Eye on Alumni: Randy Heinzel, '03
“It wasn’t that long ago that everyone didn’t have a cell phone camera, and it was common for people to buy a camera for their child’s birth. I’d see these cameras sit by the wayside in the delivery room and either everyone was too excited to take pictures or they didn’t know how to work the camera,” says Randy Heinzel, MD, ‘03.
For the lucky families who see Dr. Heinzel, an OB-GYN at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Penn., bringing a camera makes little difference.
It started when Dr. Heinzel would come to the rescue, grabbing the camera to capture those first moments. He soon realized that using his own camera produced better results, so he began bringing his camera to work. “I work with an amazing group of nurses and residents and when no medical intervention is needed after delivery, that frees me to spend a little time behind the lens. Whenever possible, I take post-birth photographs for my patients - no co-pay, no charge.”
He captures images of his city, his family and his passion – his patients in those first few moments as a new family. “Anyone who has kids knows the most important day of their life is the day their child is born; I wanted to be a part of that, and it’s a major reason I became an OB-GYN. Because of my profession, I see incredible moments every day, and I love that I’m often in a position to capture those moments.” Randy says.
The word has gotten out, and now patients and even strangers come to him and ask if he’ll photograph their babies. “I’ve had countless patients tell me, long after they deliver, that looking at my photos makes them relive the first moments they met their child.” Randy set up a Facebook page, DrHeinzelPhoto, to share his photography.
Though he’s self-taught, his love of photography began at an early age when his parents bought him a basic point-and-shoot camera. “I loved how I could position the camera to see the world from unique perspectives,” Randy says. “I remember using a whole roll of film - a week’s worth of my allowance - just to get a picture of my brother, frozen in mid-air, as he jumped from the desk to the couch in our living room. I’ve more recently become a serious student of photography, though. I’m much further along on the learning curve as a physician than I am as a photographer, but I still approach my work in both fields with the same intensity and enthusiasm for the craft.”