One photographer from the Netherlands is gaining a following for portraying babies as though they are still in the womb.
Marry Fermont, 35, of Fermont Fotografie became the first photographer in the Netherlands to specialize in these “birth photos.”
Fermont initially studied to become a midwife but, after completing part of her training, had the idea to begin a career in birth photography–the practice of attending a child’s birth and documenting the experience on camera–which combined her photography hobby with her love of childbirth.
She now spends her days photographing newborns, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to rush to a couple’s side.
In 2011, as she photographed her first newborn, the couple’s midwife, who was also present, showed the parents how the baby was positioned inside the womb. Fermont took a photo of the baby curled up.
“I loved this photo so much,” Fermont said. “I noticed it was so nice for the parents to see!”
Fermont has since become known for her pictures of newborn children posed as if still inside the womb. She tries to capture this type of photo whenever possible, and says that a lot of parents request it after seeing her portfolio. Fermont, or a midwife, show the parents how to coax the baby into the position.
“You get a lot of oooh’s and aaah’s once it’s shown to them,” Fermont says.
“Just after birth [babies] can fold themselves, really curl up, the way they were before they were born,” Fermont wrote in a post on her blog. “Most of the time babies relax in this position, they feel secure again like inside [the womb]. When they grow older, it’s harder and harder for them to curl up this way.”
And while sometime the parents request that the midwife hold the child in the photograph, Fermont says “it makes is just a little more special if the dad does it.”
Fermont also teaches birth photography workshops, training others to capture images of the magical moment when a child enters the world.
“There is nothing more beautiful than the birth of a baby,” Fermont says.
Over the the last few years, she has been present for 100 births–99 taking place before her own child was born as baby 100.
Photographer Lobke Koppens, who she trained, captured the moment when her daughter Liv was born in July. Denny, Fermont’s boyfriend, held Liv in the special pose while Koppens snapped a photo.
“[I]t made me realize even more how important photos are,” Fermont says of becoming a mother. “Not only to remember one of the most special moments in your life, but also to process the birth and everything that happened.”
More of Fermont’s birth photography can be seen on her Facebook page.