For the right price, there are plenty of professional photographers ready and willing to capture some of life’s biggest moments — graduations, weddings and the like. But how about births?

The latest trend for shutterbugs is “birth photography,” and yes, it encompasses exactly what you’d think: the photographer is on-hand for every phase of a mother’s delivery, from labor pains to the cutting of the cord, capturing each moment for posterity in close-up, full-color shots.

That may sound rather unnecessary and even invasive, but plenty of parents are willing to pony up thousands of dollars for the privilege. In fact, the demand for birth photography has grown so much lately that the recently-formed International Association of Professional Birth Photographers already has about 400 members.

One birth photographer, Lynsey Stone, understands why some would find the practice so odd — at first, so did she: “In the beginning, I almost thought that people were joking with me, like, ‘Really? You want me to come to your birth?’”

But while parents may love the photos, author Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein said the kids captured in those shots may not be so thrilled about it later on, adding that since her 18-year-old son “doesn’t even want his picture taken now, he’s not going to want one on the way out of my vagina.”

[The New York Times]