Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jamie's Birth Session Testimonial - Quad Cities Birth Photographer

Every birth is different and unexpected things often happen.  I posted Samantha's Testimonial HERE yesterday and Jamie's testimonial below gives a whole different take on her experience!

"As soon as I looked down, with Jennie by my side, and saw a positive pregnancy test I knew one thing for sure immediately. I wanted Jennie to be there to photograph this birth. This would be my third and likely our last baby and I knew I wanted to document it this time around.

My first two births were very uneventful. They went a little like this. I had a few contractions, we went to the hospital, I received pain medications and an epidural, I rested and napped, when ready I pushed and a baby boy was born. I don’t mean to say it was so easy to go through labor and delivery but being that my first two births were very similar I felt like I knew pretty much how it would go this time around.

I packed a bag and braided my hair. I read my boys a bedtime story and tucked them into bed before heading to the hospital. She was there to photograph it all. When we got to the hospital things didn’t go as I expected. At all. My delivery was slow so we walked. And she was there to take photos, and walk with me. I was in much more pain than I expected and waited on pain medications to ensure I could keep walking and hopefully keep progressing. She was there to take photos of it and kept encouraging me. When I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep as the sun rose, she was there to photograph it and awake with me every minute of it. When the doctor finally broke my water and my labor was more painful than I have ever felt and more pain then I had planned on ever experiencing, she was there to photograph it and reminded me to breath. When all I wanted was my epidural she was there to photograph it and repeat to me that he would eventually arrive. When the anesthesiologist finally walked in the door she photographed the relief that washed over me. When my baby girl was born a “star gazer” as they call it (face up) she was there to photograph it and told me how perfect she was before I could even see her.

The first moments I had with my daughter are now more than just a memory that would inevitably fade over time. The feeling of exhaustion and relief and unbelievable love would never disappear but the details would fade. But I am a lucky one. As soon as those small memories start to dull I can look at my photos and watch the amazing video that brings it all back to life. I thought I knew exactly how my day would go, what photos she would get, and how much I would cherish them. I was wrong on all fronts. My day was incredibly more intense and painful than I ever planned. I never expected she would get photos of me with tears because of pain rather than joy, or yells rather than smiles because I thought I knew how my day was going to go. I also never expected I would cherish the photos as much as I do. They are priceless beyond measure.

My labor lasted 27 hours before she was born. There was parts that were painful and unpleasant. It would be easy for me to dwell on the pain, the exhaustion, and the anxiety but when I look at the photos it reminds me there was so much more of the day. There were smiles and laughs, and excitement of meeting our daughter. The relief and love we felt when first seeing her. And her looking up at me for the first time in her life. All beautifully documented. Having things not go as planned, being in pain, being scared and unsure is even more of a reason to have your birth photographed. You will never regret having photos of such a life changing moment." 

To view all of Jamie's birth session images, you can check out Jamie's Birth Slideshow Video...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hesitant to get Birth Pictures? {A Testimonial} - Quad Cities Birth Photographer

I am excited to share this testimonial from Samantha.  She was extremely hesitant until the DAY she gave birth about having me there.  She is like most pregnant mamas...wasn't feeling great about herself, nervous about having someone else in the room, afraid she would look terrible in the pictures, thinking of all of the 'what if's'.  I asked her to write down her thoughts after the process so I could share them with other mothers who were unsure about getting birth photography.  I have photographed several births now and one thing that each of the mothers says once they see their images is how so incredibly happy they are to have them, how getting them was so much better than they expected!

Here is Sam's testimonial...

"One year ago I was one of those people that thought they would never have birth photography for the birth of my children although, I have seen other mother’s birth pictures and thought they were wonderful. Upon looking at those photos, I always thought they were such a special memory for that family to share and look back on. While it was nice for others, I just didn’t see myself doing it. I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the room with me during labor and delivery, other than my husband. Even family members were out of the question. I certainly wouldn’t want someone I didn’t know to see me in pain and have to see things they might rather not see. Plus, I didn’t think I was one of those “model” moms that look good in pictures. Sometimes seeing pictures of yourself isn’t pleasant. Most of the time, I don’t like normal pictures of myself, let alone would I like pictures of myself GIVING BIRTH!

When I told Jennie I was pregnant with my second child, she immediately brought up having my birth photographed. Quickly, I told her there was no way that was happening! I appreciated that she thought I would be a good subject for birth photography, but there wasn’t a chance in…you know what! As the months went on and my due date came closer, Jennie continued to mention what a great treasure the pictures would be if she were there to photograph the birth of our second daughter. She continued to discuss my options about the process. She let me know that if at any time, I didn’t want her in the room, she would leave. She also made sure I knew that I would barely notice she was there if that was how I wanted it. It just seemed so foreign to me, but I have to admit that I was curious about how the photos would turn out.

