My husband and I chose not to hire a birth photographer when our daughter was born and it’s something we regret. We’re not dying over the fact that we didn’t hire a photographer, but there is most definitely a piece of our heart that aches and wishes we would have chosen differently. It's an ache that has only grown as the years have passed. If you & your partner are on the fence--hopefully the info in this post helps with a more productive conversation as you decide whether or not to invest in professionally preserving your story.Read More
When it comes to birth photography the equipment you choose to shoot with matters a lot. Normally I would say the camera doesn't make the photographer anymore than a fancy kitchen makes for a great chef, but with birth it's a little different. Birth sessions are unpredictable and usually occurs in small, dimly/artificially lit spaces. I need equipment that works well in challenging environments and responds without hesitation. Every piece of equipment I shoot with was chosen for it's capability to perform well in any birth environment. I shoot stills & video at the same time to help not miss a moment, plus if one camera starts having issues (which does happen--technology can be finicky sometimes) I can easily switch and document both stills & video on one camera as a backup.
I bring TWO Nikon D800s with me to every session and I started shooting with the D800 in 2013. One of the reasons I purchased the D800 was because it had amazing reviews on on working well in low light. My favorite lenses for birth are the 35mm 1.4, 24-70mm 2.8 & 50mm 1.4. I also bring several batteries, a charger in case of a marathon session, plenty of high-speed memory cards and backup high speed memory cards. Lastly, a flash just in case and a really cool/practical dual camera harness to help carry it all (and look like a badass) without taking up much space. I also have an 85mm 1.4 that I've had with me since the beginning of my photography journey over 11 years ago. I don't use the 85mm very much unless I'm shooting a portrait and I've thought of selling it, but it's so sentimental. I'm not quite ready to part with it.
So this is it--these are the tools I use to document remarkable stories of birth & life.
I stumbled upon this homebirth experience as a backup photographer for Julie Marks of Picture your Birth. Julie was sick with pneumonia when this Mama's labor began. It was an honor to be chosen & trusted in this Mama's birth space having never met this family before. I'm a firm believer most things in life happen for a reason and from the moment I arrived at this quick birth it was destiny. I arrived shortly after 3am and by 3:54am Mama was holding her precious baby girl.
Mama welcomed baby earth-side with the loving support of her husband & family nearby.
Mama was under the care of Adrienne Brown with Wasatch Midwifery & Wellness & supported by doula Karina Robinson with Utah Doula Services. This was the second time Adrienne & Karina supported this family though a birth experience.
Here are a few of the amazing moments captured on this very special birth day.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in to this birth space Mama was laboring away on her favorite sofa with the loving support of her husband. The family's midwife, Gloria Moore with Bearth Midwifery was close by offering words of encouragement, counter-pressure and finishing up prep for baby's arrival in between surges. By the sound of it, it wouldn't be long. And what seemed like only a few minutes later while the birth pool was still filling up, baby girl made her way earth-side and into Mama's arms.
Here are a handful of images from this remarkable homebirth experience:
Yesterday afternoon Birth Becomes Her (BBH) launched their world-wide 2018 Annual Image Contest. This contest is a pretty big deal in the birth photography world because, it's an opportunity to show the world what pregnancy, birth & postpartum is really like. In addition, the contest is anonymous & uncensored. Many organizations out there running photo competitions with birth categories censor so much of birth that it is no longer portrayed in a realistic way. These are the same organizations who proclaim they're all about celebrating family. IMHO, what is more family friendly than birth? Afterall, birth is where families are made.
This year, with the permission of some amazing women & families, I submitted 5 images to the BBH competition to help support the cause.
If birth is something that makes you uncomfortable or sets your soul on fire I encourage you to spend a few minutes today looking through these beautiful images. If you feel so inclined, vote for your favorites.
We are all make our way in to this world the same way. Birth Unites Us.
Another beautiful birth story! My first official birth of 2018. This first time Mama's labor was quick. Like 4/5 to 10cm in like 45 minutes quick. Mama rocked her HypnoBirth, supported by Dad and (doula) Latissa Graham with Hypnobirthing Utah.
In January of 2017 I decided birth photography was something I wanted to specialize in almost exclusively. I grew tired of perfectly posed sessions and craved raw emotion and supporting Mama's (& families) through the birth experience. I created this video in celebration of all the beautiful birth stories I documented in 2017. Looking back on this past year I cherish every single second spent serving these incredible families & strong women. I am so thankful and forever grateful you chose me to share in your birth space and capture your story.
To all of the Midwives, OB's, doula's, birth assistants, birth educators, hospitals & birth center's--thank you for your love & support. In 2017 I had the pleasure of documenting birth stories (often multiple birth stories!) at the University of Utah Health, The Birth Center, Gardner Women's Center at IMC, & St. Marks Hospital. I also documented birth stories with homebirth Midwife Gloria Moore (Bearth Midwifery) & Adrienne Brown (Wasatch Midwifery & Wellness). As if that weren't amazing enough I got to meet and work alongside doulas Candace Roper, Ashlie Hashimoto, Jennifer Sorensen Whitaker & Karina Robinson.
Some other highlights from 2017 include a sweet little feature by The Birth Narrative in honor of Birth Photographer's Day, filming the 2017 Utah Doula Association (UDA) Fall Retreat and documenting a destination baby-moon session in Telluride, CO. I also had the pleasure of meeting and backing up local birth photographer Julie Marks with Picture Your Birth. Julie was sick with pneumonia when a Mama was approaching labor. It's crazy how life works sometimes because this particular birth resonated with me on a deeper level. I promise to share more about that birth experience a little later.
Wishing you a phenomoninal 2018!
Last month I attended the Utah Doula Association's annual Fall Retreat and left feeling so inspired & motivated as a fellow birth professional. This retreat was phenomenal on every level. There were spa treatments, a paint party, dancing, delicious food, a salt bowl ceremony, workshops-- so many good things packed into one weekend. It was a perfect opportunity to connect with others who are so passionate about the birth experience & uplifting one another. I think it's safe to say that those who attended the retreat, even if only for a day, left with their cup filled or overflowing. It was an honor meeting all of you and thank you for welcoming me into your space & being authentically you in front of the camera.
Here is the video I put together to showcasing the experience.
If you're in the sharing kind of mood--
What was your favorite part of the retreat?
I feel like everything nowadays has its own "day"--even birth photography. The opportunity presented itself to submit some of my work in honor or celebrating birth photography and I couldn't resist. It's truly an honor to have my work featured alongside some of the best birth photographers in the world. And if you've ever thought about professionally documenting your own birth story this video is surely one you don't want to miss.
I've been so busy working on the business side of things that I haven't picked up my 'fancy' camera to document life in awhile. I swear I could start almost every blog post with that sentence.
So I was working today--like I usually do--when all of a sudden I noticed how quiet it was in the house. As Mama to a very active almost-3 year old when it's quiet for more than a minute or two I know something is going on. Just as suspected, Little Miss was transporting water in her juice cup from the bathroom (sink, thankfully!) in to the living room. The control freak in me decided to just let her do it because I'm learning to "Let it go! Let it go!", so I laid down a towel and grabbed the camera.
Here she is in all her glory, mixing an apple juice water pie (her words, not mine) in her Hello Kitty bucket. After pie it was crawl behind the couch and play peek-a-boo, which turned in to let me show off a little more with my lipstick and stethoscope. All of this work must have been completely exhausting because then she climbed inside the refrigerator to look for snacks. How & where she get's all of this energy I have no clue. What I would like is for her to share some with me because now I'm ready for a nap!