As a birth photographer one of my favourite projects to work on is my ‘Journey to Birth’ project. It is my unique way of capturing a woman’s whole pregnancy, birth and newborn journey in the form of approximately 10 shoots, then fusing it altogether in one epic masterpiece.
For me, it is the gold standard of birth photography. It gives me time to get to know my couple and capture their journey from their eyes, not mine. When the day arrives, it allows me to be a much trusted part of the birth team. The process reminds me of my days as a Midwife and that longed for continuity of care that both women and Midwives seek. It is so incredibly special for me to build that relationship with my couples. My hope is that they feel the same, that they feel my support for them and that they see the immense blessings of family life through my images.
When I first met Daena and Jess we discussed how they would like their film to evolve. They are such an easy going, no fuss couple so it was just a matter of nailing down some locations that held special meaning for them and the rest was left to me. We did most of the shoots at dusk or dawn to capture the stunning light at that time of the day and slowly watched on, as this gorgeous belly started to take on a new form, a life giving form.
As with all births. Theodore’s birth was a magical day. Daena was incredible. She trusted her body, dug deep and persevered. Talk about having a tribe of wise women surrounding her. They supported, encouraged, uplifted and above all trusted the process. At one point, as transition neared one of the Midwives had us all in tears. Her words went something like…. “this is the moment you have been longing for. You are about to meet the love of your life”.
Seeing Jess reach down and do the catching was something truely special. As you will see in the film, Little Theodore took a while to take his first breath, so after a brief time being cared for he was brought back to Mama’s arms for a lovely first feed. This was also the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph a Mother becoming a Grandmother, an incredible moment in its own right.
Daena and Jess, thank you for inviting me into your lives and into your family. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our adventures. You have taught me so much about the diversity of families, for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
May your precious little family of three, be incredibly blessed xx
And without further ado, here it is. This is birth in all its glory, please skip watching it if you find birth offensive in anyway. My heartfelt thanks to Daena and Jess for gifting me permission to share so that others may be inspired. Thank you to all the staff involved from my local birthing unit for giving me permission to share this publicly. We have a wonderful birth unit here, the Midwives never fail to inspire. I have no doubt this will touch the lives of many a pregnant woman as she prepares for her own birth.