When I photographed this mama-to-be for the first time, her husband was deployed for most of her pregnancy and for the birth of their little boy. This time, I was so excited when she said that he would actually be home for the maternity portraits and hopefully for the birth as well!
Birth is an intimate thing. And every time I am invited into a woman's birthing space, I am in awe. In awe of the power, the strength, and the love. In our culture, giving birth has become something that women don't often share with others; it is something that we almost feel the need to hide because it is 'yucky' or 'gross'. But I see birth as a beautiful, natural, & amazing process.
A woman in labor is a fierce warrior. She is more powerful, yet more vulnerable than ever. And in the end, when her baby is born, there is so much love that surrounds her and her family. It is the love that I strive to capture with every birth I photograph. The love of a new life. The love of a new family. When people ask me, "Why would you want to photograph THAT?", I simply smile to myself. Because anyone who asks that question has never seen the raw emotion that can be captured at the labor and delivery of a new baby. Capturing that first glimpse of life, the first breath of a newly born baby, the first time a mother or father holds their child, the triumph of a woman bringing a child into the world on her own terms....that is birth photography.
Enjoy some of my favorite captures from births in 2012. I hope you can feel the moment along with me.
And a personal first for the year (so it's a fave of mine) - a self-portrait right before being allowed in after a c-section for the very first time!