Who’s this?

I can dress down or dress up. Once I have my camera out, hospital staff takes notice. I am quick to make allies with the nurses. I will have more interaction with them than most of the obgyns. If the birth environment permits I always try to have a quick, kind, informative conversation with the lead nurse as to some of my client’s wishes. I always pose the wishes as reasonable requests under applicable circumstances. There is a quick team I need to form to be able to deliver for my clients. I can’t assume a position at the foot of the bed without communicating with a nurse or 3!

Once the obgyn enters the room I place my camera at my side and I usually sit if there is space. I wait to be introduced or the obgyn will ask the patient “who’s this?”, or I am directly addressed, typically with greetings like, “Oh I see you are a photographer. ” Whether I am introduced or I get to introduce myself, it is humble yet confident. Personally I love when my clients get the chance to introduce me – it validates that I am part of the team. The parents know it, the nurses know and customer satisfaction informs an obgyn. What really makes my day and my client’s as well, is when the doctor and I have report built on previous experiences. I am honored to say, a number of doctors know me and trust me in the birth space. One or two ( I won’t mention names) are familiar enough to chat photography and ask about my family. This is lovely and can also be awkward- I am working and we are there for the birthing person, but I try to navigate those times with a big smile.

The dog hair of Life.

Almost a calendar year ago I had a great conversation with a birth mama client. She was telling me how she had recently referred my services to a friend of hers- a home birth mama. That woman replied that she wasn’t quite sure of having the photography done because her house wasn’t pretty and she didn’t want to worry about the mess and dog hair- she might be embarrassed to have me there and to photograph that.My client went on to say that she knew all that wasn’t a big deal and that I myself, had mess, and four kids and a dog. But not everyone does. Not everyone knows this. We discussed all the things that we understand as mothers, but when we aren’t connecting enough, or I AM NOT CONNECTING enough to a client base that is inviting me into a very intimate time- I am missing out on the understanding- if I too don’t share. I can be swimming in the current, in the fast, in the slow, in the depths of motherhood right along side you but you still won’t know me- I get it.

I have the most beautiful sunlight stream through my front room windows, the hard wood floors pick up the warmth and the yellow of the walls make the atmosphere so inviting- all ready for an afternoon nap maybe. And there is Golden Retriever dog hair everywhere. Hair under the piano stuck in the foot pedal, hair under the couch, on the backside of the couch and up the arm rest sides. When a door is open and shut the draft picks up hair and tornadoes it around the room. We vacuum, of course we do. At one point, one summer a long, long time ago- I took up vacuuming twice a day, that’s how much dog hair there was. That was unrealistic to think I was going to keep that up. So, I didn’t after a few weeks. We live with it because we loved her, Sugar, and now we love him, Jonas! But I get it, I get the dog hair everywhere and in the spaghetti.

Sugar, at the very end.