If you are a reader of my blog you know how often I express sentiment for photography and why I choose to be a photographer. I guess when it boils down I just want what I spend time doing to mean something. To make something better than it was before. Sometimes it’s hard to do when this is how I earn a living and just like any other adult I feel the pressure of taking care of my family. Sometimes the “meaning” gets lost in wanting (sounds like a typical Christmas time theme). Sometimes the meaning gets lost in my own pride or insecurities. Sometimes it is just hard to focus.
Then Aubrey asks me to photograph Franklin’s birth. And I am left wanting.. nothing. What means more than the birth of a baby?
By a show of hands who’s life has turned out exactly as they thought it would? Yep. Not mine. Probably not Aubrey’s either but despite a couple unexpected turns this single mom wowed me with her strength, courage and love for her unborn child. In Aubrey’s words “Eric (Franklin’s dad) is an incredible father”, and I guess you can imagine how incredible Aubrey is as well.
Childbirth and labor are extremely private and vulnerable moments and I would like to thank Aubrey for allowing me to share. I think it’s important and so does she.
I had only met her once before his birthday and then on the day of the first snowfall of the season I was told he was coming. I drove in a flurry of white to the hushed room where I stood as a silent support and observer. Aubrey and Franklin did all of the work together. She, choosing to deliver naturally, brought back strong memories of my own labor. My heart beat fast and the snow fell gently. The room smelled of oils that her doula lovingly used to comfort and massage. I knew I was watching a transformation. I knew in the moment she gave all control away she would find everything.
My eyes and fingers where on auto pilot. Dialing in exposures, looking for light, watching expressions…giving up control of my own. I am there to help keep what already exists..but I have to find it first. Maybe Aubrey felt the same way.
The sun set and Franklin came, not wanting to spend another night without her arms.
You guys..shooting a birth is SO AWESOME. I don’t care what kind of hotshot photographer you think you are. Shoot a life beginning or ending and tell me your ego matters.
So humbled and so grateful, I drove back home to my own baby. Priorities in check, sending a little prayer to the universe for letting my eyes see what they have seen.
(If you are interested in having me shoot a birth please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information)