BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY

Initially, we were hesitant about hiring a birth photographer, primarily because we did not want many people at the birth, and also because we were not sure if we could afford it financially. I was particularly anxious about having a stranger at the birth of my first child when close family members were not even invited. In actuality, the birth of our son, Cedar was very intimate and the presence of our photographer contributed to the atmosphere rather than hindered it in any way.

When I was actively in the birth process, things happened very fast and Morag only made it 20 minutes before Cedar was born. The photos that she got are incredible and very well considered even though she basically just walked in to our room, and began shooting.

Looking back at the photographs was a wonderful experience for me. It was such a gift to be able to see beautiful moments like Cedar’s emerging head (that I could feel but not see at the time), my husband catching the baby, our expressions, the initial bonding moments (that were uninterrupted by any of my birth supports trying to photograph anything). It was quite touching to be able to recognize how powerful and how well supported and safe I felt in the photos.

I would recommend hiring Morag as a birth photographer to any woman who is considering it. The reality of it is, I was in the early stages of birthing for a long time and we only managed to get a couple photos from that entire time. The probability of having any photos of the actual birth would have been low, at least not without it affecting the rhythm and atmosphere, as well as the physical involvement of the few people that were there (particularly my partner who was able to catch Cedar, cut the cord and be fully involved without worrying about taking pictures). My midwife and doula were also hard at work and rather than feeling bombarded by there being another person in the room, it afforded us all to be fully present but for our family to still have many, many wonderful photographs to cherish for a lifetime. Not only is Morag an efficient, non-intrusive and warm presence but her eye for detail and sensitivity for capturing energy and emotion is exceptional.” – K, C and C

Apple Blossom Families- Va ncouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

 Morag has a gift! She is so warm and kind; it was more than a pleasure to have her there to capture the birth of our daughter! She is able to photograph you at your most intimate moment without feeling as though you are on display.  It was so incredible to go back and look at the pictures from when I was in labour. So much of it was a blur, but having the pictures to go over allowed me to remember moments I would have otherwise forgotten. Having  Morag there to photograph the birth of our daughter was a blessing and I would highly recommend having her there to capture the birth of your little one!”  - Trinity, Marty and Olivia

I wept watching this amazing, anointed slide show you did. SO amazing! Incredibly tasteful, and sensitively, artistically done. The music, the talking,at particular parts was just perfect! I cannot tell you how much I appreciated you as a person, doula and artist. You are such a wonderful woman and you will be remembered with great love and respect in our family. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being such an integral, wonderful part of something so powerful in all our lives.”  - First time Grandmother

Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings

“Thank you so much for the many ways in which you helped us before, during and after Sasha’s birth. It would have been so much more difficult without you. The beautiful photo’s you took will help to preserve our memories of this intense period of time in our lives. We greatly appreciated your manner, skill, and experience! “ - Nicki, Dean and baby Sasha

“Wow. wow. wow - You captured the flow of the labour and caught some incredible moments, so rich with emotion. We appreciate the range you were able to get from all the little details, to even just the standard group shot at the end. Your compositions are always spot-on, and your photojournalistic approach really gives the viewer a window into behind the scenes. We are surprised at the volume of images – it didn’t feel like you took that many at the event – so if these are just your keepers, you have incredible skill.You always made us feel comfortable with your presence. This is really EXACTLY what we envisioned when pursing you as the photographer for our 4th birth. Thank you, thank you Morag. This is a priceless, precious gift”  - Michelle & Jacob Doherty

Apple Blossom Families- Va ncouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

DOULA

“Morag is so calm and personable and has a great sense of humour. She immediately put us at ease, and our prenatal appointments made us feel much more confident about birth and parenting. I was more relaxed during the last month of my pregnancy because I knew I had great support.” – T and J

“Morag really went above and beyond with thoughtful measures to make sure we would have the best birth possible. During birth, she was intuitive, caring, and had a quietly supportive presence. When medical complications arose, she had an excellent rapport with medical professionals and was very knowledgeable about my condition, which helped me be less fearful. Because my husband got to rest and knew that Morag was there to support me while he slept, he was able to be more present later in labour when I needed him. I left my birth feeling that I had picked exactly the right birth team, and Morag was such an important part of that. I believe that Morag’s support, and her strong belief in birth as a natural process were significant factors in being able to have the unmedicated birth I had planned.” – Imogen, Chris and Solomon

Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings

Morag you are amazing! Words can’t express how much it meant to have you for my birth partner/ doula for the birth of my first child. Thank-you for your wonderful emotional support, advocacy, knowledgeable advice, and postpartum care that only a truly remarkable doula could provide. Being a first time parent was stressful and in those first few days you were there to help us get through those sleepless nights and ease our anxiety. We love you!” – Micol, Moises and Biagio

This is a post by one of my dad’s on his blog. Check it out here

Dear Arlo, here is a story of how we met your Aunt Morag….Well, Aunt Morag isn’t “really” your aunt but she was a very, very important part of the day you were born. We met her at Salt Spring Coffee on Main st. one Saturday morning over a cup of coffee and we instantly “clicked” as we shared stories about ourselves. I remember her calm, friendly personality that made us first time parents very relaxed. We knew soon after that moment that she would be our doula and help us bring you into the world.When your Aunt Morag came to visit us on that very night when you started to arrive, she quickly helped us out, not only helping your mom cope with the early labour but she also helped me out with my nervous feelings as well. Morag also helped with the “little things” around the house while we waited. She made us tea and snacks, helped pack our hospital bags and she even put away the dishes and tidy-up’d the house. I even got a couple hours of sleep while she stayed with your mom. It was also a lovely surprise when we got home from the hospital that she even made our bed.At the hospital, your aunt was an amazing, constant source of unwavering, positive energy. She knew exactly what needed to be done to help make our stay at the hospital comfortable. She got us drinks and reminded us to eat our snacks, she snuck away a few extra pillows, and even talked to the nurses for us so I could stay with your mom. I am not sure what I would have done if she wasn’t there. Both your mom and I were so excited that you were coming but also a bit nervous and a little afraid. We were at the hospital for a very long time waiting and your aunt stayed with us the whole time.When you finally came out on your birthday, your aunt was there to take photographs of your very first breath and the very first time that we both held you in our arms. Your aunt captured every wonderful moment of your birthday and she helped share those moments with everyone…and that Arlo, is how we met you Aunt Morag.