Three weeks before my due date, I was scheduled to go in to the hospital to be induced. Since I had time to plan our hospital arrival and the arrival of our daughter, Monroe, I decided to give birth photography some serious thought. I finally called Jennie and talked to her about it. She eagerly answered all the questions I had. After I thought about it and discussed it with my husband, Adam, I asked her to be there the day we went in. She was more than happy and excited, and I was too. (My plan was that if my labor became unbearable or something I didn’t want anyone else to witness since I was so much pain, I would ask her to step out anyway.)

Shortly after Adam and I arrived at the hospital, Jennie came in to greet us. The hospital staff started my labor right away, but the process ended up going very slowly. Throughout the day, Jennie was there occasionally snapping pictures, but also she became a good distraction for me and my husband. We had someone else to talk to and laugh with when things were going slowly. We could be distracted in a way we couldn’t have been if Jennie wouldn’t have been there. Although my labor was slow and at times very painful, Jennie was in the room almost the entire time. 19 hours later, Monroe was born and labor was over. I was so overjoyed and relieved that she had entered this world, a healthy, seven pound little girl, but I was also exhausted. It was time for some rest. Later that morning, Jennie also captured pictures of our oldest daughter, Eden, meeting her little sister for the first time. I was so happy she could be there in those wonderful moments because I wanted to keep that precious, sweet memory in my mind forever.

When I received our birth pictures and our birth story, I cried my eyes out…repeatedly. I cried tears of happiness, relief, and gratitude. Looking back at those pictures put such a smile on my face. I was so thrilled that we had captured the memories of our family becoming a family of four for the first time. Those were some of the happiest moments I have ever experienced and thankfully, I have them as photographs for years to come. I know Adam and I will look back on them fondly and I hope my children do too. My only regret through the entire process is that I did not have birth photography when I gave birth to Eden. So, my advice to anyone thinking about getting birth pictures, is to 100% GO FOR IT! You won’t regret capturing every beautiful, exhausting, tearful, happy, painful, and blissful moment you are going through at that very moment."

Here is Sam's birth slideshow video I created for her...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Marie (7 days NEW) - Quad Cities Newborn Photographer

I can't complain about getting to snuggle with this little sweetie last Sunday!

She was a DOLL...tiny, sweet, smiley and SLEEPY!  The perfect combination for a newborn session!

Look  how happy beautiful Marie is!

Marie's daddy couldn't be there for the session and he only had 1 request for the pictures.
As a golf fanatic and with Marie's arrival being during the Masters, this request was fitting and it looks like Marie was okay with snuggling with the Masters golf ball too. :)  Future golfer maybe?!

Oh, the baby smiles!  I die!

You just can't forget to capture the tiny little baby feet!

And c' adorable is this!
Marie's protector for years to come...the sweetest dog in the world, Akin!

Images of a mama with her new baby are always among my beautiful!

Thank you, Jodi for welcoming me into your home so I could capture your gorgeous baby girl!  It was so nice getting to snuggle up to her and capture her beauty...she is perfection!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Hagerty Family - Quad Cities Family Photographer

I was thrilled to get the chance to photograph the Hagerty Family this last weekend!  What a fun and kind group of people they are!

I have known Kiley for years...since we were kids!  It's been fun to see her family grow via Facebook and even more fun to finally meet them all in person.  She has always been the sweetest person with a gigantic heart and so it didn't surprise me one bit to see that she married into a family just the same. :)

Cousins...some of the most adorable cousins I've laid eyes on!




These are a couple of truly blessed grandparents...and the grandchildren are equally as blessed!

Picture perfect!

Ellis is one amazing little girl and so incredibly loved!

I love these depictions of real life with two little boys...

Kiley with her littlest super hero...

...yet still his mama's boy!

ALL the kids together now!  The big boys might have been a bit harder to corral than the little ones!  Ha!

What a fun evening photographing a group of such awesome people!

 Thank you, Hagerty Family for taking a little bit of time out of your family weekend for me to capture these images for you!  It was so nice to meet all of you and capture you all in pictures!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Birth of Alice Monroe Barry - Quad Cities Birth Photographer

Since it is impossible to put into words just what it meant to experience this day with be there to capture it, witness it, help her through it...there are no words.

From beginning to is the birth of Alice in pictures...

(I apologize for the poor image quality.  I can't figure out why the images never look as crisp when I load them into a slideshow like this)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Alice ~ 6 days new - Quad Cities Newborn Photographer

Alice is home and all is right in her world. :)

I loved getting to capture her in her home and with her family!

At 6 days new, she already knows how to work the camera!

The dimple!!!!  AHHHH...sooo adorable!  This girl is a prodigy...she smiles constantly!

There isn't a lack of pink in her the only daughter of the family, they were due for some pink in their home!

Mommy love images are so beautiful to me!

That dimple and that smile again!!!

Jamie is one blessed mama!
3 beautiful children to love!

This session tired Alice out...

...not before one last family image...the recreation of a family image I captured just a few weeks before her arrival when Jamie was still pregnant.  Boy was Alice happy to be showing her face in this one!

Pure perfection...

Love you guys!