Photography is all about capturing a moment in time, and for many people that time is a happy one. Whether it’s a wedding, engagement, birthday party or Christening photographers are privileged to see people on the best days of their lives. It’s one of the things that’s so addictive about this line of work, being part of a celebration and providing people with memories from the happiest days of their life.
However, there are times when people need photographs during the worst times of their lives, and it’s for that reason I am a volunteer photographer for Remember My Baby.
Remember My Baby is a UK registered charity who provide volunteer photographers to work with parents who have experienced the loss of their baby either before, during or after birth.
No matter when you lose a child, whether it’s miscarriage, stillbirth or later in their life, you lose so much more than you can ever instantly imagine. You lose a lifetime of moments, memories, laughter and milestones.
When a baby is born sleeping, or passes shortly after birth, there is a painfully short amount of time to make memories, which is why memory building becomes a vital part of the short time parents have with their child. Some hospitals, often provide hand and foot prints as keepsakes, and whilst families can of course take their own images, a professional photographer can sensitively capture beautiful images of a baby and their family.
The photographs all of the volunteer photographers provide are undoubtedly one of the most tangible mementos a parent can have of their precious child. The portraits hang in bedrooms and front rooms and are shared or talked about daily, ensuring the tiny life they captured is honoured, cherished and never forgotten. It helps parents to talk about the child they have, not the child they have lost, as that child remains a part of their ongoing world.
I started volunteering for this charity in May 2017 and it’s hard to put in to words why it means so much to me it just does. I am exceptionally fortunate to have three, healthy children; however, my daughter spent a few weeks in Intensive Care after birth and I am well aware things could have been so different for us as a family.
I also understand the value happy memories play when it comes to grief and recovery. Having something tangible to treasure helps the hurt and pain ease, and if it makes the tiniest bit of difference to a family going through their journey, it’s entirely worth it. None of us do it because it’s easy, we do it because it’s so important to those families.
Unfortunately, here in the UK we have one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world, with over 4,000 deaths a year. Remember My Baby exists to support those families who have been affected, and you can support them by visiting the charity website here. A greater thing if at all possible would be to become a photographer volunteer, The charity needs more photographers throughout the UK. Could you give up a little of your time to ensure no family where ever they may be, misses the opportunity to have these forever memories?