Apple Blossom Families- Va ncouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

“The birth story of my first child is to say the least the opposite of what I expected. Throughout my pregnancy and as my due date approached I maintained the naive cockiness that only a first time Mom can carry with her. As I planned my “homebirth” the choice of Morag was an easy one, her knowledge and background accompanied by her laid-back style was a perfect fit for me and my husband. She took the time to find out what our priorities were and asked all the right questions to understand what type of support we needed. When I started to labor Morag was the first person to arrive at the house, she helped me to relax and even took the time to support and put my very nervous husband at ease, she even made the poor guy something to eat. My early stages of labor were then spent not in panic mode but in the arms of my caring husband with the peace of mind of knowing that Morag was nearby to answer questions and keep a close eye on us. As my labor progressed and we ended up at the hospital Morag was always there providing gentle support and some great pain relieving tricks of the trade. It is to her completely that I credit making it through the first 18 hours of back labor with no medications whatsoever! And though 3 hours of pushing resulted in not a baby but a c-section instead Morag never left our side and helped us to cope with our disappointment. Morag was nothing short of amazing and we are so happy that we were lucky enough to have had her as our Doula. I now recommend to all of my friends that they take the time during their pregnancies to find the right doula for them, it is a lot of pressure to put on a partner who is anxious about their loved ones wellbeing and may be experiencing birth for the first time, I know my husband has nothing but gratitude for Morag and will insist that she be at all of our births, in fact it is probably thanks to her that he is even letting me plan to do it all over again! ” – Allison, Matt and Alex


“How can you even fathom the birth of your first child? I had so many emotions/horomones that sometimes I couldn’t tell the difference. Morag was an amazing resource. She would help by talking me through and lightening me up with her amazing sense of humor. I think her best attribute is her realness. She is straight forward and honest and doesn’t sugar coat things, yet her way with words has a calming charm to them. Morag was a real asset to the birth of my first son. I think having a support group of women who know what they’re talking about should be the number one on your list of things to have at your birth. She was consistent and compassionate through out my labor and for my pre and post natal support. She’s definitely a large part of how I made it through the whole process in one piece. Thanks Mor
ag” – Sonia, Sandy, Parker and Casey (the dog)

 

Apple Blossom Families - Vancouver Birth Photographer Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

“Morag came to us through our birth doula in order to help care for our eldest son while I was in labour. One of our biggest concerns was knowing there would be moments where I would have to separate myself from my son physically and emotionally to focus on bringing my second child into the world. I immediately felt relieved after meeting Morag in seeing that she was a person that had more than the knowledge of labour but the experience as a mother to translate it in a way that was comfortable to understand for our 3 year old. She was incredibly hands on with our son and constantly supported him and us in a way that made our homebirth everything that we hoped for in keeping him involved in the event. Throughout the day I was aware of her calming presence and gentle disposition both with our son, our doula and birth team and myself. She was an essential part of our birth story and I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you Morag! ” – Emilie, Cody, Nolan and Mason

PHOTOGRAPHY

We were absolutely thrilled with the maternity and baby pictures. We are so happy that we chose Morag to shoot this very special time in our lives. We felt very comfortable while doing the shoot and the results exceeded our expectations. We highly recommend using Morag as photographer and cherish our photos which have become instant memories.” – Garth and Georgia

Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer and Vancouver Doula Morag Hastings

Morag you have a gift! You were so easy to work with and both my daughter and I felt so comfortable and at ease with you. You have a great eye and captured some amazingly beautiful moments. I have already had one of the pictures blown up to put in our front entrance. You have such an easy going and calm demeanor which makes this career choice so perfect for you. I have already recommended you to my friends as I was absolutely thrilled with the pictures you took. There were so many good ones, it was hard to choose. We especially loved the slideshow you put together of the shoot – it was stunning.” – Morgan, Geoff, and Harlo

Morag, you were a blast to work with, so accomodating and fun to be around. You captured some amazing photos of our newborn baby that we will always cherish. They are just gorgeous! We look forward to working with with you again. Thank you so very much! I will definately reccommend you to my friends.” - Kerry and David

“I met Morag by chance in the midwifery clinic. Immediately her friendly and approachable nature made me feel comfortable. She came to our home one sunny day in March and photographed our baby girl in the natural light and setting of our home (which was SO convenient with a new baby). She immediately dove in. Her confidence with babies and her camera made me sit back, relax and watch her at work. Despite Althea having a somewhat cranky afternoon, Morag was able to capture some amazing moments. We used one of her shots for our birth announcement and everyone who saw it loved it. Morag was committed and professional every step of the way, from setting up the session to receiving the final photos. It was a pleasure working with her and we would definitely work with her again.” - Jane, Tim and Althea

Vancouver Doula Apple Blossom Families- Vancouver Birth Photographer Morag Hastings

 

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Vancouver Sun March 2014 - http://shar.es/TBXbs

Morag Hastings is a professional Vancouver birth photographer and doula. She is DONA Certified Birth Doula, hypno-doula, specializing in birth photography.