I’d like to introduce you to an amazing birth photographer right here in The Woodlands. I should say “in my opinion” but I don’t think I will . . . She is the best in our area. And, she just so happens to be one of my new favorite friends. We eat sushi together, talk birth, talk photography of course, talk life in general and crack up over random stuff falling out of our purses while paying for said sushi (for the record, The My Little Pony’s were the most normal things to be found at the bottom of my purse). Also notable, Wang’s on 242 has a really cute and delicious Dragon roll. Anyway, back to Nicole Noelle and her beautiful birth photography. You can visit Nicole’s blog and see more beautiful images of “birth” in general here. She covers it all, hospital, birth center, home birth, back yard birth. Wherever you choose to birth your baby. She’s the girl qualified to document your story. In this world of a new (digital) “photographer” on every street corner, quality, light, art & passion is what sets the true professionals apart (again – probably should say “in my opinion” but whatever – it’s my blog). Nicole is an amazingly passionate professional birth photographer & she specializes in just that. Birth. In general, women just simply aren’t told or educated to the fact that they have a lot of options! Whether you are in a hospital, a birth center or at home – there are a lot of options. Be sure you are educated enough to choose yours. ~ Allison
“Becoming a parent is one of life’s few huge transitions. More than your first kiss, more than your wedding day…the day your child is born is a day every woman throughout history replays in their mind over and over. Whether your birth went as planned or took unexpected turns, whether it occurred in a hospital, birth center or home setting, the end result is a life transition that no amount of book knowledge and no childbirth class can prepare us for: parenthood. And within that major life transition is a beauty so intense, a strength so amazing, a journey so untouchable that it smacks of irony that most new family walks away with only those often fuzzy or vague memories, sometimes a few out of focus or underexposed cell phone photos and maybe a hospital newborn session that captures neither the journey both parents and child just completed nor the immense beauty that can be seen only in those first moments after birth. This is, I think, because we are taught to view birth as something we just need to grit our teeth and get through – as quickly as possible – so we can get on with the business of Parenthood. But slowly, one birth at a time, we are becoming wise to the fact that birth isn’t just a means to an end. It’s a major life transition. We may read all the books and take all the classes and watch all the movies but until we experience it firsthand, we can’t truly understand what is about to take place. It changes us! And it should be honored, remembered and celebrated. Society implores us to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding photographer to remember such a deeply personal and beautiful day but what about a birth photographer?
Birth photography is a newer, but quickly growing, area of photography sought out by those who recognize and appreciate that this transition of husband and wife to parents and a child’s transition into the world are one of the most incredibly powerful moments in a family’s life. It is not about unflattering and graphic imagery but rather photojournalistic art capturing your relationship with your partner, the small details you wish later you could recall and your child’s first moments of life. Birth photography may capture pain, frustration, strength, power, emotion, connection, fragility, fear and then…complete and utter joy. And as amazing as it is for a mother to hold her child outside of her body for the first time, this moment is often even more emotional for fathers who have not had the benefit of feeling a child grow so close to their heart for so many months. One of my favorite moments in every birth is the moment a man becomes a father. The look in his eye when he sees his child, when he studies every inch of sweet baby goodness and when his brand new child meets his gaze for the first time; the look in his eye as he adores his wife’s strength and courage…these are moments that are uniquely captured through birth photography.
Whether you schedule a cesarean birth or end up with one despite much planning otherwise, whether you are hoping for an unmedicated birth or are excited to bring on the epidural as soon as possible; no matter your birth choices, your birth WILL be a series of transitions: woman to mother, couple to parents and younger children into older siblings. And you will be left to process it and decide whether you view it with beauty or horror or indifference. You may struggle with post-partum depression – often exacerbated by a difficult birth experience. And as you process your feelings, photography will allow you to be able to see the unique strength and power you possessed, the courage you summoned or the look of love on your face that are all a part of EVERY birth experience. You may have trouble seeing yourself as you really were – a beautiful warrior for your child – until you see yourself through the lens of a camera. You may not ever know the look of absolute unrequited love in the eyes of your spouse when he looks at you and, later, lays eyes on his child for the very first time, until you see that moment captured for eternity. Birth photography brings the whole story. And it leaves a legacy for children and their parents of a moment in time that can never be repeated.
To learn more about birth choices in the Houston area, check out these amazing resources:
- International Cesarean Awareness Network of Houston or Houston’s chapter
- Houston Birth Alternatives
Allison: adding another good read that Nicole shared on facebook today;o) Hope that’s ok! And Nobody Told Me
And if you or someone you know is considering a birth photographer now or in the future, the organization International Association of Professional Birth Photographers can help you find a photographer specializing in birth that serves your area.”
gorgeous work Nicole. Thank you.
What do you think? Do you think there is a single milestone more transformative in a lifetime than a birth?? I’d love to know.