Seeking my passion has been #1 the last 4 years as a photographer. Listening to the call for my life has driven me to believe that as a photographer there are certain things I am supposed to shoot and perfect and certain things I should leave to someone else, who has passion for it. The main thing that has emerged as a passion is photography for pregnant mamas, from belly to birth to baby. This stage of life is my absolute favorite to document.
As a birth photographer, I have shot 9 births since January 2011. Five homebirths, two bradley method hospital births (one with a doula, one without), and two hospital births (one of which I served as doula for, one of which I photographed the last hour.) In this journey, it was baptism by fire. I have been on the heightened learning curve since day 1 and have fallen deeply in love with this field. I started training as a doula (birth coach) shortly after photographing my first birth, something I felt called to do ever since I had Ana. I am hoping to be finished by the end of 2013!
I wanted to become a doula, not to sell myself as a doula/photographer – but to give myself the advantage of knowing birth, and having pregnant mamas who can trust me with being in their birth space. It has given me great confidence that I can advocate, assist and be trusted should I need to be more than a photographer, but I have learned through doing the gamut of natural, home and hospital, non-medicated and medicated that birthing for the best outcome includes a doula. So, I cannot suggest enough the importance of having one. There must be someone there who knows the birth plan, knows the family and can advocate and encourage the mother to stick to the plan. It gets too stressful for everyone when things start to get intense and a doula is that solid rock that will be there throughout labor and birth to guide the parents to the birth they desire. If you have questions about this – please email me and let’s talk.
If you need help finding a doula, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you in touch with the two lovely doulas I know in Marietta, there are also some in the Charleston area that I know. If you are a doula in the mid-ohio valley, I would love to meet you and get to know you!
As far as birth photography goes, the story is the star.. which is why I find a doula so important. I want all moms to have the birth of their dreams, and yes, I want to help you remember it! I don’t remember much about my birth, other than it was fast, furious and awesome! I wish I would have allowed someone to document it for me! All I have are grainy point and shoot images my husband took, and although I treasure them, I would do anything for an image of my emotion when I had her, to relive that rush of oxytocin and see what my face looked like when I saw that she had dark hair and skin like her daddy. For someone to have taken video of me swaying through a contraction and then smiling at my husband, knowing this was the day we would meet our daughter. I just love giving that gift to people, to relive the moment their lives changed forever.
As far as dads go; I have lots of laboring husbands who will tell you how much they liked having me and/or a doula around, even if they were hesitant at first. It frees them up to be in the moment, to also experience the birth of their child. A doula and/or birth photographer brings about an air of experience and a simple “this is normal” can keep laboring parents going when they are so unsure about this new ride they are on. I love dads, and so far, they love me. Plus, you know you would just melt to the ground for an image of him watching you birth his child, or the first time he holds your baby.. MELT.
Ok, Okay… so I love birth photography.. but what does it cost? I am on call for your birth for two weeks surrounding your due date, 24/7. I expect to be kept alerted via text when the slightest twinges are happening, if you think labor is imminent. So I can ready my troops for your labor. I will come to you when the contractions are coming steady and are nearing 5 minutes apart, or around the time you have alerted your doula and/or midwife. If you are going to the hospital, I can come labor with you at your home, before you go and then follow you there. Every scenario is different and every labor is different, so lots of these decisions will be made individually with you. I will stay until the baby is born and things have calmed down a bit. Usually getting the weight and measurement and the first nursing session, and a family shot at the hospital or place of birth. I have had births where I was there for 4-6 hours and then I have had a few 9-12 hour ones. I have been lucky to not have anything longer than 12 hours, but it is very possible. Keep that in mind when you are seeing the prices and then decide if that investment is something you are interested in.
Also, you can see in my birth slideshows that I also shoot video to use in your birth story montage. I just cannot watch a mother be so powerful and think of them never being able to see themselves that way. So, yes, video is included if time allows and will be used in the slideshow, viewable online and also burned on a disk for you to watch on your computer for years to come.
Parker’s Hospital Birth – coming soon.
I am sure you have to have questions, so email email@example.com
If we do decide to go forward with having me at your birth, I have a laundry list of things we can talk about for your preferences etc.
I would love to meet with you to decide if this is right for you, or to put you in touch with the mamas I have worked for in the past.
xoxo and happy birthing,