Why would I want to uproot and change my entire business? Well. The answer to this is so simple and yet completely complex. I've known for a long time that I wanted to be a birth worker. When I say a long time I mean the majority of my adult life. The whisper has always been there. I dreamed of becoming a midwife for a while but knew it wasn't the right path for me. I just knew I wanted to be around birth. I just had no idea how to follow that dream. I've been researching DONA international and doula's since before I was even a mother myself. I also have an undeniable passion for photography and spent a long time believing I couldn't balance the two. Photography seemed the "easier" path in that I could set my own hours. I have children and on call work just seemed so overwhelming at first.
No matter how hard I tried to push my passion to the side, telling myself that maybe when the kids are older I could pursue my doula certification. I was happy enough photographing amazing families and having the opportunity to be a stay at home. For a while. The whisper began to be louder and louder until it was a scream. I found myself up late many nights thinking of how I could make this work. How will childcare work? How will my family handle the change? What if I fail? What if? As things began to clear in my mind I just knew it would work out. I could do this. I could photograph births. That's how I can be involved in birth.
I reached out to Arlene who would become my first client. I told her I was looking to photograph my first birth and asked her if she was interested. She said yes! I would be photographing my first birth! I set aside all my fears, lined up a system of childcare for my own children and spent weeks just waiting for the "I'm in labor" call. I knew this birth would impact the direction my business would be headed in. Arlene's labor was fast and beautiful. She had an incredible home birth. I felt honored to be a part of it. I felt a fire in my soul that I had never felt before. "This is it. This is the direction that I'm headed" I told myself repeatedly. I placed a model call for birth clients and booked 6 more births that way.
As I continued down this path I realized I wanted to offer more to my clients. I wanted to help my clients through labor. I am a huge advocate for birth doulas. The work a doula does is invaluable! If a client were to ask me which is more important between a doula and a birth photographer hands down I would say doula. Birth outcomes are statistically much better when a women hires a doula. Was it possible to be a birth photographer AND doula though? Can you support a laboring mom and take amazing photos? I reached out to a few photographer/doulas and was given some seriously incredible advice.
I believe in the work that I do and I believe in the work I am training to do. I believe in empowering women during labor and I believe that birth photography is helping to normalize birth in this country. I believe that the path I am on can and will help women to:
1.) avoid birth trauma
2.) Feel more in control over birth choices
3.) Have better birth outcomes
4.) Process their births when changes occur in their birth plan
5.) Remember and see their births allowing them to relive the joyful emotions of the event
6.) To see that birth isn't a horrible, terrifying medical crisis
7.) Empower women to see, know and fully understand all that they are capable of.
I could literally go on and on for pages. I feel those 7 points convey the overall point of what I'm saying! I have a huge heart for the journey of motherhood! How blessed am that I get to do work I feel passionate about?! This is why I'm willing to risk it all and totally rebrand my entire business. I have a passion and that passion has the potential to help many women. How cool is that? My soul is on fire and I'm so excited for the future. I hope you will all continue to follow and support me through this change. I would love to hear from you all! I want this blog to become a safe space for mothers to share with and support one another.