chesapeake baby photography

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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Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer | Baby Zoe | Newborn Photoshoot

How stunning is this beautiful little family?  Baby Zoe was a absolute dream for her photoshoot,  smiles and all.  I seriously love my job and these babies make is so enjoyable.  We did a red roses theme during the maternity session when Zoe was still tucked into her mommy's belly.  Her nursery theme is "Enchanted Forest" and so we brought the same roses to the newborn session so that we could create a beautiful keepsake for her in and out of the womb! 

Newborn bed with roses
Sleepy newborn
Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer Newborn poses
smiling newborn norfolk newborn  photographer
newborn family pose Chesapeake Newborn photographer
Newborn ruffles Norfolk Newborn Photographer

Kimberlin Gray Photography | Serving all of Hampton Roads specializing in posed newborn  photography | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer 

Large Family Newborn | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

 Grant is one lucky newborn,  he is welcomed by his beautiful family of five!  His older siblings obviously love their baby brother as you can see in the images below.  Capturing real smiles and emotion are something I strive for in every session.  Capturing it with larger families is sometimes challenge  but this family nailed it!  

Newborn with siblings
Virginia Beach Newborn pose with hat
Newborn wrap in a basket Virginia Beach photographer
siblings with newborn
large family with newborn norfolk Virginia  newborn photographer

Kimberlin Gray Photography specializes in posed, studio newborn and  baby photography in the Hampton Roads Virginia area including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth.    

Willy Wonka Baby's 1st Birthday | Virginia Beach Cake Smash Photographer

This is one of my absolute favorite cake smash themes EVER - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a classic and when Hunter's mom mentioned wanting a Willy Wonka themed birthday cake smash, I almost shouted YES! at the top of my lungs!  I knew that Ebony and Mark at Tutu Cute Cakes were going to have a ball with this theme, too - and they did not disappoint!!  I think this is one of the most amazing birthday cakes I've ever seen.  Hunter loved it too, as you can see from these pictures!

Willy Wonka Birthday Cake Smash
Baby Eating Birthday Cake Smash
Cake Smash Toes Virginia Beach
Candy 1st Birthday Cake Smash Norfolk Virginia

Hunter is one of our baby planners who came for our Milestones Plan, which is sessions at 4 months, 8 months and 12 months (including our boutique cake smash session).  It is always so wonderful to watch babies grow through their first year.  Here is the collage we put together for his mommy and daddy to remember how much he has grown!

baby first year collage virgnia beach newborn photographer

Kimberlin Gray Photography is Hampton Roads premier newborn and family photography studio serving Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and beyond. We have sessions to capture the most important moments from pregnancy through your child's graduation from high school.