topic ” birth” I was thinking Does it really need to be……? Now after I looked the pictures I think very different. I like the way you showed the arriving of a new human being in a very sympatic manner and I remembered the birth of our children some twenty years ago……
    As a Fuji XT2 newbie I love the look af the photos very well also. Big compliment for this very human story!

    Walter Frei, Switzerland

    • Thanks, Walter. Glad you enjoyed the photo film in the end 🙂

  • walker

    wonderful!
    welcome Lenny!

  • Very beautiful pictures Kevin. The AF speed of both lenses 23 1.4 and 56 1.2 would have been fast enough for this reportage. Greetings from Cologne, Sven.