The Birth of Aaron

 

Chantel’s birth plans changed more than once along her journey of birthing little Aaron. Firstly she had to let go of her dream of a second home water birth; next she had to let go of birthing at The Family Birthing Centre; THEN she had to let go of having Aaron arriving on his own terms and instead she had to be induced at King Edward, and THEN she was also told that she couldn’t have a water birth due to being induced. The changes didn’t end there though, as she was scheduled for induction on December 12th but delays meant that although we were all at the hospital on the 12th, the induction didn’t start until the next day. Throughout it all, Chantel took it all in her stride and was determined to make the experience a beautiful one regardless. And she did.

Aaron’s birth was the most beautiful and peaceful experience, whilst also being so much fun. There were many times when it was like a party in that room with dancing to music and lots of laughter, and then many many times when it was just so peaceful. Chantel’s beautiful midwives and I spent time just quietly watching this gorgeous mother labouring so calmly – her breathing focused and her mind ‘in the zone’. At the same time her husband Dony was always there – showering water on her whilst getting wet himself, massaging her endlessly, and frequently making declarations of love and admiration: “That’s my Channy”. Chantel laboured on her own, with only a brief stint on the gas before it was time to push her beautiful baby out.

Chantel and Dony have two boys at home, and didn’t know what their third child would be. The moment Chantel saw that it was another boy her face just lit up in her gorgeous smile and I captured that moment on camera. They would have been happy whoever their baby was – they were just ready to love them. There were a few moments where baby Aaron was in a bit of shock and needed some assistance – I know this was particularly hard on Dony who was able to watch on. Aaron was strong though and before too long he was pink and happy and peaceful in his Mummy’s arms. He only cried very briefly in the whole time I was there after his birth – and from all accounts his calm nature has remained at home. He was just happy to be held, to look around with his alert eyes, to suck on Daddy’s arm, to have skin to skin time with both of his parents, and then to have a feed with Mummy. This was a particularly beautiful moment for Chantel as her other son had trouble with feeding, but Aaron took to it straight away. While Dony was holding Aaron he kept telling him how much he loved him, and he may have even shed a couple of tears. It’s always a surreal moment holding your baby for the first time – the atmosphere in the room goes from intense with the birth process, to light and joyous as everything else is forgotten.

Chantel, you were amazing. Truly amazing. You made the whole birth experience just so beautiful (and yes – you made it look easy!), and I feel so privileged to have been able to be a part of it. Thank you Chantel, Dony and Aaron for letting me into your world so that I could help you tell your story.

If you’d like me to help you tell your birth story, Contact me here. You can also view my Birth Portfolio here.

 

 

Your favourite photos!

Everyone has a different reason for wanting a photo shoot, and different reasons for loving certain images. Prior to a session I ask you to complete a survey so that I can get a better understanding of what type of image you might be hoping for, although sometimes your favourite images from a session are the unexpected ones. Recently I asked my past clients if they could let me know their favourite image from our session, and to give me a brief explanation as to why they loved them. Not only was I so grateful to receive their responses, but I was also soooo happy that for most, their favourite images were those which showed the authentic connections, the real emotions, and the reality of life. In fact, all of their responses fell into three main categories: Connection, Moments in Time, and Emotions. I always love to hear which images you love the most, so always feel free to share your thoughts with me! Meanwhile, this is what my clients said, in their own words:

Connections

Alana (Phoebe’s Newborn Lifestyle Session): 

“It shows our firstborn Ollie trying to bond with his new baby sister. With his life being suddenly turned upside down by a tiny stranger who is now monopolising much of his time with Mum and Dad, Ollie dealt with the great adjustment brilliantly for a not-quite 2 year old. Their bond grows daily and he has loved her fiercely since day one. It makes me so happy to watch their relationship blossom into something so special that will last a lifetime, and Corey and I hope that our babies will see each other as their best friend just like we both do with our siblings”

Jade (Jade and Zac):

We just look so comfortable with each other, but also so in love at the same time!”

Amber (Jude’s Newborn Lifestyle Session):

“I love the photo of Xander upside down – my gorgeous gorgeous boy and his best friend (Daddy!). I know my hubby adores that photo too, the pure joy on Xander’s face is priceless!”

