Labor + First Moments
I cannot express in this little box just how deeply I love these sacred days. I don't know if there is a holier moment than the second a baby enters the world. To me, labor and birth is a miracle. Although this form of photography is not as common, I feel that it is just as important as even wedding photography. These are incredible hours that you will want to see again. Often times, due to medication + the whirlwind of emotion and exhaustion, it is easy to recall the experience as a big blur. It's my job to photograph the emotion in the room, the triumph on your faces, the miracle God grew in your womb--all so that you can look back on this sacred day. Allow me into this intimate moment, and I promise you will not regret it.
If you let me freeze this day, your joy, your wonder, your strength, your family, your love, your BABY in time for you -
- the memories will last a lifetime.
I 100% recommend getting a birth photographer!! Seeing my husband’s reaction & my own reaction is amazing. I have literally fallen so much more in love with my husband just by seeing these. I promise you will not regret having someone there to capture this change in your life.
I am so, so thankful for Jenna and all of her talent.
"She prioritized my preferences and privacy."
"Jenna photographed the birth of my sweet daughter! There are not enough words to describe how grateful I am that she was there to capture those moments. She prioritized my preferences and privacy, she was uplifting, sweet, and so kind.
My labor and delivery was tough, long, and at times scary. If you’ve had a traumatic birth, you know that sometimes it’s hard to think back and have good thoughts about those moments.
Thanks to Jenna, I can look back and see BEAUTY and LOVE during the hardest moments of my life. My husband's support, the first glances at my beautiful baby, and the tough work that went into getting her here. When I look back on that experience, to have those sweet memories to hold mean the world to me. From start to finish, Jenna’s passion for her work blew me away. Incredible photographer, wonderful human."
Jenna is an incredible photographer and a great asset to your birth team. She has an instinct for where to be and how to move in and out of the birth space without disturbing the process. I not only hired her to document my second birth, but have also had the pleasure to work with her at homebirths with several of my clients. She has a passion for the work and it really shows in the joy and love she brings with her.
"I didn't even notice she was there."
"Jenna was an amazing asset to my birth team. I had a homebirth for my first baby and wanted to capture it in a special way. Jenna definitely made that happen! I didn't even notice she was there. She was able to capture some of the most important and intimate moments. She's been our go-to photographer and I've been so thankful for every shoot she's done for us. I recommend her 100%!"
Birth Photography FAQ
Why photograph births? So you remember the foundation of love between you + your spouse. So you see the moment you first laid eyes on your child. Because this moment will never happen again and will be a whirlwind due to hormones, drugs, and emotions. So this day won't become a memory that gets harder and harder to recall. Because later you will want to remember this and see yourself as the incredibly strong momma that you are. Because babies don't keep -- they grow each day and are never this small again.
I promise it's not as formal as "birth photography" sounds. It's not big studio set ups. It's not a lens in your face. It's nothing like any other niche of photography out there.
I'm more doula/sister than professional photographer. It's me getting to know you over the course of your pregnancy as I become a member of your birth team, documenting all your big moments along the way: pregnancy announcements, maternity sessions, meeting up to chat about life. It's you and me texting and squealing the month of your due date on updates and signs telling baby is almost here. It's your husband calling me at 3am and me rushing out my door to get to you.
It's me encouraging you doing hard labor and sitting in the background of your birth space, quietly taking photos and videos "home video style" like I'm your sister. It's all of us cheering when baby arrives and crying when you get to hold them for the first time. It's me making sure no memory is forgotten on this momentous day, captured quietly and carefully in the most laid-back of ways. And you receive the highest quality images to hold onto and treasure forever.
What inspired you to even think of filming births?
My dad - and later, a family friend - filmed & photographed mine and my siblings' births. Watching my dad's pure and indescribable reaction to each of us being born is worth its weight in GOLD. Every time we watch those VHS tapes I end up crying because of the triumph + love through it all. I've never seen a moment of my parents that I love as much as when they welcomed us children. I grew up thinking that everyone got to see their birth photos & videos and these incredible moments of their parents'. Now that I know that this is actually rare, I'm wanting to offer it to everyone, because I believe that everyone should have this opportunity.
REASONS I SHOULD HAVE YOU DO THIS FOR ME RATHER THAN ASK A FAMILY MEMBER?
You need to do what you're most comfortable with, but here's why I won't be having a fam member photograph my own kids' births:
- A birth photographer has the equipment + experience to take a photo of a moment no matter the lighting situation. Birth spaces are usually dim and phones can't photograph dark spaces well, but professional cameras can do it beautifully.
- My sissy for example would be lost in the emotion and action of it all as an aunt (and possibly fainting nearby) and a photographer stays focused and is used to the drama of birth. They're more concerned about documenting for you than seeing the baby being born with their own eyes.
- Birth photographers know the moments and angles to look out for, and their images are artistic, tasteful, and incredible.
- Photos taken on a professional-grade camera are the highest quality and perfect for framing or even enlarging onto big prints or canvases, unlike phone photos.
- Photos by a birth photog are not just of the birth but also newborn images for baby. They're never this little ever again, even the next day. I want to make sure that's captured well; and it makes for adorable announcements and keepsakes.
Just as there is no warning for childbirth, there is no preparation for the sight of a first child. There should be a song for women to sing at this moment, or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name that moment.
