I had my midpoint (approval of what I proposed my thesis project to be, and approval to go ahead and do it) approved Spring of 2014, just before my 3rd baby was born that summer. I initially proposed images of children between the ages of 3-17 in a studio environment. The board didn’t feel this was refined enough concept, so through some exploration I decided on the concept above ‘Being a girl’. Although I will now admit it was just to get my midpoint approved. I don’t feel as connected or passionate about it as I feel now.
I have always been drawn to babies and photographing them and maternity. A recent project I have started it to photograph babes who are born out of hospital within the first 24 hours of life. This may or may not turn into my thesis work, currently I am just exploring it!
The goal of these images is I want to show out of hospital births are natural, and that women and babies are well cared for in a midwifes hands. Images will try to illustrate that birth is natural thing, in many cases does not need to be overly medicalized. Also be a case that midwives should be compensated by insurance companies, it should not be out of pocket expense for families.
Also with my middle daughter who was birthed at home, I got very few images of her in her first 24 hours. Now yes she was number 2, and I was not a photographer at the time. But I miss them. I feel like I missed these moments. So I wanted to be able to provide these memories to families who are interested.
The images will focus on the baby, the parental bond with the baby, midwife caring for baby. Baby will not be posed during the shoot, and I won’t bring props. It would be a documentary style of photographing.
I would take on a mom who was planning her out of hospital birth. I would plan for a week before and after due date to ensure I didn’t have other “first 24” shoots planned. Someone would text me when mom is in labour. When mom is 8-9cm dilated (or birth is imminent) someone calls me if it’s between the hours of 7am and 10pm. If for example it’s 3am and baby is born, then someone calls at 7am and I will come as soon as possible. Before the 24 hours of babe’s life has passed.Sometimes I will get there for the actual birth and sometimes I will not. It will just depend on the hour of the birth, distance etc.
I have taken on 4 couples for this project thus far. Below are images from me attending a midwife appointment with the couple to met them, also get images of midwife caring for pregnant mom.