Sarah (The DiTommaso and Tench Family):

“I especially love these two images of Lochie and I. You’ve captured the spirit of Lochie and the relationship we share. While the ‘cuddle’ image is not the most flattering photo of me, I love how you have managed to capture a moment of whirlwind excitement and fun and even more importantly, a delighted connection between us both. Lochie isn’t typically a boy who is overly affectionate or cuddly. As you have noted in your blog about our shoot, more often than not, Lochie is very ‘busy’ banging and crashing about and being his usual spirited self. I can never seem to hold on and cuddle him for long enough before he is off on his next adventure. I’ll be able to hold onto this photo, and this cuddle forever”

Joy : 

“100% this picture. The special relationship my girls have when they don’t want to kill each other. This is how they are on the holidays when there is no stress in their lives and they are just enjoying each other. This pic is of the most amazing thing we have achieved. They are strong and smart and so beautiful. I am so proud of every part of them and I love, love, love this pic. You nailed it!”

Kate (The Longman Family):

“Because it just captures who we are and our relationship all in one image”

Larissa:

“Jeff’s favourite is the one with Jack and his Nanna as it shows the connection and love between the two”

Moments In Time

Amber (Jude’s Newborn Lifestyle Session):

“The photo of all 4 of us on our bed with Xander about to jump in the air – it just so perfectly captured our gorgeous little boy, having the time of his life, completely unphased by the tiny human that just entered our lives! We were all laughing and loving each other and it’s honestly a moment frozen in time that I will remember forever!”

Amanda (Eve’s Lifestyle Newborn Session):

“We got the shoot for our children , our focus was not to have the ‘perfect’ family portrait but more genuine moments that the girls can look back on and reflect about what our family means to us, and them, the moments of love and happiness – an everyday representation. Saying that my favourite two which I hope the girls will look back on are these two as they capture the fun, laughter and love”

Leanne (Zoey’s Newborn Lifestyle Session):

“This photo is my favourite by far…capturing those little feet and her big sister looking over her as she always will”

Ashlee (The Birth of Evie ):

“This will always be our favourite as it is the moment the doctor held Evie up for us to see her for the first time. The moment we became a family. The c-section process happened so quickly, and she was only held up for a few seconds before being whisked away for all the necessary checks, but this photo has frozen that moment in time for us forever”

Ashlee (Evie’s Fresh 48 ):

“It was hard for us to choose a favourite from this shoot, but we couldn’t go past this photo of our new family captured so beautifully. We love the use of the sunlight shining through, the warm colours, and most of all the little face of our precious girl that we just can’t stop kissing”

Anne:

“The background and the boys expression – creates quite a mystical atmosphere!”

“It’s a relaxed/spontaneous family shot”

Melissa (The Emmerson and Fong Family):

“The one of Ari looking serious and sulking amongst the greenery. It’s a moment frozen in time as that’s his look when he doesn’t get his way! Stomps off and sulks. Terrible twos but oh so adorable. And so real. Love it”

“I love the one of Paige and I hugging with me smiling and eyes closed. It’s one of those candid mummy and daughter moments I’ve always wanted to capture but never did. You did it without us realising or posing. Thank you”

Larissa:

“I love the one of Jack throwing up at his baptism – I love it! Simply that was my baby – always sick…I also love my porcelain doll baby photo, and the one of him asleep through it”

Kimberley (Iris’s Newborn Lifestyle Session):

“I think the one you captured of us all on the bed and the kids being authentically themselves would have to be one of my most loved. Because it truly is one of those perfectly imperfect moments that is our every day and it’s just so beautiful. I know in years to come I’ll look at it and be taken right back to this beautiful crazy season with my kids, it’s moments like that which will be most treasure memories”

Emotions

Jade (Jade and Zac):

Zac’s favourite: “Because Jade looks so happy. I don’t know how else to put it!”

Leanne (Zoey’s Newborn Lifestyle Session)

“I also love the one of Zoey and I. You can see total love in my face and it’s not often I have photos taken of me and my little ones as it’s always the girls with Dad”

Melissa (The Emmerson and Fong Family)

“My hubby and I completely adore the one of him and Paige rubbing noses. Ugga mugga from Daniel tiger. It’s so sweet and loving”

If you’d like to capture some beautiful memories for yourself, or organise a voucher for someone you love, Contact me here. 