I want all my birth clients to feel that I am just a bonus family member / doula with a camcorder. I make it as laid-back as possible and build relationship with you over your pregnancy, so you're just as comfortable with me as you are your midwife. I become a member of your family, of your birth team. I take the stress off dad so he can focus on being dad. It's all way more informal + relaxed than what you think. It's chill. There's no scary camera in your face. I blend in. You won't even know I'm there.
In fact, at many births, the midwife the momma meets with her whole pregnancy is not able to be at the birth due to staffing or shift reasons. Sometimes, the birth photographer is the only constant person on your birth team. For many mommas, having one consistent + supportive face provided a lot of comfort and relief. Birth photographers are nothing like any other photographer. We are a member of your birth team, there to uplift you and cheer you on, and celebrate with you. You and baby are all that matters - I simply happen to snap some pics + videos along the way.
Birth photography is one of the greatest investments you can make when purchasing things for your new baby. Just like a wedding, this is a once-in-a-lifetime day that you won't get a second chance to capture.
Other Common Questions
What all is included in a birth photography package?
I am on-call for two weeks before your due date and two weeks after. I can drive to you as long as you're within a 3-hour drive. I arrive at your birth around 6-8cm dilation (depending on how many children you've had) and photograph for 3-12 hours, depending on the nature of the day. I make sure to capture all that you approve: labor, delivery, first moments, and some newborn photos. I send you sneak peeks by the next day so that you can announce with beautiful photos. I deliver a gallery and/or video (your choice) of about 300 color & b/w images and/or 12-minute film. You get to download, print, and share both your images and/or film. I am also happy to assist with printing your photos or curating an album, although it's not necessary to be done through me. Your gallery remains online for 5 years.
Where are you from and do you travel?
I am from northcentral WV and serve the entire state for births as well as surrounding states (MD, PA, OH, KY, VA). My maximum travel time for birth coverage is 3-4 hours and is included in your package.
How are the photos delivered?
Birth galleries, when delivered, are sent on a private link. You even have the option of hiding select photos with a password, so you can share your link with the grandparents but they don't see, uh ahem, science. Haha.
Will I be the first to be able to announce my baby's birth?
Absolutely. I don't post anything until you've already shared the news with family and friends online! If I post about heading to a birth, sharing updates along the way about how late I'm still up, etc., I stick with selfies and try to keep it as anonymous as possible that way you have the full authority on when to announce your baby's arrival. I'm just wanting to do as I would want done if I were momma.
will you share your images of my birth online?
If the possibility of your photos being shared online is what's holding you back from birth photography, just let me know and I assure you that your images will remain private. Don't let that hold you back!
If you feel comfortable, however, I would love to share just a few of my powerful images of your baby's birth on this site and my Instagram (linked below!) I try to share a few images of labor, modest photos of delivery, and reaction moments -- I believe in the importance of normalizing the beauty of modest birth imagery and want mommas to see what services I offer!
I use upmost discretion. You are not going to find any of my photos of nipples or babies crowning on my sites. Look for carefree birth images on other pages if you want it. I take those images for mommas who allow me to (I think the entirety of birth is incredible) but I would be mortified if I was scrolling online and saw my own most intimate images on a feed or site.
Births are sacred - we'll keep it that way.
What happens if you don't make it in time?
Birth can happen very quickly and suddenly, although it's rarely as spontaneous as it is in the movies. If I miss delivery, I still photograph all the birth day moments - measuring, weighing, first day with your newborn, and your family's reactions to seeing your baby. If I can't make it to the birth at all (i.e. shooting a wedding or out of state), although your deposit pays for my time on-call, I would credit you a motherhood session of your choice.
Do you bring backup equipment to births?
Of course. I have the highest end equipment available and plenty of backups to everything. Even if malfunctions happen, I've got it covered.
Do I get to choose which moments are photographed and which are not?
If you are fascinated by birth and would love photos of your baby crowning, being born, the placenta, etc., I would love to provide those for you. We chat after booking your birth so I get an understanding of what moments you want and do not want photographed. I'm really into the science + miracle of birth and am more than comfortable with photographing the entirety of baby's journey if momma wants it. Those photos remain private in your gallery.
If imagery like that really grosses you out, you will most certainly have the option to request that those moments are NOT photographed or filmed.
I do exactly as you ask. After booking your birth, I'll ask you lots of questions to triple check that I'll be capturing exactly what you want in terms of photos + home video.
I want you for my birth but my hospital has restrictions...what do i do?
If your husband or a family member will be present as your one support person, and you can't have me in the room, I have a special package for you! It's both virtual birth photography and our Coming Home Session combined.
We work together to photograph your birth - I instruct your birth partner on all kinds of tips for documenting on their phone or camera, and I edit all the photos and videos and put in a slideshow so you don't have to worry about finishing touches when you're wanting to spend time with your new baby!
I also artistically capture your baby's coming home day with photo and/or video to remember those fleeting, precious moments. On this day we professionally capture siblings meeting the baby; grandparents + other family members laughing, crying, and smiling when meeting your baby; your first family photos (and you have a chance to look nice!), plus baby in their nursery, first bath, breastfeeding -- you name it!
You can't control the circumstances around you, but we can still make sure to treasure this incredible day.
If your husband is squeamish and you don't plan to have a family member or friend fill their place as your one support person, I would be honored + privileged to support you, hold your hand, and take photos along the way! I'm here for you!