Tag Archives: Homebirth

Go Get Censored!!!

It’s inevitable…. posting images of child birth are going to be revered, judged, reported and then torn down from the online social media world. There is so much to consider as a birth photographer, holding the rights to your images, but not always the right to share the story. There is something outrageously tempting about wanting to spread the visual word, promote informed birth choices, empower and entice others with the reality of birth. Sometimes I do feel it’s becoming more about the photographer than the woman and child in the images. The irony is that my very success stems from an act of censorship gaining large scale social media exposure and bolstering my presence into the public eye.Censorship Outcry

Every woman has a precious and powerful story to tell and share, if she wants to. These moments are intensely personal, and are taken at a time when a woman and child are at their most vulnerable. As is the balance of life, it’s the decisions which involve risk that bring about the greatest impact on your journey.

As photographers, the risk of censorship (getting banned and ridiculed) seems to bring about some kind of reward, somewhere in the vicinity of industry fame and popularity. So as birth photographs become accepted and birth itself normalised, censorship reduces, and the waves that photographers ride will become smaller and less helpful in thrusting our agenda into the limelight. Some days it feels like the race is on!

If you are a woman, giving permission to share your most private and powerful moments, consider how you and your child might feel reading the good, bad and ugly comments and opinions of strangers. Consider your emotional state and how you will balance and ground yourself if an image of you and your child goes “viral”.

If you are a photographer, read the above comment and put yourself in your client’s shoes. Then make sure your client understands that too. No matter what, this isn’t your story or your birth, it is hers. And it is your job as a birth photographer to hold that birth space, not just as it was happening, but forever more.

Here are a few special moments shared with full and informed permission. Each birth has its own story and celebration. Consider them all with honour and compassion in your heart as you play your part in normalising birth and helping us talk about the lessons we learned and wisdom we have to share as mothers.

 

The Arrival of Ronan – Adelaide Birth Photographer

As usually happens, the call comes in the middle of the night and this special birth was as calm as it was profound to witness.  The feeling that hit me when I walked through their front door was inexplicable. The labouring mother was so focused and deep within her own space that no words were uttered, nor any interference from her support team needed.

Lighting is often a challenge during birth but this home birth was the greatest challenge I’ve faced so far. By candle light and some ambient street lighting through the window, I captured this birth by steadying my camera against tables and walls while exposing with very slow shutter speeds. This helped me to portray the stillness of the resting mother and motion of those supporting around her. As baby arrived, flash was used to capture the emotion and action that follows.

This was a blissful birth that happened as the older children slept soundly in their beds…

The Birth of Jasper – Adelaide Birth Photographer

I headed over to Kelly’s house after receiving the call that baby was on his way. It was a peak hour morning call & a 4th baby, i knew it would be fast. I recall walking through the front door to hear the sound of a beautiful newborn cry. This precious little guy was waiting for no one, not even the midwives. Kelly’s wonderful Doula was there to support and assist in the delivery of Jasper. He was perfect. Little Jasper was lovingly nicknamed “Turbo” by his siblings after his speedy arrival into the world.

I recall the only other birth I had missed was by a matter of a minute, and at the time I was devastated! Now, after all of the experiences I’ve faced, missing the arrival of Jasper had a different effect on me. I’ve realised the importance of the journey which is beyond anyone’s control and I have faith in divine timing. Everything happens just as it’s ment to. When I walked in to hear that precious cry, I felt gratitude and warmth above all else. I knew from that moment, my role as a photographer was still as valuable and important as ever.

My focus is to tell the story, even retrospectively incorporating everything I can from the mother’s experience up to that point. I was still able to document a plethora of precious moments for the family, such as siblings meeting their baby brother, 3rd stage labour, the first feed, the cord separation, everyone’s first cuddles, measurements, and the general excitement and buzz.

Kelly’s strength, courage and assurance will stay with me forever. It was an honour to be in her company and to serve her in every way I could. There was a huge sense of sisterhood and support in her home that day as we all pulled together to do whatever needed to be done, allowing mother and baby to bond with each other and their family. Placing priority on respecting the birth space after a baby has arrived is a blessing and hugely important to me as a woman. I will go so far as to say it’s a healing experience for me to hold this space.

Many thanks to Kelly for allowing me to share her story with you. I will post a second installment shortly from her newborn session.

 

Home Birth of Rory – Adelaide Birth Photographer

The birth of Rory was a positively memorable journey to photograph. It encapsulated everything wonderful about home birth, and the calm arrival of the family’s fourth child was an honour to witness. Special thanks to Megan for allowing me to be present and share this amazingly empowered birth with my followers. x

 

You can view the slideshow with more images here: http://youtu.be/zha1giJI9tw

 

The Birth of Flynn – Adelaide Birth Photographer

I’ve known this amazing mum since 2011. The day we met, we bonded. I photographed her then 3 children and loving partner Doug, in between rain showers up at Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens…

Rebecca is a gorgeous mother and an empowered birther. Her independant midwife knew Rebecca’s strength. The respect and trust of all those in her birth space was making the room resonate as I arrived. I loved documenting little Flynn’s birth for many personal reasons and it was an honour to be present for my dear friend.

http://youtu.be/Gn_ImBh0N94

 

Birth Journey of Pippa – Adelaide Birth Photographer

Pippa was born at home during the early hours on the 25th of August 2013, a third daughter for this kind-hearted family. What was expected to be a rushed affair, turned out to be a far more gently timed arrival. It was the right journey for this little girl and her mother along with being a great experience for her older daughters.

It is with great respect that I share these images with the parents permission. There is a wonderful collection of shots missing from this published journey to preserve the family’s privacy, as is often the case with my work as a birth photographer.

If you are currently pregnant, I would love to invite you (on behalf of the author of this survey) to participate in a research project surrounding stress reactions to child-birth. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2W5CX69

The arrival of Leo – Adelaide Birth Photographer

A mother calmly and quickly birthed her precious son into the world, at home with the care and support of her husband and two midwives from the Adelaide Women’s & Children’s Hospital Midwifery Group Practice.

After receiving the call at 8:15am, I knew it would be a rush to get across town in peak hour traffic and left straight away to Amy and Pete’s house. It was a clear bright day and despite the slower than usual journey to their house, I knew deep down it was going to be a perfect run of events for this baby.

I arrived just after the first Midwife at 9am to find Amy resting tranquilly in the birth pool with Pete near and everything as it should be. The indicators of progress was subtle as this little baby boy made his way down and out just before 10am.  His small initial cry served the purpose of clearing his lungs before comfortably relaxing into his mothers arms. His calm mood mimicking the environment of which he had arrived into.

A perfect little boy with soft squishy features and a gentle sense about him. It was an honour to capture his arrival on Tuesday the 15th October 2013.