Category Archives: Pregnancy + birth

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The First Birth Photographer | Minneapolis, St. Paul Birth Photographer

The first published Birth Photograph by Grace Robertson -- 1955

 

Five years ago when I shot my first birth the idea of documenting the moment babies were born was relatively shocking to most. Some new-fangled idea we came up with.

But it’s not. Birth Photography and documenting the moment of birth are not new at all.

This image is not mine, it’s Grace Robertson’s a photojournalist who captured the lives of women in the 1950s.

It is the first published Birth Photography image, which she captured as part of a project for Picture Post to document an at the time unseen thing — birth.

And in ancient art there are images of birth on mediums of all sorts, even bowls from which new mothers would eat their first meal post-birth.

The interest in the beauty of birth is not new, it’s ancient. I’m inspired by what Grace Robertson had to say about this image in a story journalist Anna Murphy helped her retell in The Telegraph:

“She did a number of stories considered revolutionary at the time; her 1955 photographs of a woman giving birth, for example, were some of the first of the kind to be published. ‘We were all so ignorant. I once saw a girl friend at a party looking distraught and I said, “What’s the matter?” and she said, “I think I am pregnant. That seat was warm when I sat down on it, and a man was sitting on it before me.”

‘I thought, “It’s time we learnt a little bit.” So I set out to find a woman who would let me photograph her giving birth. The story was turned down by Picture Post until she was eight months pregnant, and then suddenly they said yes. I was with her in the room on her own at one point when she was having contractions, and when she surfaced from one she must have seen me looking concerned.

‘She asked me if I had noticed some workmen when I came into the hospital that morning, and I said I had. She said, “That is what I am doing, Grace, I am labouring. It is hard work trying to get a baby out, so don’t look so concerned. And what’s more those men are only going to take home 14s 11d, but I am taking home a baby.” I laughed at that. And what I saw when the baby came out was its fist in the air as if to say, ‘Made it.'”

 

Interested in learning more about the 1950s and how the average birth was portrayed? Check out this amazing video from The Unecaesarian.

And, if you would like to see some of the ancient depictions, this is a very interesting video (although it’s narration reminds me a bit of CBE videos from the 1980s I watched in my Bradley class :).

Milaca Newborn Photographer

Cora | Milaca, St. Cloud Birth Photographer

Milaca Newborn Photographer

This is baby Cora. I headed over to St. Cloud Hospital the day after she was born to help her family tell and share the story of her birth.

I love birth photography because I’m able to get the real, raw first moments when families meet their new baby for the first time and record the entire journey so that one day the baby will know exactly how they were born.

But I realize that full birth coverage is not for everyone, so I created the Birth Stories Session, an after birth session designed to tell the story of baby’s birth and make some sweet images of family together.

Birth Stories Sessions take place in the first 24-48 hours (or later, if desired by family) and last about an hour while I interview, film and create still photos of these amazing first few days. Pricing information can be found at http://peace-love-babies.com.


Baby Cora | St. Cloud newborn photographer

Keen

Music to Labor to | Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud Birth Photographer

My second son, Keen a few hours after birth

Someone asked me today about birth playlists, so I dug mine from my last birth (1.5 years of giggles afterward).

It’s hard for me to express in words how moved I am by this music.

I become, like many, incredibly open to everything in pregnancy. I remember feeling as thought I could feel more than I had ever felt before.

And that’s part of the mechanics of birth — opening to new life and being primed to emotionally accept and bond with your child in a way you never thought possible.

And when I hear this music — oh, it’s like I’m back in that place where I am just waiting to love more than ever.

If you are looking for inspiration for your own labor playlist, take a listen, or a look.

This is the deep in labor-land playlist:


MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a playlist at MixPod.com

Wide Eyed, Legless – Laura Veirs
Zebra – Beach House
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
While You Wait for the Others – Grizzly Bear
The xx – Basic Space
Lotta Love – She & Him
Tenuousness – Andrew Bird
Sovay – Andrew Bird
Janglin – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
White Blank Page – Mumford and Sons
I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers
Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear
Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Sound System
The Cave – Mumford and Sons
January Wedding – The Avett Brothers
Her Morning Elegance – Oren Lavie
Thieves – She & Him

This is the fun, early labor play list:


MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a playlist at MixPod.com

When We Swan – Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
The xx – VCR
Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit
Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Sound System
Strange Overtones – A Calligraphic Tribute
Dixon’s Girl – Dessa
I Learned the Hard Way – Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
My Girls – Animal Collective
40 Day Dream – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Tighten Up – The Black Keys
Daylight – Matt and Kim
Go Do – Jonsi
Shadow People – Dr. Dog
Lasso – Phoenix
Crash Years – The New Pornographers
Run – Vampire Weekend
Audience – Cold War Kids
Caribou – Odessa
Chicago – Sufjan Stevens
Kids – MGMT
I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers
Violet – Jeremy Messersmith
Camera – Matt and Kim
Mouth of Diamonds – Phantogram
Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Winter Winds – Mumford and Sons
The Chaccone – Dessa
Ready to Start – Arcade Fire
The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Bruises – Chairlift
In the Sun – She & Him
The Calculation – Regina Spektor
Heartbeat Radio – Sondre Lerche
January Wedding – The Avett Brothers
White Blanke Page – Mumford and Sons
The Cave – Mumford and Sons
Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine
Listomania – Phoenix
1901 – Phoenix
Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear
While You Wait for the Others – Grizzly Bear
Fake Palindromes – Andrew Bird
Heretics – Andrew Bird
Anonanimal – Andrew Bird
Skin Is, My – Andrew Bird
Measuring Cups – Andrew Bird
Opposite Day – Andrew Bird
Oh No – Andrew Bird
Drumming Song – Florence and the Machine

9-copy

It’s all in a good book | MN birth photographer

The birth book is the culmination of the birth photography experience. It’s the final artform. The tactile way to enjoy the day again and again.

I get a little giddy when I lay one out thinking about big sister gazing at her baby brother. Then baby brother as a kid, paging through and asking about his birth. I think about kids growing up and what they’ll think when they look at the images right before they become parents and what they’re own kids will think when they see them for the first time.

Photos are a legacy art.