Documenting the beginning of life - Fujifilm X-T2
A couple of weeks ago I became a father. I've seen births in person when I was working in the medical field, but it's different when you're seeing the birth of your own child. It's magical.
In preparing for the birth of my baby girl I was trying to figure out how I would capture the first moment's of her life. I contemplated between setting fixed cameras around the birthing room with an intervalometer to getting up multiple GoPros in the room to having a camera mounted on my head showing a first person view of what goes on in the delivery room.
After much deliberation I decided to go with a simpler kit:
- Fujifilm X-T2
- Fujinon 23mm F2 WR
- Fujinon 56mm F1.2
- Fujinon 10-24mm F4
- GoPro Hero 5 (action camera)
- Ricoh Theta S (360 camera) <-- did not use at all
I used the 23mm the most. I snapped a couple of environmental shots with the 10-24mm and some tele with the 56mm but the 23mm was the workhorse lens taking about 90% of the photos of the first several days of my daughter's life.
The GoPro Hero was used as a vlogging camera with the camera angle in linear mode. This mode gives the look more of a normal camera look than the super wide angle video footage GoPro is known for.
Now that I had the gear sorted I need to make a shot list of photos I wanted to take. My goal was to tell the story of the labor process before, during, and afterwards.
The main feature from the X-T2 that helped me capture photos is the electronic shutter. The mechanical shutter sound is not very loud, but still audible and noticeable. Hearing a shutter slap would distract medical staff, my wife, and startle my baby. With the X-T2's electronic shutter I was able to make photos without interrupting the moment.
Other features such as face detection and continuous autofocus set one multi-purpose. Here are some of the photos from the labor process to the birth of my daughter.
The only thing I would change next time with my settings is to use continuous autofocus set two. This setting ignores obstacles and continues to track the subject. This would be a great feature to combine with face detection.
My wife asked for my X-T2 and snapped this photo of my daughter and I in the first hour of her life. Remember to get in the photos also.
After all the gear I brought I used the Fujifilm X-T2 with the 23mm F2 WR and the GoPro Hero5 to record video. During the labor process I didn't have time to change lenses so the 23mm stuck on the X-T2. In the postpartum ward I had more time to set up for portraits of my daughter.
Don't let the gear stop you from missing out on the birth of your child. Keep your gear kit simple. I had to remember that I was primary in the labor room to support my wife, the mother of my child. Everything else was secondary. I'm sure if I went about photographing my wife's labor as if on a job she'd have me kicked out of the room.