P: I am a fairy and I have to be careful that humans don’t see me.
G: What would you do if they did?
P: I’d look like this. And then I’d fly away.
You know that moment when you look at your child and they’ve suddenly changed? Maybe it was while they were sleeping, or while you were busy making dinner but in some instant they’re different.
The other morning I woke, the sun streaming through under the blind and shining in on our oldest and I knew it was a new era for us. Something had changed. The softness to her thighs and the roundness in her belly that I have loved have slipped away and she stands taller and leggier than I remember.
I remember being her age – being four. How can she already be that age that doesn’t seem so far off to me? I feel my four year old thoughts in my head when I look at her. Why did I have to nap when I wasn’t tired? Who would watch my new tricks? When would that baby growing in my mothers belly arrive … and who would they be? How high could I get on our tire swing?
In some ways I feel like I didn’t have her long enough as a baby, as a toddler, how can I be ready for her to be so grown already? I want more time, I want to listen to her baby voice again, just once more. To hold her new chubby body in the crook of my arm.
Is there a pause button?
In other ways, I can’t believe we’re already at this wonderful age – the age I’ve hoped and longed for – where we can do things together and enjoy a long conversation. We paint side by side and I teach her to ride her bike, watching her grow more and more independent with each pedal. It’s hard to believe really that all those tantrums and nappies and long nights rolled up and produced this little lady who can tell me exactly how she’s feeling and where she’s heading. As I’ve said before- she flourishes into each new stage becoming more and more her own and the painfulness of her littleness flown by is lost to the delight of seeing her blossom.
After many months in progress I am so excited to announce that the Birth Photography workbook the wonderful Lana Bell of Little Posers and I have been working on is ready for purchase.
As a birth photographer & blogger I get a lot of emails from women wanting to get into this genre of photography and this is everything I would love to talk about on the topic. I am so happy to be able to share the collective knowledge that Lana and I have gathered working in this field with those of you wanting to start documenting births.
The guide covers everything you need to know about photographing births in simple, easy to understand language.
We’ve designed the book to be accessible to both new and established photographers wanting to add birth photography to their offerings. So we’ve covered everything from using your camera on manual, to a basic guide on incorporating video into your slideshows, the logistics of working as a birth photographer (when to go on call, when to arrive at the birth, when to leave), a guide to pricing your work, etiquette in the birthing room and everything in between.
This is designed to be an introduction to birth photography so we cover many subjects in short order – if you are already shooting birth sessions this may not be the guide for you. However if you have lots of questions about just getting started and how birth photography might work for you and your business then this guide will be a great starting point.
As an added bonus, you will also receive access to a private Facebook group just for those who purchase the PDF where you can network, as questions and share.
- Equipment, Cameras and lenses, Backup camera and batteries, Shooting in manual mode, Using available light
- The stages of birth, Etiquette in the birth suite, Hospital births, Home births, Common procedures, The ‘circle of trust’
- The life of a birth photographer, When to arrive, when to leave, Being paid for your time, Being on call, Backup photographers, How many clients to take, Refunds
- Documenting a birth, Telling a story, Finding flattering angles, Using your camera’s video setting, What happens when things don’t go to plan
- Post processing, Products and marketing, Music licenses, What products to offer, Simple marketing ideas to get you started
(of all the babies who have grown there – herself, the new baby and Theo).
My heart is so happy thinking of another wee little man to join our family in September. While his big sister had been asking (relentlessly) for a little girl she surprised me with her immediate and excited delight at a second brother to love telling me “I am a very good big sister to a brother and I am going to have two!”. Theo was shocked that his adamant prediction of a little sister was wrong but has warmed to the idea letting me know “I gonna teach dat brudder how to wee outside and on the floor and to ride on a dragon and on a horse and how to eat ice cream”.
Here is a litle video we filmed almost a year ago of what we knew would be one of the last mornings of Theo nursing – one of the last mornings I could really kid myself into believing he was still my baby. I’ll always remember these lazy mornings and afternoons in our bed with each of my children as my time best spent.