10 reasons to invest in Birth Photography

When I had my first 3 kids, birth photography wasn’t even a ‘thing’ (or at least I don’t think it was!). There are so many things about the birth that I don’t remember (or wasn’t aware of) and I’d constantly ask my husband and mum questions so I could piece it all together. It was such a huge experience that happened to me, yet I was totally not aware of what was happening around me. When my babies were born, I of course had those blissful moments of cuddling them – but pretty quickly I was demanding that my husband get the camera and the phone, as I knew I’d want to relive those first few moments even just hours later.

It was not long after I had my third, that I started seeing birth photography pop up on my facebook and instagram, and I specifically started following a birth photographer in my area. The images were always tasteful and beautiful, and documented the EXPERIENCE of birth. The story. It wasn’t all about the graphic part of birth – and in fact most of it wasn’t even about that at all – it was all about the emotion, the details, the beauty, the story. I am a storyteller by nature, and I always love to re-experience life through memories captured in images. It’s my way of really experiencing it all. I knew that if I were to get pregnant again, I needed a birth photographer. And then I got pregnant! I contacted her straight away. My husband took a little more convincing (mainly due to the cost), but at the end of the day, he knew it was something that was so important to me. And so we hired her, and it was the best thing I ever did. I will forever love her for the memories she’s given to our family. My baby is now 18 months old, and is worlds away from that fresh newborn who breathed his first breath. While some of it remains in my memory, a lot of the details fade with time and with the chaos of life. However, through the images, they’re never lost.

When I became a professional photographer, I knew that one day I’d love to capture a birth. I didn’t know when, but I knew that it would be a huge passion for me. My birth experiences were each so unique and so special, and have become a part of who I am, and part of my story. I’m still amazed that I was even able to do it – that women can be so strong – that I could be so strong! I wasn’t specifically chasing it, when it fell into my lap twice in one week. First my sister in law asked me if I’d consider being there for the birth of their first baby, and then second a lovely couple I met at their maternity shoot asked me the same. It truly felt like it was meant to be. I was able to be there for those births – one a natural birth, the other a c-section. I was able to tell both of their stories, and it left me completely addicted. There is nothing more beautiful than birth. These are some of the reasons I am so glad that I hired my birth photographer, and why I’d encourage anyone to do the same:

 

  1. Birth is the biggest experience of your life, and the most emotional. You’ll never get to meet your child for the first time again. You’ll never get to hear them cry for the first time again, or to hold them and kiss them for the first time. Even if you have more children, you will never have that one again. They’re only born once. The images captured will forever keep that experience alive, and you’ll be able to relive all the emotions of the biggest day of your life. You’d never consider not hiring a photographer for your wedding to capture the story of that day, so why not your birth story as well?
  2. You can’t change your mind. You can never go back and decide to hire one – it’s now or never. I remember when we were deciding whether to have our third baby, someone said to me ‘You’ll never regret the children you have, only the ones you don’t have’. The same can be said for birth photography. You will never regret having those memories, but you might regret not having them. I regret not having a birth photographer for my first 3 – even though it wasn’t a choice at the time. 
  3. You can see things from different perspectives. During labour or a c-section, you usually become quite inward focused and lose awareness of what’s happening around you. The sequence of events gets lost, the fact that your partner is massaging you and holding your hand might be forgotten, the expressions and emotions might go unnoticed. There is a roller coaster of emotions during birth, and while you think you’ll remember it all, you usually don’t. By having the images, you’re able to piece it all together, and to relive all of those emotions and experiences you’ve forgotten. 
  4. Memories fade. Memories of the labour and those first few moments and hours fade even faster. Adrenaline, medication, exhaustion, pain, euphoria – all cloud your ability to remember it all. 
  5. Just as memories fade, babies change SUPER FAST. They are only the fresh newborns for such a brief moment, and then they start growing and changing. Even the next day they’ve already changed from the fresh newborn. Their fingers and toes become less wrinkled, their skin colour changes, and they already start becoming more alert. Capturing those first moments is so special, and impossible to recreate. 
  6. You’ll get quality images. Light in hospital rooms is notoriously terrible. By hiring a professional, you get someone who knows how to work with the light and to capture quality images for you to look back on. 
  7. It allows you to be truly in the moment. You don’t need to worry about what’s being captured, your partner doesn’t need to worry about rushing to pull out the phone or camera as soon as your little one is born. Both of you can just truly be in the moment and focus on this life changing event. This is not to say that you won’t take your own photos as well – you most likely will – but you won’t have to until you’re ready and until the moment has truly been experienced. .
  8. You can show your child one day the experience of their birth. This after all, is their first moments in the world.
  9. In those tough moments – whether they be the emotional roller coaster of the first few weeks after birth – or the challenges of the future years of raising a child – you can always look back and relive that experience. You can feel those emotions again and refocus on what’s truly important in life. 
  10. Most of all, this is your story. This is not only your new baby and their story – this is YOUR story. Your partner’s story and your family’s story. This is where you either create a family, or grow your existing family. This is life. We capture important events such as weddings, engagements and birthdays – but it doesn’t get much bigger than birth! 

