I love it when I get a message from M. that they are having another baby and I am invited to take birth photographs at their home birth. They have used the same midwives and had me as their doula and birth photographer at every birth. This family has a way of making you feel like you are part of their family with the older siblings attending and grandparents enjoying the post birth festivities. You can view her first birth here and her second home birth here. Thank you, Mary, Kon, and kids for inviting me into your home to document another beautiful moment in time. Welcome to the world little one. My doula baby showing me her photo album from her birth waiting for her youngest sister to be born. Good morning. Baby yet? Strong M. right before she birthed her baby. The midwives explaining to the girls about how the head molds so the baby can be born. Big sister gloving up so she can catch. The birth photographer hard at work with her binoculars. Dad always catches. Moments after she was born there was a party. Grandma and Grandpa showed up without knowing their new grandbaby had been […]
To give birth, you must dive headfirst into the great mystery. Your body transforms, a new being emerges, life is never again the same. But we can’t say how it will happen. And if we have questions later, we may never know why things went the way they did. Yet the experience remains, etched onto ourselves, whispering through every slackened muscle fiber and weakened ligament. Our wavering connective tissue thinning with every strain, connecting past with the present. Is there any experience more visceral? This is the story of my second child. A redemptive birth fraught nonetheless with the cognitive dissonance of empowerment and helplessness. I wanted a VBAC, and so to tell the story of the second I must first review the first. My first birth was lengthy and typical of what is sometimes called “the cascade of interventions”. I had several ineffective sweeps starting as early as recommended and eventually opted for a castor-oil induction at 9 days past due. The midwife who suggested it never told me that any form of induction increases one’s risk of c-section. My water broke early, with meconium in the fluid. Arriving at the hospital my labour was heavily augmented […]
It is pretty special when you get to photograph a fellow doula’s birth. What a beautiful relationship this family has and what a wonderful way to bring their second son into the world. I was so lucky to get to be at their birth and we are all so lucky she is sharing her beautiful images. Enjoy and be inspired. From the birthing mother; Labour played mind tricks on me, with many false starts for two weeks. Every evening, I would have strong Braxton-hicks contractions and I would think that labour was going to start. Morag probably got tired of receiving my texts! Two nights before my due date, I started feeling contractions at around 10pm, and I thought it was going to be another false alarm but the contractions became regular! I tried to sleep, but that was not going to happen since the pressure on my hips was intensifying so much. I texted my wonderful labour team and by around midnight everyone was at my apartment. I had intense pressure on my hips and on my perineum with each contraction. The only position that felt “comfortable” for me was a lunge/squat beside my bed. When my water released […]
The night before Halloween my client welcomed her second baby into the world at 42 weeks and 3 days. She birthed her baby surrounded by her family. What a wonderful way to be brought into the world. When I arrived things seemed pretty calm. S. was in the ensuite bathroom listening to her hypnobabies tracks while her husband sat close by supporting her with each wave. Her friends were in the kitchen making spaghetti and looking after their daughter. But then it moved into her hips…. The purse was her daughters camera. She was ready for the action. 🙂 That moment of disbelief that things were really happening. A few moments later it was clear S. was not getting out of the tub. And just like that she birthed her baby’s head into her hands. No one had a chance to catch. S. reached down and pulled the baby up to her chest. Yes there was 8 of us in the ensuite bathroom…. ha ha Big sister coming in to check out her new baby. The family snuggle. I love midwives. Their friend carved a special knife to cut their babies cord. It worked really well. I was impressed. What a beautiful thing. […]
The biggest question I get asked as a Birth Photographer Mentor, is, “What is in your camera bag?” As a birth photographer mentor, a common question I get asked is what do you bring to births? I am happy to share with new birth photographers what I carry with me. At first, you might think it is a lot if you are offering professional birth photography services you should come prepared. A lot of people think it is my magical camera and lens combo that creates the beautiful images you see on my birth photographer website. I wish that were true, but it is not. I have been working on my craft as a birth photographer for over 6 years, attending over 300 births. In 2000 I completed an intensive two-year full-time Professional Photography course at Langara College. I have never stopped learning. The best thing about this work is I never feel like I have reached my fullest potential and that is why I love my job so much. There is always more to learn. Calling yourself a professional birth photographer means you will be working in low light, fast moving, challenging environments, and you should have […]
Looking for a Birth Photography Mentor? Have you photographed your friends birth and now you are hooked? Have you been photographing births for awhile and you feel like your images are not as high quality as you would like? Are you always looking at your favourite birth photographer’s page and wondering how did they do that? Finding a birth photography mentor sounds like something you should look into. How do you find the right person to be your birth photography mentor? Ask yourself the following questions to help find the perfect birth photography mentor for you. 1. Figure out who is your favorite birth photographer. Birth photography has exploded over the last five years. Now you can find all kinds of birth photographers from all over the world! Make a list of birth photographers that you love. Follow their social media pages and blogs for awhile. See if you like their content and their message. If you are not enjoying what they are putting out to the world then you might want to reconsider if they are the right photographer to work with to be your birth photographer mentor. 2. Figure out what you want to learn. […]
“There is a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.” ~ Laura Stavoe Harm When you feel the waves of contractions days and weeks before your baby comes, it can be confusing. How do you know when it is really time? Most of my clients know when it switches, they usually call me and say OK this is it, it feels different. After getting the THIS IS IT call. I arrived in the evening, set up the pool, and sent these two off to bed. They laboured together snuggled beside each other until it became too intense and they decided to make their way into the living room. Right after this moment my client told me she was in transition: Honestly I didn’t really believe her… well because look at her she is dressed, upright and pretty engaged. Not the picture we imagine of a women in transition. We decided to call the midwife so she could get a dose of antibiotics in before her baby arrived. The antibiotics were hung, then suddenly my clients waters broke and the head was right there. It was the most calm, surreal birth experience […]
Last week I got to attend this very special birth, my doula sister birthed her first baby into her hands just as the sun was about to set. Welcome to the world sweet girl. Ready to push her baby out….
