Beautiful photographs capture the heartwarming moment parents meet their newborns for the first time

First hello familyCourtesy The First Hello ProjectThe First Hello Project shows parents meeting their newborns for the first time.

For Australian photographers River Bennett and Bel Pangburn, their studio is a birthing suite.

No matter what hour of the day a baby is born, the duo is right there to capture those first precious moments when people become parents.

In their collaborative photo series, The First Hello Project, they document the blood, sweat, and tears of giving birth, and the tender, loving calm that settles in when the new baby finally arrives.

River Bennett and Bel Pangburn both have freelance photography companies of their own.

Pangburn runs her own business called Trigger Happy Images, and Bennet has a website called The Wolfpack Mrs, 'for mamas with messy hair and thirsty hearts.'

They work together on The First Hello Project, photographing labour, birth, and the exhilaration of parents meeting their new additions.

'Together, Bel and I have had the privilege of documenting some of the most incredible moments of raw emotion in birthing suites and homes around the world,' she said.

'The First Hello Project grew out of a crazy conversation Bel and I had one day,' Bennett said.

'We had been sharing some fun stories over our bucket list moments that we as photographers had the opportunity to be a part of,' she said. 'I told Bel how I would love to shoot a birth one day and she told me she had captured her friend and sister's birth and how insane it was. It wasn't long after our conversation that I was approached by a couple to capture their birth journey on film.'

Bennet and Pangburn document everything, from labour… that first hello.

There's no posing or staging of shots.

Just powerful, raw human emotion.

'There is nothing quite like seeing a baby being born,' Bennett said. 'It never leaves you.'

Their job isn't always easy.

'We like to think of ourselves like a 'fly on the wall' - capturing humanity's story as it unfolds,' Bennett said. 'So capturing that requires your full attention, which can be challenging in the early hours of the morning.'

Photographing childbirth requires Bennett and Pangburn to be prepared to work at all hours.

'Being on call 24/7 can be a juggle with all the other full aspects of our busy lives, but it definitely keeps things exciting!' she said.

To them, it's absolutely worth it.

'We love what we get to do, and more than anything, we love that we get to celebrate life.'

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