I met Jenna Shouldice! I can't tell you how much I love her work, and after hearing her speak, I want to be her BFF (I promise I'm not creepy). I may have introduced myself and told her she was my spirit animal. (That might be a little creepy, but you listen to her talk about women's rights in the birthing space and how she approaches photography and try not to think the same thing!) But that is beside the point, well not really. She is why I'm here writing to you!
Have you ever had thoughts and feeling towards something, anything really, that seemingly everyone around you was saying "no, that's not how it is done," or "you are too emotional about your work so you won't be successful?" I have heard these ideas many times throughout my life. Many MANY times!
- c.s. lewis -
I'm here to tell you, if you have thoughts and feelings, especially about something you are passionate about, the odds are at least one other person in the world does too. Now I'm not saying take your one friend and start a cult, or that you should now assume you are right in all things. If and when you find this, hold onto it, ask questions of them, of your self, and other leaders (now that you have a bit more confidence).
I had the opportunity to do just this, this past weekend while attending The Baby Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Listening to Jenna, speaking to peers, and reflecting, I have come to the conclusion that I am passionate about birth photography because, very simply, it matters. As Jenna eloquently put it:
Photography Matters to Birth
Good Photography Matters to Birth Photography
Approach Matters to Good Photography
Good Photography Matters to Birth
If you have read my about page or even my birth story you know I talk about getting into birth photography to give other women and families a chance to better process their births. Having my own birth photographed help me process a great deal through postpartum depression.
To conclude my thoughts, I want you to know that I support you and your family through photographs. Behind my camera, I think of your mental health and your overall care as you enter into the wide world of parenthood for the first or the tenth time. I know I can't change your story, but my work has the potential to replace memories. The gravity of this is something I take very seriously. We bond through your Oxycontin releases during labor and meeting your new tiny human, isn't science amazing?!
Thank you Jenna for sharing your heart and philosophy about your work!
With grit and grace,