If you’d like to book me as your birth photographer, I’d love to help tell your story. Contact me here to book or ask me any questions! You can also view a Video of me explaining why I love Birth Photography, a Video example of a Birth Story photo book which comes with all birth stories, and my Birth Portfolio.

In-Home Lifestyle Newborn Session Perth | Chloe

I was so excited to get to see Chloe again after capturing her birth two months ago. I’ve loved following Chloe’s journey from her mummy’s maternity session (see Charlotte’s Maternity Session) to her birth (see The Birth of Chloe), and now her Newborn Lifestyle session. Chloe was so good during her session – she was either sleeping or happy the entire time. Her Mummy Charlotte and Daddy Dylan were surprised by this, as they insisted that she was normally more challenging to get to sleep – but during the session she just peacefully stayed asleep even when moved from person to person. I reckon she remembered me from her birth and was excited to see me too lol. She’d already grown so much and was already interacting with everyone around her – including her two sisters were also there to shower some love on her.

During newborn lifestyle sessions I love to capture the things that occur every day – such as changing your baby, or feeding her – as well as giving the opportunity to just spend a moment holding your baby (in nice light lol) and just look at her little features and soak her in. It gives you a moment to stop and appreciate the little baby features amidst what can sometimes be the chaotic first few months. I love being able to provide these memories to people. Those first few months can sometimes feel never ending when you’re dealing with the challenges of baby wind problems, lack of sleep, and settling into your ‘new normal’ – but they DO end. Suddenly you realise that you’re not holding her for sleeps anymore, that she doesn’t fit into that outfit anymore, and that life has changed from what it once was. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll miss it. By having the photos to look back on you can ‘holiday’ in that time again and remember what it was like.

You can view more Newborn Lifestyle sessions in my Lifestyle Newborn Portfolio. If you’d like to book a session for yourself, or gift a session to someone you love, Contact me. I’d love to help you out!

 

The Birth of Evie – 7/08/2018

 

When I started photography, my ultimate dream was to photograph births. I had a birth photographer for my 4th baby, and I absolutely cherish those images. You can never ever get that time back, and they grow so quickly (too quickly) – that soon enough they’re not that fresh newborn anymore. It can be hard to absorb it all when you’re experiencing it – there’s a lot in the way which prevents you from always soaking it in (the pain, the sleepless nights, the exhaustion, discomfort, the ‘new normal’ you’re trying to adapt to…so many things). By having someone there to capture those memories, you can revisit them forever. By looking at the image again, you can be transported back in time to that moment, and you can remember the smells, the feelings, the sounds….an image can be so powerful. Birth and preserving memories through photos are two of my absolute favourite things – so it’s an absolute dream come true to be able to merge both of those things together and do birth photography.

