Happy “birth week!” On this day two years ago, I was past my due date and so ready to meet my baby – and find out if we would have a son or a daughter! It was such an exciting time in my life and I wanted to remember it by deeming this week “birth week” on the blog every year! I thought I’d kick off this week with the story of how I found myself in the world of birth photography. So here’s a little timeline of how it all happened:
I was halfway through my pregnancy and I photographed (and witnessed) my very first birth. After hiring a birth photographer to capture my baby’s birth, it got me thinking about offering birth photography so I reached out to some expecting mommas and found myself on-call and SO excited! Laura gave birth to her son at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center (see the photos below) and I cried my eyes out as I witnessed the miracle of birth for the first time. It was incredible, it was something I was about to experience in a few short months, and it was something I knew I wanted to photograph again.
I attended the Making Things Happen conference for the second time. I’d given birth to my amazing son just six short months before and I felt like I needed a refresh after such a big life change. I was feeling a bit stuck and overwhelmed with life as a full time momma and business owner. One of the prompts at MTH is to write down things that “fire you up” and we were asked to share if we felt comfortable. While I had written down “birth,” it sounded weird or didn’t make sense so I kept it to myself. I didn’t feel like I could do anything with that. I’d photographed two births prior to that conference, but I just couldn’t believe that I could make that my career. Basically, I was afraid to step away from shooting weddings for fear of being unsuccessful.
I had convinced myself that the only way to make money as a photographer was to shoot weddings and I believed that for almost 5 years. Then, I had my son and I realized how precious my time was. For every minute that I was out of the house working, I was missing time away from my son. I knew that I wanted to continue working, but I needed to find something to renew my passion for photography. Otherwise it just wasn’t worth it anymore.
I want to clarify that I’ve had some incredible wedding clients over the years! They’ve made my job wonderful and worth every single minute. I would never want any of them to think that I didn’t enjoy photographing their special day – because I did! It just became apparent over time that as I grew as a photographer and a momma, my business needed to evolve with me.
I’d discovered a passion for birth and motherhood while I was pregnant – I couldn’t get my hands on enough information. The miracle of birth was (and is) so fascinating to me and the thought of being able to witness and document this miracle regularly? AMAZING.
I had booked my first two clients and was on-call in March of 2016. Sweet Adaline came into the world on March 10, 2016 (see photos below). I was there all night and it’s still the longest I’ve been at a birth, but I loved every minute. Because I was there for so long, I was able to spend a lot of time with that sweet momma and encourage her as she worked SO hard to bring her daughter into the world. On the drive home I remember being so so grateful for this “new” job of mine. From there, I started sharing birth images and continued to book births. The rest is pretty much history!
When we moved to Winston-Salem, it put a little kink in my business plans. I was in a new area with a fairly new specialty and I had to figure out how to make it all work. But I’ve seen God’s hand in so much of this story: He gave me the passion, He brought me the amazing clients, and He has so many exciting things happening in this area. I’ve been able to connect with amazing birth professionals in the area (one of whom you’ll hear from tomorrow). There are some incredible birthing facilities in the Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Statesville, and Charlotte areas that offer so many options to mommas. There is even a Baby + Company birth center opening up TEN minutes from my house next month! We love living in the Triad and I’ve loved being part of the birth community here, as well.
So here I am: a birth photographer. I’ve officially switched specialties. I get to capture the most amazing moments in a family’s life! I’m officially only accepting up to 5 weddings per year. I’m officially booking births for late 2017 and beyond. It feels amazing and scary all at the same time. Taking on something so big – a complete overhaul of my business – was never really the plan. If you’d asked me 2 years ago if I’d ever do something like this, I would have thought you were crazy. But that’s the way life works sometimes – the crazy, surprising, scary things are often the best things.
To see more birth stories, click HERE.
To inquire about having me document your birth, click HERE.