The First Birth I Photographed | Atlanta Birth Photography


the first birth i photographed

May 2010:

I had been a birth doula for six months, and this was the second birth I had attended since becoming a DONA certified birth doula. As a doula I was witnessing the most powerful events I had ever witnessed in person, and it seemed like a natural connection to document them through photography.

My doula client was open to the idea of birth photography, which was still uncommon then. So when I joined them in early labor I brought my camera along. Every once in a while I picked up my camera and took a photograph. We spent all day in early labor at their home--walking, laughing, and walking some more. I can remember that birth so vividly.

We got to Atlanta Medical Center that evening, and spent all night trying to get labor going. By 5:00 am it was finally time to fill the tub for a waterbirth. The music playlist had been incredible all night long, and as the tub filled with water, Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman" filled the room...then as mama eased into the water, John Mayer was crooning "Your Body is a Wonderland." The nurse readied the room, and said "Uh, Margaret {Margaret Strickhauser, the Intown Midwifery Midwife on call}, she's CROWNING." Margaret spun around on her stool and just smiled. Mama had been in the water less than 20 minutes. As if choreographed, the sound of Lauren Hill's "To Zion" began to play. As the sun rose over the Atlanta skyline, baby girl was born into her lioness mama's hands.

When I got into my car a couple of hours later, I put the key into the ignition and sobbed. The beauty and power of what I had witnessed and supported overtook me.

I was hooked on birth, as a doula and as a birth photographer. I love that I can actually show mamas the amazingness that I witness. My photography skills have come a long way since then, and I now incorporate videography if desired, but that first birth will always hold a special place in my heart.

I offer birth photography and videography as a member of The Birth Story Collective. By choosing community over competition, the three of us support and document births for Atlanta families who believe in the transformative power of supported childbirth.

www.TheBirthStoryCollective.com

Lauren Hill

To Zion

Unsure of what the balance held I touched my belly overwhelmed By what I had been chosen to perform But then an angel came one day Told me to kneel down and pray For unto me a man child would be born Woe this crazy circumstance I knew his life deserved a chance But everybody told me to be smart Look at your career they said Lauryn, baby use your head But instead I chose to use my heart

Now the joy of my world is in Zion Now the joy of my world is in Zion

How beautiful if nothing more Than to wait at Zion's door I've never been in love like this before Now let me pray to keep you from The perils that will surely come See life for you my prince has just begun And I thank you for choosing me To come through unto life to be A beautiful reflection of his grace For I know that a gift so great Is only one god could create And I'm reminded every time I see your face

That the joy of my world is in Zion Now the joy of my world is in Zion Now the joy of my world is in Zion Now the joy of my world is in Zion

Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, marching, marching Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, beautiful, beautiful Zion

Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, marching, marching Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, beautiful, beautiful Zion

Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, marching, marching Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, beautiful, beautiful Zion

Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, marching, marching Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, beautiful, beautiful Zion

Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, marching, marching Marching, marching, marching, marching to Zion Marching, beautiful, beautiful Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion

(Marching), beautiful, beautiful Zion (Marching), beautiful, beautiful Zion (Marching), beautiful, beautiful Zion (Marching), beautiful, beautiful Zion (Marching), beautiful, beautiful Zion

#atlantadoula #atlantaphotographer #birth #birthphotographer #doula #doulaphotographer #family #newborn #love

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 chanda Williams | maternity, newborn + family | photography + FILMS in atlanta