Mama’s Second Birth, My First as a Photographer


Last summer I was so excited to get my first lucky break into birth photography with a local doula. It felt like the ideal partnership. Unfortunately, her baby came so early that even her midwife barely made it to her birth. So I went back to the drawing board.

After months of no interest, I threw caution to the wind and posted a model call for birth photos. My first response was within a few moments -- it made my day! She could meet in person over the holidays and was open to sharing her images in my portfolio.

We met with our daughters at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and shared birth experiences while my 15m old wanted to explore every nook and corner. Mama exuded so much patience, she was a dream potential client.

As her due date neared, she and her birth team decided on induction. I consulted with some doula friends who suggested multip inductions can move swiftly, so I met her and dad at the hospital when she was started on pitocin. We had a few hours to learn more about each other and joke between contractions. As they got more intense, she decided it was time for the epidural.

My calling towards documenting birth is also motivated by my desire to support mamas in these special moments. When she needed ice, I offered. When she was concerned, dad and I comforted her. Photographing birth is about so much more than the birth itself.

Mama had some relief and rested. I gave them space and settled in for some rest down the hall. Shortly thereafter, she felt pressure, but wasn’t sure so Dr was called in. Sure enough, baby was ready -- it was time to push! The energy in the room changed slightly, but it was still calm inside that excited rush of new faces.

Who knows if they could tell my heart was racing. I kept repeating in my head, “DON’T MISS THE SHOT!” And sure enough, I got it. Whew!

Baby got a lot of immediate skin-to-skin time with mama before leaving her chest for weight check. He was perfect! Nurses were confident, but not pushy. It was a pleasure to document this first birth after my own c-section last year. In many ways it helped me process my own birth experience; this family received wonderful, hands-off care. 

I’m HONORED to have been present for such a beautiful, empowering birth!

 ❤️, Gwen