This client is more than just a "client." Sasha has become a friend, photography peer, and we've been through a lot together over her last 3 births. Her family has been kind to me, her dad is my favourite "Papa" that has ever been into a birth room, we've also shot a birth of a mutual friend side-by-side, and recently taken on sueing a large media company for misuse of one of her birth images (but that's another story for another day.)
This 3rd birth story was everything! Everything she had dreamed it would be, and everything I dreamed it would be for her. She has planned a homebirth for every baby but this was the first homebirth that started and finished at home (without any unexpected transfers.) She is one of the calmest, most present labouring women I have seen. She has had her mom catch all of her babies, and the amount of love and joy present in her birth space is endearing...
(turn phone sideways for better viewing of video)
Hit video to play.
I remember starting up this business 9 years ago and people would look at me with confusion "you photograph WHAT?" I patiently tried to explain birth photography was about capturing so much more than that 1 photo. Sometimes they would understand and sometimes they wouldn't. Despite their reactions in the early years, my heart called me to push on and keep shooting births because I loved what I did and the mother's who "got it" were sooooo appreciative of the photos I gave them. Even though I love it, it's hard. In fact, it's exhausting work... I wish I could take more holidays. I wish I didn't have to check my phone 50 times a day. I wish I could tell my kids "I'll be there..." but sometimes I won't be and luckily they get it. I have chosen to do what I LOVE. Capturing birth stories and supporting women during labour makes my heart happy. Thank you to True Calling for telling my story.
I titled this post the "Strength of a Mother" because I really stood at this birth in awe of this woman's power the entire time. This was her 3rd birth (it's also the 3rd birth I've captured for her) and all I could think about was how much stronger motherhood has made her since we've met. Labour is not easy, and it's not made any easier when it goes slowly. 3rd births are always unpredictable but this was her longest "active labour." She did "it" all with such grace and force of mind, body and soul.
What a crazy incredible year this has been. It started off in January (while I was vacationing in Hawaii) when I got a call that I won "Best Birth Image of the Year" from International Association of Professional Birth Photographers. This was a huge honour and I interviewed with People Magazine and The Today Show while sitting beachside.
And here are my FAVOURITE images of the year... from my own birth. These were taken by the talented documentary photographer: Kyla Ewert (located in Abbotsford, BC)
I normally create a year end video, but have been busy mothering this year, so I will leave you with my highlight film from last year... THIS IS WORTH A WATCH...
Happy New Year!
Birth is a journey through many emotions and feelings. Anticipation. Excitement. Frustration. Intense. Pain. Pleasure. Comfort. Hurt. Confusion. And then... Ecstasy. Pure Joy... Feeling whole. Feeling complete.
I'm grateful to this beautiful mother for allowing me to witness and capture her journey. She was strong, brave, vulnerable, and powerful. She's a fierce example to her 2 little men.
This is one of my dearest friends. I remember sitting in her basement in highschool and talking about how we would raise our kids differently, then we lived together 1 year in university, she stood beside me as I said my wedding vows, and now we get to raise our little girls side by side. She is already the amazing mama we all knew she would be. Here is a little glimpse into life with her little lady at 2 weeks old.