One of my most recent birth photography shoots was with an amazing woman called Shelley. I first met Shelley at one of the SA Home Birth Network meetings, back when she was in her first trimester. I was so excited when months later she asked me attend and photograph the birth of their 4th child… and I mean really excited! I am an avid advocate for home birthing and love to take every opportunity to promote it as a positive option for child birth where mother and baby are in fine form.
Now I know I always go on about how beautiful my muses are, but I really have to say that Shelley has this something special and anyone who know’s her will agree with me. Her inner spirit is openly kind, loving and joyful. She’s the type of woman I could sit and talk with all day long – her energy is so uplifting. As with all the people who ask me to photograph them, I spend time with them before hand getting to know them. Getting a sense of who someone is, looking into their eyes, sharing a connection, all helps me to capture them in ways that I know will be meaningful to them when they see the images. It helps while I’m shooting, and even more so as I go through and edit. By the end, the journey for me has been deep, loving and involved – perhaps that’s hard for others to understand, but it’s just what makes me buzz!
So with this strong sense of connection with this amazing women, I’d like to share my story of Shelley and the birth of her beautiful son Ross.
Shelley calmly laboured and birthed instinctually at home with her husband catching their baby boy as he entered the world. Two minutes later, I arrived and after 5 minutes, so did the midwife! No, this was not ideal in my mind as I never want to miss a birth I’m requested at, but sometimes things just don’t always go to plan. At the time I tried to find comfort in the fact that I beat the midwife *barely* but then hearing that Shelley had always wanted to free birth, my discomfort eased. As always, everything happens just as it’s meant to.
Although I missed the first half of the story – Shelley’s labour and Ross’s grand entrance – what I did capture was some of my favorite ever bonding images. This beautiful women with her baby, along with her gorgeous family have brought tears to my eyes as I edit and share these images with you now. Since my story is much better told with images rather than words, please enjoy the following journey which includes a slide show of Ross’s birth followed by a bonding session with Shelley and her sweet family.
Also, I encourage you to share this story with all and everyone you think treasures the courage, strength and wisdom that Shelley inspires.
Family / Newborn Session a week later….