It's really more than a day...
With my job I obviously am celebrating birth and with that the treasures that birth photography brings more than just once a year. I have the great honor of witnessing so many little ones as they make their appearance.
"The experience of birth is vast. It is a diverse tapestry woven by cultural customs, shaped in personal choices, affected by biological factors, marked by political circumstances. Yet the nature of birth itself prevails in elegant design of simple complexity. "
Like the quote says " The experience of birth is vast." This statement is so true and every time I lie to myself that there is some sort of consistency of the process, its like birth is laughing in my face. Recently in a matter of a two week span a 5 births wrote their own very unique stories. Yes there was late nights, missed bed time stories, but each one I witnessed was so perfectly it's own. The story lines swerved from their expected plot numerous times, leaving birth teams to wonder and realize we are not in control.
How is something so simple, yet so complex at the same time? It just is. And I honestly think sometimes it's best to just leave it at that sometimes. Let it be and follow the lead. Adapt to the curves in the road. Have your tools packed of course, but let life lead you.
I have the wonderful opportunity to witness the birth of babies and mothers on a regular basis. It really is one life's great moments. A moment that is truly once in a lifetime. Hope you enjoy this stunning collection put together by my friends over at Birth Becomes Her.
The thought of little ones entering the world surrounded by separation and sadness in place of celebration breaks my heart. As a Auntie of adopted little ones I have always had a special spot in my heart for babies that have spent their first hours and days in a hospital bassinet instead of the arms of the ones who love them. Their tiny little features left ungazed upon for hours and hours. Little features that change so quickly. Their story left to be told only by court papers for hours, days or weeks.
This week I had the opportunity to celebrate one of these babies and their hopeful adoptive parents meet them 3 days after their birth. As we walked into the nicu for the first time the air was full of excitement and nerves. There was a striking similarity between this day and the parents I regularly capturing anticipating the arrival of their little ones in the early stages of labor. The wonder of what their little features look like. Is their baby doing well? How big are they? Do they have 10 fingers and 10 toes?
After placing a badge with the name "Surrender" upon on our chests, scrubbing in and walking through two locked doors, it was time. Entering their little one's shared room and the emotion was palpable. There their adoptive baby lay. Not a feature was left unremarked. Not a feature left uncherished.
Those first moments captured to be cherished for all time. Something for this little one to look back upon as they grow and see how tiny they were and know how much they are loved.
For those that know me well know that these moments get me to the core. I chose my profession out of passion, not profit. Long hours, late nights, missed holidays and family events are all made worth while. My hope is for my images to share stories, move hearts, encourage and inspire. Let us celebrate all babies.
As a good majority of birth photographers scrambled around trying to figure out what to submit to IAPBP's 2017 competition one of our very talented collogues brought something to our eyes. These competitions while they do have awards to be won, something bigger is at work.
These competition raise the awareness to birth in a new way. Birth is something that needs to be celebrated. The options that birthing women have, need to be known. The beauty and the uniqueness each birth holds, is absolutely amazing on it's own. Then you add the creative eye and passion of a birth photographer and you cant help be stand in awe of what the beginning of life looks like. Every women. Unique. Every labor. Unique. Every baby. Unique. While there will be hundreds of images in this competition, I assure you, EVERY SINGLE IMAGE will have its own story. Take time to see the story written in the furrowed brows, the tears, the bellies, the eyes, the hand and whatever else the image holds.
I was planning on submitting two images this year one in the details and one in the labor category. The weather around here seemed to have a different idea and our power went out as I was submitting my second image. Competition submission or not, it has a beautiful story to be told.
What does it say to you?
My 2017 IAPBP Submission in the detail category is from my last birth of 2016. This birth was the perfect way to finish out my year as a birth photographer. A beautiful birth The Birth Center in Sacramento with one of my favorite midwives, Ruth Cummings, CNM. My reason for choosing this image for the detail category is all the details that work to tell a beautiful story. The gentle support of her husband, her relaxed hands even as she feels the surges of transition, the strech marks across the front of her belly, the shape of her contracted belly as it moves her baby closer to the outside world.
Mother of two crazy little girls. Photographer of life with a true love and passion for birth.