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Category Archives: Birth Photography

Today marks a week long celebration of Black Breastfeeding! A seven day tribute to those mothers of color, that want to lift up their journey, in visual imagery!
I know the very first topic that seems to come up is, why do we need a BLACK breastfeeding week? All of August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the first week of August is World Breastfeeding week. Isn’t that enough? Well to be honest, no, it isn’t. It isn’t enough when those movements tend to be void in regards to women of color.

Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for far too long there has been a huge racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women choose to breastfeed versus 58.9% of black women. By all accounts, black babies are nursed at a far lower rate than other infants and those that do feed, do so for a far less length of time.
Why is this? Why do Black women breastfeed at a lower rate than any other demographic? Is it the fact they don’t have tangible lactation information and methods they can relate to? Is where they choose to birth, hindering their efforts to promote breastfeeding? Is there a stigma to overcome that comes from a lack of cultural support? Perhaps they don’t see themselves represented in these movements or projects and thus can’t see themselves as part of the bigger picture. This is how my project was born…

A number of months ago, I met China Tolliver (Urban Doula of Denver)  at a local doula meet up. We hit it off right away- she is pretty fabulous! We got to talking about my work as a birth and lifestyle photographer and my desire to empower women of all colors! We began to talk about her experiences in the black community and how visually they aren’t represented in the birth/breastfeeding world. We had ideas on why that was, but instead of just pondering that, we set out to fix it.

Initially we wanted a small gathering with mamas of color, breastfeeding in real life, for me to photograph. However it quickly became much bigger and we set out to possibly have an exhibition of these images, to showcase these women proudly! That is where Feed My Soul was born. The Feed My Soul , Honoring the Art of Black Breastfeeding was going to encompass photographers across the Denver region and really highlight that Black women do breastfeed! We wanted to show their beauty in this magical time and honor their gift! What we set out to do was visually show their strength and courage, to their own community and beyond. That is exactly what we did!

When and how an exhibition will happen is still in the works, but I am proud of the work this community of photographers and mamas produced. Breastfeeding should be honored for all women and seeing themselves in images, only helps to normalize what IS normal. We set out to make sure black women were honored and I am so in love with my time spent within this community. I was accepted and trusted to capture an intimate moment, that will live as an encouragement to other generations. Black or white these images will empower ALL women to own their breastfeeding journeys and know that it is normal, amazing and truly life changing!

 

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I so wish I was able to do more Fresh 48 sessions. They are so special and so much fun!
I think most people just have no idea what they are and how important capturing those first new moments can be.
They fade so fast! Too fast!!
Before you know it, they are smiling at you and looking around and this big old world and you think to yourself  “did I capture all that newness?”
I know I am guilty of not capturing enough with my babies! It is a regret I can’t undo… that time is gone!
But when I am able to give that gift to other mothers and fathers, man does that feel good!

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Birth never gets old… truly.
There is never a time where I get tired of attending a birth and seeing new life join us earth side!
It is a privilege and a joy that one can’t fully describe in words.
I got my usual 2am call that mama’s water had broken and they were heading to the hospital. Normally I wouldn’t leave right away, but I think most birth photographers agree that we seem to have some sort of sense of when we should go and when we should stay.
When I arrived I was bummed to hear she was only 3cm and not progressing well. I thought my instincts had failed me.
But in a few hours she shot from 3cm to 10cm and it was time to roll by 8am.
Had I waited for her to be farther along, before I left my house, I would have missed the big moment! So my instincts were dead on 🙂
If you want to see how gorgeous this birth was please watch the video below!
I love the deep film like qualities this birth had due to the tricky lighting we were dealing with.
Welcome to the world Bentley!

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It was Christmas morning…. and I got the call! It was one of those moments of relief because mama knew I wouldn’t be able to come if it was before 10am, due to the fact I have 2 small children of my own.
But the first text came in at 930am and luckily my crazy kids were done ripping through their gifts and I was ready to roll!
I was so glad I was prepared, because baby didn’t wait long! Just a few short hours after arriving at Mountain Midwifery, this amazing Christmas gift arrived for mom and dad!
It was such a special way to spend Christmas day- well besides being with my own family!
Happily I was able to capture this incredible moment and still be home in time for dinner with my whole family!
I couldn’t have asked for a better day. One I will remember for a lifetime!

 

 

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Birth Photography is a calling. It is a passion. But beyond than that, it is more rewarding than I could ever imagine!
The images I capture for families, are going to stand the test of time!
It is a moment in which their family became new again… with each new baby the dynamics change and grow!
Each new baby brings promise and hope for a life well loved and lived in.
To be THERE in that moment is beyond humbling for me. It truly is an honor.

The following images capture more than just new life, but a journey that for this family started 10 months earlier. A life changing event that could have taken them to their lowest point, but by the grace of God, a child gave renewed hope! This birth was uplifted by laughter, worship, and love!  The strength of this family will live within me forever!

My heart is full!

To see a video slideshow of images please click here-  http://animoto.com/play/p1NCZBFd7chS11NzRNsLpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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