hospital birth

Oakley's Birth Story | Seattle Birth Photographer

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I’m always excited for my clients who are expecting babies. But when they’ve struggled with infertility - well, it feels like an especially great honor to be invited to capture their story. Samantha and Brandon had been hoping and praying and waiting for their little girl and now it was finally time to meet her!

Though there was a scheduled C-Section date, Oakley decided she didn’t want to wait that long and we were all surprised when Sam’s water broke. Brandon was called home from work, I was called and we met up at the hospital for the completely surreal experience of waiting to welcome earth’s newest little human.

There was time for a phone call with grandma-to-be to share laughter and tears - all the anticipation of the great moments just head. And then it was off to the operating room!

This is four generations of women in one image - thanks to modern technology. I may have cried just teensy bit. And look at that little squish face! I just can’t handle it.

Welcome, sweet Oakley. You are absolutely the best gift your parents could have ever received. xoxo


**NOTE**

You’ll notice I took no images of the actual C-section this time around. This hospital had a policy of absolutely no photographers in the OR (not for Sam’s lack of trying or advocacy), but I was there to capture every moment before and after and to coach Brandon on what he should photograph in the OR.

Clients who book me realize that birth is a STORY and that I am artful storyteller. However your child arrives and whatever policies and practices are in place at your hospital, it’s important to remember that birth is so much more than the moment a baby emerges. It’s really the birth of a family. The birth of parents. The hours leading up to welcoming your child and the ones spent getting acquainted. However your birth unfolds - your story is worth documenting.

Message me with your questions - check my availability, and let’s have a conversation about capturing this priceless moment for your family.


Hudson's Birth Story | Seattle Birth Photographer

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As I sat across from Chamari and Colt in a Starbucks somewhere between our two homes I noted immediately the deep affection they have for one another. Smiling glances across the table and easy laughter as we talked about their blended family and their excitement for the new baby that would be joining them. Colt expressed his admiration for his wife and his absolute faith that she would be equal to the task of an unmedicated birth if that’s what she wanted. (unwavering spousal support: check). Chamari talked about being excited to give birth - eagerly anticipating this event and doing her research on the physiological birth process. She had envisioned the way she’d like her birth to go and was willing to be flexible with whatever needed to happen on the day their son would be born. (positive birth associations, informed mother, willingness to go where birth would take her: check. check. check.)

These were all excellent signs that this birth would be a beautiful experience for everyone involved.

After being sent home from Labor and Delivery once with “false labor” and hardly getting any rest, we texted back and forth about the possibility that Chamari was experiencing prodomal labor and I encouraged her to keep resting, and to feel confident that her body was doing exactly what it needed to do to bring her baby here.

It wasn’t many hours later that I received a text that they were headed back to L&D. “Hopefully there’s some progress because I don’t know how much more of this I can handle.”

When I arrived to the hospital I found a woman laboring with focus, determination, and grace. It was clear that these contractions were asking the very most of her, and she gave herself to the process completely.

I’ll let the photos take it from here.

That love and support. Unwavering. He was present with her in the most challenging parts of this process. And in the moments of rest she cracked jokes and we all laughed. Birth is a wondrous unfolding.

I could not be more proud of this beautiful family. For loving each other so fiercely, for birthing so fearlessly, and for inviting me along to witness the miracle. If you’re interested in having your birth documented - let’s have a chat in a random coffee shop. It just could be the start of something beautiful.

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5 Reasons to Hire a Birth Photographer | Seattle Birth Photographer

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There is so much to consider when having a baby. Where to deliver? Which care provider? Epidural or no? Doula? Birth Photographer? It can feel overwhelming, to be sure. And this is all before the baby comes and you are responsible for a new life! In my daily conversations with couples considering birth photography, there are certain themes that come up again and again.

1. Birth is a once in a lifetime event. We photograph important events—it's just what we do. It's one way we show that this moment meant something to us. Our parents posed us with prom dates, we hired photographers for our weddings, we plan to snapshot each milestone of our baby's life. What could be more important than the day of their birth? My daughter's birthing day was far more exciting and emotional than my wedding day. What I wouldn't give to have professional photographs of the first time she took a breath, the first time I kissed her face—those first moments I became a mother and my husband a father.

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2. Birth photography is for you. You grew this baby inside you, you dreamed of this baby, and now you will birth this baby. There is a lot you will miss on the day you give birth. You're kind of busy having a baby! But those small details are so meaningful. I love sitting with women as they look over their birth photos. They see their own strength and fortitude in a brand new way. Many of my clients have found birth photos useful in helping them process their labor and delivery. Whether it was a whirlwind birth or long and slow, dramatic things happen during the birth process—things we don't always anticipate. My photographs illustrate beauty and provide context—often a needed healing balm for new parents. They also give you the chance to just reflect on your own incredible power. You brought a life into the world! It's an amazing feat.

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3. Birth photography is for your partner. My husband was my rock during three very different labors. I've never felt so loved and so held as I did in those hours as we worked together to bring our children to earth. I still remember his steady gaze as I centered myself through each contraction. It's a look I see again and again as devoted partners prepare to become parents. When your baby is born, it's such a gift to give your partner the opportunity to be completely present and engrossed in that moment. Let me photograph your first precious minutes as a family—so you can just live them together.

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4. A birth photographer brings reassurance and support. You may not know which doctor delivers your baby. Will the provider on call be the one you really like? And chances are you've never met the labor and delivery nurse who will be with you during the bulk of your birthing experience. Bringing someone along with you, someone you know and trust, someone who has spoken with you at length about your birthing desires, your fears, your hopes—it really helps you feel supported and safe. As your birth photographer I have a connection with your family and also a familiarity with the process of labor and delivery. Nothing makes my heart soar like hearing my clients say what my presence in their birthing room meant to them.

Whitney was amazing at capturing every moment, seemingly unnoticed. She has an uncanny ability of being in the space while not being distracting, and creating a soft and supportive energy wherever she is.
— Averry
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5. Birth photography is about telling your family's story. I love to tell stories—whether gathered in the living room with friends, tucking my kids into bed, even on stage in front of strangers. But the stories I tell with my camera—those are honest and real and incredibly meaningful. Hiring a birth photographer is about inviting a storyteller to make art from your most intimate moments. The transition into motherhood—it's a doozy. You experience the highest highs and lowest lows. This is why I fell in love with documenting birth. There's no primping or posing or faking it. It's raw and emotional and I've never seen a more compelling story than the day a child is born.

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Whitney and I connected instantly and her warm and calming presence put me at ease. All my concerns were addressed and as promised, she was an absolute ninja. I barely even noticed she was in the delivery room. And the final images? They still make me emotional. I love being able to re-live this once in a lifetime event. And seeing your birth from someone else’s perspective is quite amazing - like an out-of-body experience. We’re so happy to have had these memories preserved. I only wish Whitney was with us for Bowie’s birth as well!
— Shannon

If you're looking for a Seattle birth photographer to tell the amazing story of your child's birth, reach out and let's schedule a consultation! I look forward to capturing the beauty of your story— however it unfolds.