Last week was the deadline for entries in the annual International Association of Professional Birth Photographers competition. The competition is open to all members and each photographer may enter up to 4 photos, one per category. The competition is always fierce and leaves me with a new drive and renewed passion for further honing my craft and telling the story of birth through my lens, capturing these priceless, once in a lifetime moments for my clients. This year I chose to enter this image that perfectly captures the tranquility and calm that surrounded this little guy's peaceful entrance into this world.
Birth, really is life's most miraculous event and I am so honored to be invited to capture such a sacred moment for my clients. Although my page isn't flooded with birth photos, there are numerous birth stories on my hard drive and more importantly displayed in albums in my clients' homes. My first paying client was actually a birth, it's where my business began over 7 years ago and where my heart has remained.
I've had a heart for birth for over 20 years...it all began when I had the privilege of witnessing a friend's birth, a year before I had my first child. From that moment on I began to read and study everything I could get my hands on regarding birth and the process and changes that our bodies go through. Through the years as I've continued to have children and to walk through pregnancy and childbirth with friends, I've continued to saturate myself with all I could learn about birth and serve as a birth coach and support. As I've grown in years and experience as a mother, my heart for serving and mentoring mothers has grown, as has my desire to document and preserve life, as it is, before the memories fade. Watching my children grow before my eyes, and suddenly, the toddlers were young men, and I was grasping to freeze time, is what drove me to pick up a camera and learn to use it. I picked up the camera to preserve the moments and memories, not to begin a business. I spent time honing my skill in not only the technical aspects of how to take a better photo but training my eye to see and find the beauty in the mundane and messy moments of life. I crafted the ability to capture not just a pretty photo but the story of the moment as it played out. The progression into birth photography was seamless as it blended with my passion and skill for capturing life in a photojournalistic style, documenting life's moments, as they happen, as opposed to posing and creating an ideal fantasy.
I am not the busiest, most popular or vocal birth and newborn photographer in town. In order to give my family, my clients and those I serve through Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep my best, I limit the number of clients I take each month. For births I only take 1-2 per month. I do a maximum of 4 newborn sessions a month. I enjoy getting to know my clients and want to make sure that I can give them a personal experience. I share less online about myself and my clients, because I'd prefer to build those relationships in person. I welcome prospective clients into my studio to get to know me a bit and share their needs and ideas before they book me. From the time you book me up until your session I am available to answer questions and discuss your session, wardrobe, help determine where to display your images, etc. I schedule a separate time at the studio to present your images to you personally, help you choose your favorites and assist you with print and framing choices.
To further give my clients my best, my business focus for 2017 will be on the sessions that bring me the most joy and passion, those sessions that capture motherhood in all it's beauty...maternity, birth, newborn, and in home Embrace Motherhood sessions, along with my annual Celebrate Motherhood Studio Sessions. Make 2017 the year to capture you, in all your glory as a mother! I look forward to meeting you soon and capturing priceless moments for you and your family.