Last year I wrote about nursing till toddlerhood and I could tell you all about the benefits of breastmilk past the age of one but that’s boring and really – wasn’t why we nursed till two and a half anyway. Mamas to nursing toddlers know the real benefit of nursing a toddler is the fact you can calm a screaming child you’re thinking about rehoming in three seconds flat.
p.s I had actually exported a version of this video with Theo talking at the end but it’s on my computer in Brisbane and I am in Tennessee so this will have to do for now. I’ll swap them over when I am home again.
When I was pregnant with our first baby at 19, I did what most teenagers of our age do when they want information – I ‘you-tubed’ it. I remember being at home with a large belly pressing into the table in front of me as I typed ‘birth video’ into the tool bar. I spent an hour or more with eyes growing larger and larger watching women scream and sweat their way through what could only be described as a traumatic ordeal. I remember after I stopped watching Errol came home and talked to me about this or that while he stood behind our island bench chatting. I wasn’t listening. Images of my lady bits being torn open were floating around in my head.
Still, that wasn’t going to happen to me – I had been booked into our local birth centre and was planning a beautiful natural birth.
As it happened, my birth ended up a whole lot more like the images I’d planted in my head that night. Scary and upsetting. It did however yield a beautiful healthy baby girl and I was ready to go back for more.
Before I had our second baby, I knew I wanted to have it filmed. Even though I hadn’t yet had a calm birth, I wanted to show how gentle and peacefully babies could be welcomed. I wanted other mothers, especially young mothers like I had been, to see how natural and beautiful birth could be. I wanted to somehow offset the fear. My sister Hailey came to my house in early labour and made the most beautiful documentation of the day we welcomed our son.
I knew I wanted to share it but there was a part of me that hesitated. This was, after all, one the most intimate days of our lives. So special and tender and ours. Did I want this online? Did I want this on youtube? If you’ve been on youtube you will know that as a community they aren’t the loveliest with their feedback. Was it worth the fear I held about it to share it?
That was three years ago and it comes as an easy and happy yes that I can say yes, it was worth it.
In the last 2 years particularly, I have had email after email that remind me that Theo’s birth being online has been positive and the good has always outweighed the hard. Being a mama who works from home can be somewhat isolating and yet within that I have found a way to connect.
This week I got another email from another mama with the attached video. She wrote
“I found your blog a couple of years ago through your sister’s birth video of Theo’s delivery. I was so touched and inspired it made me start looking into natural birth a bit more and I’ve LOVED your subsequent birth documentaries ever since. Two months ago I delivered my first baby totally drug free and had my husband filmed it (as well as he could). I feel I’ve come full circle now to having my own birth video and I’d love to share it with you”
I wanted to share this video with you because not only is it lovely but I am always so in awe when a mama writes to me, that our experience – Theo’s birth could impact someone across the seas. That us welcoming Theo somehow connected us to Liesel and the way she was welcomed into her family. That what we share online can connect us with and strengthen people we’ve never met. It’s creepy and amazing.
Since Theo’s birth I have attended many other women in labour. It is my work and I love it. I’ve been to births that were fast, and births that were slow, births with drugs, births without. Births that went to plan and births that did not. Births with mamas screaming at their husbands and births with no husbands at all and I’ve been in awe and humbled each and every time. So what I want to say is that this isn’t a post about how women give birth – it was just my illustrative point.
This post is about sharing. About being open. Particularly online it’s difficult because you are open to criticism. Not everyone will like what you do or share and that’s okay – that’s a part of the package. But on the flip side – I find myself in awe to think that the vulnerability that I felt sharing this intimate experience grew over time into a strength. And isn’t that what vulnerability is after all? A strength. I think about all the people who have shared with me their fear, insecurity or their intimacy. All the women who have shared themselves on this blog, all authors who have written words that made me stronger, musicians who put their heart in music, people who aren’t perfect and don’t pretend to be, crazy cooks that tried that crazy combo for the first time and came up with something delicious, my husband who loves me without reserve of himself – these people and so many more inspire me and give me strength to keep on being open, even when it’s hard.
“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.