Birth is no place for competition. The the advocacy of birth by birth photographers is misplaced under the guise of an image competition. Are we not sharing our work and stories of birth in our everyday marketing strategy? Connect to your mission, your community, and seek guidance if you need it outside of competition.
It's been quiet on the blog in 2017. From supporting my full time student partner and 4 year daughter, I have been living as presently as possible before our 2018 year of big changes. As many of you know we moved to Richmond so that my husband could finish out his degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences at VCU.
It has been a wild ride full of ups and downs, homework, and clinical rotations. College life at 30 is way different, decidedly more boring, and challenging in new and different ways than college life at 20! As we approach our last semester of married college life, we are starting to plan for life after graduation. I'm a bit nervous, but also stoked to be entering a new season of life! We are also coming up on our 10 year wedding anniversary! Woo!
For us, this means another move, further south this time!
We love city living in Richmond, and are excited to learn a new city and live in a warmer climate year round! So Atlanta, here we come! Well in about 5 months! Do you now anyone in the Atlanta, Georgia area? I would love to connect with friends of friends and family!
If you are reading this in your home in Virginia, NOVA or RVA, and you are a little sad that we haven't connected lately, please send me an email or text! I am notoriously horrible at keeping up with people! We have 4 months to get together laugh and goof off before we depart though!
If you are someone who is saying "well crap, I need you to document my family!" send me a note via my contact page! Let's get a session on the calendar and stay tuned for a farewell tour of sorts. I would love to see your family in front of my lens before we leave! As for birth families, I will be taking births through the end of March 2018 here in Richmond, Virginia. If you are due after this time I am happy to work with you to find a recommendation to fit your family!
Atlanta families and expecting parents, Nicoleinbold is already starting to book birth and parenthood sessions in June and beyond, let's connect!
First lets talk about the literal definition of documentary. Whether you use this word as a noun or an adjective, it simply means official pieces of written, printed, or other matter or a factual record or report. This is Google's definition. In my own words documentary, is a real life account of events. No choreography or staging. It is not a fly on the wall approach for me. While I do observe and anticipate what might happen next, my goal is integrate into your family, get close and step back, as any self respecting toddler with the a camera in their hand would do.
While I have studied proper posing and have followed all the rules to learn my craft; rules are meant to be broken right? In a documentary session there are no rules, no posing, no guided interaction, or intervening (unless someone is doing something that may kill or seriously harm them self or another). I am hands off and integrate as another kid in your family.
You read right, I become a kid. I'm on their side, even though you paid for the the session, because it is their trust and unique character and how they interact with you, mom and dad, that we want to capture.
Documentary photography is the observation of real life emotions and connection throughout mundane tasks and adventures alike. After all, it is those everyday moments, the goofy, sticky, tantrum filled moments, that you are going to want to remember so many years in the future. Unscripted moments documented are proof you lived, proof you tried and failed, proof that you existed with your children. Documentary photography is powerful.
Think of it this way, a yearly school photo can't capture you or your children's unapologetically being nor can it depict your authentic family. I don't mean to bash school pictures, they have their purpose; a record of a hair cut and missing teeth, or the phases of puberty. Documentary photography captures their fluid place in this world, as a member of your particular human unit.
That was a lot about kids, but documentary photography is also an account of your parenthood. It is a series of still frames that show your strength, perseverance, and love. We don't often have the opportunity as parents or even adults to see how much we are loved, how beautiful we appear in our surrounds, yes, even if that is a messy kitchen or toy infested living room. Sure we are tired most days, exhausted on others, but our journey with our children and partners is astoundingly profound.
Whether it be your child's unparalleled passion to share their emotions or your unmatched desire to remember the good and the bad I hope you consider a documentary photography session with me or an artist in your area, because your story matters in this crazy adventure called life.
When I was pregnant over 4 years ago, I did one yoga class. I was living outside of DC, which is to say I lived a fast lane life and had a lot of trouble slowing myself down enough to think about let alone enjoy the art of yoga. I had a preconceived notion that all yoga is slow. Pregnant or not. Yeah - I was wrong in my thought process!
I am so happy to have met and been present for this amazing mama's maternity session. She practices Ashtanga and Rocket Yoga which is a considerably fast paced flow of yoga. This session really drove home for me the principle that pregnancy is a state of health and that pregnant women really can do every, assuming they are healthy. Check it out!
*NOTE* Be sure to clear physical activity with your care provider. This mama is an avid yogi who continued her practice throughout her pregnancy.
Location: The Yoga Dojo
put yourself out there
There are so many ways to be judged in this world as a person, so why throw yourself into the limelight? As an introvert, putting myself out in the world is super hard. Now take this concept and apply it to an image competition, and I'm just about paralyzed with fear. Does anyone really ever feel like they have taken an award winning image?
With any art form, you put a part of yourself into every finished piece. Especially the pieces within your portfolio that you share with the world. I know for me these images are of other's experiences, but it is still through my perspective, with my vision and final styling. Naturally, putting this piece of my heart up to be judged is not done lightly. With that said, without judgement or criticism, how am I supposed to grow and learn?
This year I entered 3 images to be viewed and judged in a new birth photography image competition called Elevate. You can click to read the judging process and rubric here. Further, you can see all the amazing finalists on their website.
As for my images, thank you so much to my wonderful clients who allow me to hold space with them at such an intimate time in their lives and for allowing me to share their birth love stories with you!
Cherished is a frame I adore. Mother's hand gently caressing her new tiny human's cheek, makes you feel the love and awe a parent feels when the finally meet the being they have felt so close for over 9 months. Full Birth Story
Mirrored Creation, again is a frame I love as a member of this families journey to bringing their 4th baby into the world. Mom had felt the tell tale signs of labor early Friday evening. The birth team was on alert and stand by with them in the birthing center from Friday night until Sunday evening. This image was taken in that last tired and delirious hour of wanting to meet their newest family member. I utilized a prism to increase the emotion of the moment and now carry it with me everywhere I go! Full Birth Story
Persistance and Strength
Persistence and Strength is what every mother possesses. I was quite torn as to whether I should submit this image into a competition for it's sheer intimacy of life unfolding. With that said, this frame fully embodies the story of birth in one frame, from my perspective, with a clear focus on mom. I wish, deep down, that every woman could see a similar image of themselves in labor, from an out of body perspective, as she grips on to her lifeline while her world and heart expands to fit another beautiful soul.
with grit and grace,