When my sister in law asked me at the end of her maternity shoot (see Ashlee’s Maternity Session) if I would consider being at the birth of their daughter, I was so honoured and excited!! As the time got closer to the birth, their plans were changed a little and it was decided that she would need a C-section. We were all happy that their doctor was excited at the thought of a birth photographer in the room, and that they would still be able to get their journey recorded. As they wouldn’t be going through the labour, I really wanted to make sure that I captured as much of their story as possible. I met them at the hospital when they arrived, so that I could capture their journey from the moment they arrived at the hospital. All those little details before the birth are just as important to the story – the nervous approach to the hospital; the feelings when signing in at the desk, knowing that when you leave you’ll have your baby; the excited walk into your room; the anxious and supportive hand holds; your room number….all of it is part of the story and part of that special day in your life. One that in so many ways can be so ordinary, but in other ways is so extraordinary.

The time in the hospital actually went very quickly – before long Ashlee was being taken down the lift to the operating theatre. There were nerves, tears, laughter, anxiety, excitement….so many mixed emotions. Throughout it all, Matt was there supporting Ashlee. He was holding her hand, giving her strength and just being there for her the whole way through. I can’t imagine a time when men weren’t allowed to be a part of it all. It’s as much life changing for them as it is for the mum. As for Ashlee, she was so strong. There was fear at points, and tears at other points, but she remained so strong throughout it all, and I truly admire her for that. The strength of a woman having a baby is so powerful. There is no easy way to deliver a baby. A C-section isn’t ‘an easy way out’. I looked at Ashlee on the bed, and I wondered if I could be as strong in that situation. Then I remembered, that when you have a baby it’s not about you anymore – it’s about your baby, and you find so much strength that you didn’t even know you had.

The moment they lifted Evie up to see her parents, I had to shoot through tears in my eyes. They were so happy – all fear and anxiety was completely gone and was replaced just with pure peace, joy and love. Their eyes both brimmed with tears, but they were happy tears. They were in love, and they couldn’t believe she was real. Their first cuddles together was just amazing. Evie was so peaceful from the start – she just knew that everything was going to be okay, and was happy and content just to gently fall asleep or calmly look around and try to focus her eyes. Ashlee and Matt took awhile to decide on her name, and I captured an image of the three of them on the bed just as they decided that she was Evie. Matt is kissing Ashlee, and Ashlee is holding their daughter who they have just named. Beautiful.

After the birth, the story continues with those first breastfeeds, those first moments absorbing their fresh new daughter, and first visits from Evie’s Grandparents and Aunty and Uncle. And of course, I had my first holds as well. And it took everything in me to give her back.

If you’d like to book a birth session, Contact me here. As much as I love births, I can only take on a small number per year as I have my own little people as well, so it’s important to contact me as soon as possible. You can view my Birth Portfolio here.

 

The Birth of Chloe

June 28th 2018 will always be a day I remember. On this day I was lucky enough to be able to witness and capture the birth of the beautiful Chloe. I had met her parents at The Wanneroo Pines a few weeks earlier to celebrate their pregnancy – view Charlotte’s Maternity Session, and they asked me if I would consider being their Birth Photographer. I absolutely love birth – I think it’s the most beautiful and precious moment, and that moment when your baby is placed on your chest is just so addictive (perhaps why I have 4 kids of my own!), so it didn’t take me long to say a big YES!! I had a birth photographer for my last baby, and I treasure those memories so much. I was so glad to be able to provide those memories for someone else.

The day was long, and yet the time flew (for me at least!). There was an amazing amount of love in the room – Dylan was so attentive and supportive of Charlotte, and Charlotte was so strong and beautiful throughout it all (despite some challenges she had to face throughout the day). Throughout it all, I captured their tender moments; her pained yet beautiful face; the moments of laughter in between. The time for Chloe’s birth came suddenly in the end and took us all by surprise (progress had been slow, until the last hour).

The moment Chloe was born was one I’ll never forget. She was lifted onto her Mummy’s chest, and all the pain was forgotten. Only love and joy remained. And tears Lots of tears. Even from me. I’m surprised I managed to capture some images through my blurry eyes. Throughout the day, Charlotte and Dylan had been loving the sound of other newborns crying, and now they were able to hear their own baby cry. I’m so honoured to have been present for their birth story. Thank you Charlotte and Dylan, and welcome to the world Chloe.

I offer a small number of Birth Sessions throughout the year. If you’re interested in capturing this beautiful time, Contact Me and we can discuss further. If you’d like to view more images, look at my Birth Portfolio