love becomes family
Living in a new city, Richmond Va, I'm constantly meeting new people who invariably ask what I do. Because I love my job, I'm always eager to chat, and i'm curious about people's responses. I say, "I'm a photographer; I photograph births." From this I get one of two reactions, "you do WHAT?! That is cool, I can't even imagine! So you are in the room the entire time? Even when baby comes out?! Wow!" or I get a blank stare. This blank stare typically mean they aren't 100% sure what I just said, so I elaborate further by adding, "labor and delivery." After all what you say, "I photograph births" out loud, it sounds like, "I photograph birds." While interesting, that is not what I do!
From that initial interaction the conversation can go many ways based on who I'm speaking with, but there is typically one question that is pretty constant. "What kind of births? Do you prefer the hospital, or home birth?" I used to not like this question, but now I love it!
I have photographed hospital births, both medicated and natural, with an OB, midwife, and doula's present and not present. I have also photographed Birth Center births at free standing clinics as well as attached to a hospital. I have photographed a home birth and been present for a family before and after a cesarean birth (photographers are not always allowed in the operating room). Within these various scenarios I have documented land births as well as water births, with first time parents, 4th time parents, and even a surrogacy! I love each and every birth I have documented for so many different reasons. I have also learned more about birth and about myself as a woman, wife, mother, and artist with each family expansion.
Birth is a process of transformation no matter where or how you choose to bring your child into the world. No matter who assists you in delivery, or the outcomes after birth. It is a moment in time filled with strength, love, anxiety, pain, and joy.
I write all of this to share that I am a true believer that birth, is birth, is birth. Just as love is love. Love becomes family in the beginning and in the end!
With grit and grace,