Incredible Captures of Doulas At Work | World Doula Week 2017

In over 7 years as a birth photographer, I have been privileged to capture over 75 births and many of the families I've worked with have also hired a doula to help them manage labor, delivery & postpartum.  If you had asked me 10 years ago what a doula is, I would have had virtually no idea. But through this work, I have come to know some of the strongest, most compassionate, knowledgeable women in the Hampton Roads area.  Here is my take on what a doula does:



Doulas watch.  

doula support

They watch a laboring woman carefully. They have seen labor.  They have seen the dance, the sway, the instinctive movements of a laboring mom. They have heard the sighs, the groans, the grunts.  They have seen the power and the grit.  They know what to watch for and what it means, oftentimes before the laboring woman, her partner or even her care provider!  They focus all of their energy on watching a laboring mom and giving care in ways each individual woman needs.

Doulas guide. 

They guide women through the labyrinth of labor. Birth is unpredictable and ever-changing. One of the things I love the most about capturing birth stories is that each journey is unique and powerful. And doulas help parents navigate the uncertain waters. They provide a shoulder to lean on, a helpful presence, answers to questions, and a calming nature essential to protect the birth space.

Doulas walk alongside their clients.

Doulas walk along side their clients in times of struggle...they walk in times of triumph...they walk in times of heartache...they walk in times of joy. They are called to walk no matter the journey.  

Doulas do not replace partners. They support partners.

I have seen the most loving and incredible couples work through labor as a team, totally in sync. Doulas do not disrupt that relationship. Instead, they work alongside it, helping partners to anticipate a laboring mother's needs, suggesting alternative coping techniques when needed and strengthening the support system that is already present. Alternatively, when a spouse is deployed, a doula can be a vital part of a birth plan and help to stand in when needed for family and spouses who are not able to be at the birth.

Doulas comfort in times of struggle

Doulas are a great source of comfort in those moments when a laboring mom doubts herself or doubts the process.  They draw on their wealth of knowledge about birth and their experience guiding women through. They use soothing words, a healing touch, an encouraging look. When plans go awry or the unexpected happens, a doula is there to comfort.

Doulas hold legs, hips, and more

When needed, doulas physically assist laboring moms in a variety of ways.  They spend hours hunched over applying counter pressure, they walk up and down the same hall week after week, they hold a hand, apply a cool cloth, or fetch ice chips for the thousandth time.  They hold a leg and encourage as a mom pushes for much longer than anyone thought was possible.  Doulas stay awake all night but never look tired, never letting on that they are exhausted.  They seem superhuman at times and always put their clients needs above their own.

Doulas assist with that precious, (sometimes awkward) first breastfeeding 

A first time mom often needs just a little help with that first latch. And doulas are perfect for assisting! Nurses often help, too, but a doula can help not only at the hospital but also in the first few days or weeks at home! 

Doulas celebrate with you

They stood beside you and walked with you on that great adventure called labor....and when you finally get to meet the new baby you worked so hard for, there is no one who celebrates with you as much as your doula!  I've seen the tears in their eyes and the giant grins on their faces time after time after time.  They feel the joy as if it were their own because each client is forever a part of their history. 

Happy World Doula Week to all of you!!  
If you are interested in seeing more images, please visit my Birth Photography page!  

The Artistry Series 2017 | Capturing the Magic of Childhood

It's BACK!  

New Artistry Sessions for 2017

Ch-ch-ch-changes!!!  It's the way of life and as everyone knows, things change all the time.  The goal is to keep growing, keep moving and never stop!  As you know, we took a short break from our Artistry sessions after our beloved Tina moved her family to NC.  But never fear!  We have regrouped, added Elizabeth to our team, and have re-imagined the Artistry Series for 2017!

The goal of our Artistry Series is to create unique and special themed sessions each month that Capture the Magic of Childhood.  And we have some truly incredible things planned for the next 6 months!  We will have images and dates to share very soon - but here is just a peek into what we have planned:

April:  Glitter Dazzle - Surrounded by glitter, these gorgeous portraits will truly capture the joy and sparkle of your little one.  Simple, beautiful and glitzy, we will use our studio lights and actual shining, sparkly glitter to get the best smiles and most dazzling images!

Also in April:  Special Super Hero Event - Back by popular demand, we will don our Superhero Gear and save the day!  (Capes and masks provided!)

May:  Carousel Wonder - A true spring beauty, the carousel horse is so stylish!  Your little one can sit atop a beautifully painted carousel horse in her finest attire, surrounded by ribbons and bows. A top hat would be the perfect accessory for the dapper young man who attends as well! Springtime never looked so fine! 

June:  At the Carnival - Join us at an actual carnival for a bright, colorful, entertaining time!  Using the incredible games and rides as our backdrop, we'll eat cotton candy and show just how fun it is to be a kid during the summer!

July:  Beach Bliss - Sandy toes and salty kisses make for the best portraits! We'll have a beautiful tent set up on the beach to capture your little ones with seashells and big waves - just what you want to remember from your children's summer adventures!

August:  Unicorn Magic - If your child believes in magic, this might just be their most favorite experience EVER!  We've found a farm with an actual unicorns!  Okay, so these mini-horses will LOOK like unicorns to your little ones, so that counts, right?  A truly magical time will be had by all!
 

Our new sessions come at a new price, too.  $99 reserves your spot. Once you see all of the pictures, you can choose to order more digital images, printed pictures (for framing or gifts), or even a small album to commemorate these beautiful, magical portraits!  Digital images start at just $50. 

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Which session(s) are you interested in? *
You may choose more than one!

We're HIRING!

Now's your chance to join a successful photography business!  We are HIRING for 2017!

Are you a motivated, creative person who is looking for a new challenge? Kimberlin Gray Photography is looking for a special few people to join our team!  

Studio Assistant:
*must be available weekdays between the hours of 9am-2pm
*compensation is $10/hour, hours vary depending on how many sessions we have per week
*responsibilities include: helping to set up before newborn sessions, helping to soothe babies during sessions, creatively put together colors and fabrics, organize and put away props after sessions, etc.
*must have a flexible schedule and be able to assist with only a few days' notice
*must be able to easily get up and down off the floor
*other children (babies/toddlers) not permitted in the studio during client sessions
*should love babies and not be squeamish about baby pee/poo
*must not be planning to open a business or do newborn sessions on your own

Associate Photographers:
*must be a fun, creative person who enjoys working with others
*must have proficiency in shooting (manual mode on DSLR) and editing (PS or LR)
*must communicate well and uphold the customer experience of Kimberlin Gray Photography
*must be willing to meet bi-weekly at the KGP studio in Virginia Beach
*should want to bring something new/unique to the KGP team
*would be responsible for shooting/editing and receive commission on client sales
*all types of photographers will be considered (think we should add something to our offerings that you specialize in? Try me!)

If you have been growing your skills and are thinking of opening a photography business, or have been in business a while, but just wish you could do the fun part (the shooting and editing) without all the marketing, pricing, and business tasks, we want to hear from you! We're willing to consider opening new divisions here at KGP and want to chat about the untapped market in the Hampton Roads area! Have a good idea for how we could grow? Fill out the form below! Can't wait to hear from you!!

Amanda, owner/photographer
Abby, office manager
Kimberlin Gray Photography

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If you are interested in the Associate Photographer position & have a current business, please provide your web address. If you don't have a business, please upload some of your current work to a gallery and provide us with a link!
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