My client had a fast and furious second birth this past week. I will be honest when I walked into the room and saw her in this gorgeous dress I was hoping the baby would be born while she was wearing it, that would make for some pretty beautiful pictures. Instead she got up to Room 13, climbed into the tub and rocked her 11lbs 8oz baby girl down into her into her hands. She climbed out of the tub and birthed her baby in under 30 minutes of mother lead pushing. After her baby was out she repeated “I did it, I did it” over and over again for a good 10 minutes. It was beautiful to witness the power of birth and believing that your body can do it! T. has shared with us why she is sharing her images and story publically. I think it is a really important message that is told best by a woman who makes and births large babies. Thank you T. and D. for sharing your story and inspiring others! Our bodies are pretty smart. “I wanted to share these pictures because I hope to inspire other women that birthing large babies vaginally and without pain medication is possible. […]
~ What does your birth photographer mentorship include? If you are looking to find a birth photographer mentor you have come to the right place. Morag Hastings has years of experience in the birth industry. She actively photographs 40-50 births each year and works as both a doula and photographer in Vancouver, BC Canada. Morag was one of the original birth photographers who worked endlessly to make birth photography what it is today. To find out more check out her mentorship page. ~ This article covers, in detail, what is included in the Apple Blossom Families Birth Photography Six month Mentorship. ~ Six Month Mentorship with Apple Blossom Families ~ We will start off by seeing if we are a good match for each other. I prefer my mentees to have attended at least two births and to have basic photographic knowledge. You will need some basic professional gear and a deep interest in creating lasting memories for birthing families. The biggest value of this mentorship is that you get full access to all of my knowledge for a six month period. You will have access to me on-call to ask any questions that you may have about birth, photography, business, life […]
This image won the Labour category in the International Birth Photography Image of the Year competition. It was picked from hundreds of images from all over the world as the best image of 2016. Many websites shared this image and many people have been inspired by the power that this woman has. She is confident, strong, in charge. People are drawn to this. Even George Takei shared it!
#Liberated + #Confidence These are words that describe Kim Kardashian West when she posts images of her beautiful body on Facebook. Her sexy naked body images have close to a half a MILLION likes. Trust me with that much traffic these images are getting reported but somehow they are still up. Even though the following image is directly against Facebook’s nudity rules “We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks.” Facebook keeps these images coming into news feeds because sexulizing women is important for our society to keep on oppressing women. Source: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KimKardashian I wish my clients and other women could feel #Liberated and have #Confidence with their unsexual birth images. I keep thinking the world has changed and we are no longer shoving “women’s issues” behind closed doors. But then I wake up to find a message from FB saying that I have been banned for 30 days and my business page, with 22,000 followers that I worked really hard to acquire, is going to be unpublished because I posted an educational image of a baby being born. This image did not show “full buttocks” and definitely did not contain “sexual content.” The image that they removed showed a powerful […]
The love in this birth movie is so powerful you might find yourself drenched with tears. Grab yourself a tissue, get cozy and watch as my friend births her third baby in her living room surrounded by her amazing family. Want to see more images from this birth? Here is the blog post with just images. If you want to see another home birth video click here. Both of Moshe’s parents wrote their birth story and have offered to share it with you. Here is the written account from both of their perspectives. Enjoy! Papa’s Birth Story of Moshe Audio Alan McCourty Born 6:05am, November 24, 2015 The 23rd was a Monday. I had the day off. I had already been off for a few days. It was nice to be at home to help make sure everything was just the way we wanted it to be. There was a lot of planning and preparation leading up to the highly anticipated birth. Mama had been beyond physically ready to have the baby come join us, and get it the heck out of her body! It had been a very challenging pregnancy. There was of course, a lot of feelings sitting with Mama […]
E. & R.’s Home Birth Story E: I woke up in the middle of the night on Wednesday with contractions about 10 mins apart. I tried to get some sleep and by morning they were irregular so I decided to try and get some rest on Thursday since I had a feeling this was the real deal. I went for a walk later in the afternoon and things picked right back up. R: It was a normal Thursday for me. I went to work without knowing that E. was in labor and today would be the day that changed our lives. I came home with Ramen noodles for dinner around 7pm. E: We called our doula, Jessica, and she came to check on us around 9pm and said she’d likely be back in an hour or so because things were starting. We called her back around11:30pm as I was starting to feel them really intensely and was struggling a bit. She brought her TENS machine which was amazing and she showed R. some ways to help me through the contractions. R: When I called Jess to come back at 11:30 this was the point I knew labour was getting real. Thank […]