A woman leans over a bed, her arms and legs held strong and taut, her fingers digging into white bedsheets. Her partner sits behind her with a hand on her back.

In another photo, the woman is crouched in a tub, clutching the wet, wrinkly body of her newborn. So much happened between those two moments. And birth photographer Meg Ross was there for all of it, capturing the waiting, the laboring, the pain and the joy.

Birth photographers have become a common addition to the birthing team, hired by parents to capture the details of labor, delivery and baby's first moments.

"Birth is the most magical and empowering event I've ever experienced," said Lydia Stubbs, who hired Cassie Canales to photograph the birth of her second child. "Having it photographed was one of the best decisions I made."

But the practice of hiring birth photographers is relatively new. So how do you go about