It's been a entire month now, since I photographed this ultra special moment in time. And I'm finally sitting down with a coffee, looking back on the images that are taking me back to every single incredible moment...
The Birth of the much loved Hailey
20-02-2018 at 3.47am
I do get asked a lot about birth photography and I find so many people have misconstrued ideas about what it actually is. So often the comment I hear is....'oh I couldn't think of anything worse than having a camera in my face during labour.' And my response is always the same. I promise you - that is not what birth photography is.
Throughout the birth journey, I give you complete space. I pop in and out, quietly without any interruption and photograph the scene as it's unfolding. You will have plenty of midwives coming in and out - and I do the same. I get told this a lot from my labouring Mums after birth ...'Wow Mel - I didn't even realise you were in the room.' And that is my goal. Obviously if you need my support I will be there. But yes - birth photography is non intrusive, is is purely documentary - no posing or smiling required and definitely no camera will ever be in your face!
So now we have the misjudgements out of the way - how do you know if this is for you - especially if it's your first baby? And you are as nervous as hell?
-Do you love looking at birth images? And by this I don't necessarily mean a baby crowning! But do you look at images of ...
-The powerful connection between partners during labour
- The strength and courage of a woman when giving birth
- A mother holding her baby for the first time
- A father holding his baby for the first time
-Those first feeds
Do any of these move you? Or make you want to see more? If the answer is yes - then birth photography is 100% for you.
When you make contact with me to say that you are interested in hiring me to photograph the birth of your child, we have an in person consult. The purpose of this is not only to get to know you and your partner and for you to get to know me. But also to discuss what you are comfortable with, what you would like photographed or not photographed. And I step you through exactly what I will be doing based upon what you would like, so by the end of the consult, you will be completely sure that this is for you.
Throughout time we photograph each celebration of life - marriages, birthday's etc. However the biggest one - your child entering the world, often goes undocumented. For those Mums reading this who have had children, you will vouch how little memory you have of that moment. The brain goes into protection mode and sometimes presses the 'repress' button. Which is why it is so incredibly important - to remember the miracle of those moments.
Obviously not all births go to plan, but don't worry I have got that covered too. You can read more about that in my FAQ here...
By now you can probably tell how passionate I am about birth photography. I kid you not, it actually feels like this is exactly what I should be doing for the rest of my life. I'm blessed that I've found it and I'm blessed I get to do it. Now to get off my soapbox and back to giving you a little story about the birth of Hailey...
Emma found me on Google - (yay google advertising works!!) And honestly I had a good feeling straight away just reading her email. We arranged an in person consult and yep - my instincts were right. We hit it off and chatted like old friends for oven an hour. Em told me how her and Sean both have children to previous partners and this would be their first one together. It was clear Hailey was to be a much awaited part of the love they all share as a blended family.
It was only a few days later when I got the call from Em that labour was beginning. Being about 40 mins from the hospital, I followed Em and Sean into the hospital not long after they arrived. Em is one of those lucky ones, who when in the first stages of labour, can have contractions and not feel any pain. Which was fab as she got to get some rest in - whilst I tried to get some rest in the waiting room full of snoring expecting Dads ;)
It was around 2.00am and labour was in full swing and the final stages were approaching. As I snuck back and and quietly witnessed it all unfolding - I may have had a leaky eyes for just a few moments, whist I watched and photographed the amazing connection Sean and Em share. In general I love people watching, especially watching couples and how they interact. Maybe my weird hobby is the very reason why I was drawn to photography. And I must say Em and Sean have that special bond, that many of us hope to find. It is rare and utterly amazing to witness.
Then as an accumulation of the love between them was unfolding - Hailey was born. Powerful, emotional and beautiful.
Just a selected few - from the night that was...
Some words from Em...
How do we even begin to thank you for everything you did for us the night Hailey was born...it was truly like we had our closest friend in the room with us. You made s feel so comfortable and relaxed we did not realise you were even there. Your emotional support was just beautiful. We will never forget our experience together especially after the incredible images I know you will have captured just from seeing our sneak peak! Simply perfect! We can not wait to see the rest.
After seeing their slideshow of images...
I have just spent the entire time crying and with goosebumps and heart racing! It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It took me back to every moment wow. How can I thank you enough Mel. You captured a moment in time that can never be repeated. Simply beautiful.
To Emma and Sean - There are not really any words to describe the profound gratitude I have to be chosen to photograph a life entering the world. Thank you for trusting me to be there. Thank you for your beautiful words that made me cry. Thank you for clarifying and defining the love I have for my work. I will treasure that night forever x