The first question most people ask is "why?"

Birth is the most significant moment of a woman’s life. Far more powerful and life-changing than her wedding day. But most of the time there is no record of this amazing day except some formal hospital notes and some dim and very distant memories.

a birth story is not about what's happening down "the business end"

I'm not there to get a photo of baby crowning - unless that's what you want! No, instead I want to capture your empowering journey through labour and your experience of meeting your baby for the first time. These unique moments are full of raw emotion - sometimes good, sometimes bad - but always deeply significant for you and your partner.

all the photos I take are about the memories attached to them

Many women are also so overwhelmed with raw emotion and sensory overload during birth that they don't remember the order of events and missed many of the details. Many client cry tears of joy when they see their birth photos because of the positive memories they bring. I don't want to influence your story in any way, so I capture your birth story sensitively, without any distractions to you during your labour. 

the first photo only comes once 

When people are showing off photos of their new baby it's often a shaky photo from their iPhone. Years later they will say it's their most treasured picture because of the memories it conjures up. The first photo is more important than you realise right now.

birth photography captures a new story for you and your partner

This is a new phase in your life. I myself have had one normal vaginal delivery and one a cesarean-section, and even though things didn't go quite to plan with either birth I have strong memories of the intense bond between me and my partner during each birth. He supported me and was overwhelmed by emotion. Before having children we thought we knew each other intensely but birth for me, was a journey beyond that. When I had my son, birth photography was only just emerging so I didn't have a photographer, but I set my husband to work with my camera and those few images are some of the most profound for me.

HOW IT WORKS

As we don't know when baby will arrive, birth photography is certainly a logistical challenge. The shoot is likely to be longer than your average wedding... but unlike a wedding of course we don't know the date!

I am super-organised by nature, so it's a challenge I relish and be assured it will be stress-free for you. Simply book your package, put your feet up, rest & then call me when labour begins.

I will be on-call for your birth - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - from week 38 until birth. Ideally I will be capturing your birth from when you are approximately 5cm dilated, and documenting your journey all the way until an hour or two after baby arrives.

the story of labour
 

BIRTH STORY PRICING

Birth packages are priced from £1200.

Because this is such a personal story, all packages are customised to you.

You might prefer a package including a luxe album or wall art -  or perhaps you want to add-on a postnatal Fresh 48 photo session during your baby's first few days - we discuss this at booking to create a package to suit you.

All packages include :

  • CONSULTATION - A chance to get to know each other, discuss your birth plan, find out your wishes & explain the process.
  • ON-CALL COVER - On-call time starts 2 weeks before your estimated due date and continues until your delivery. 24/7
  • PHOTOGRAPHY - Starting from when you are about 5cm dilated, I will document your journey until 1 to 2 hours after baby arrives.
  • DIGITAL IMAGES - All birth packages include 100+ professionally-edited images, provided on USB in luxury wooden package.
  • PRIORITISATION - I allow only 1 birth story client per month so I can offer you my full attention.
Thank you so, so much - the pictures are so beautiful. I’m at a soft play trying to hold back the tears here! It’s so amazing to be able to see all the moments between us and to be able to have them forever. It’s all part of such a beautiful story.
— Rachael Bell, July 2017
We knew when we met Ellie that she’d be a fantastic choice, little did we know how fantastic!
She knew exactly what to say to give us some brilliant support, and as baby’s arrival took us completely by surprise she stepped straight in to do exactly what was needed. When we say we couldn’t have done it without her, we genuinely mean it!
— Cat Marshall, May 2016

Making sure we click

In order for you to be completely comfortable with my presence during labour, it's essential we establish a friendship and trust beforehand.

That's why I always advise that we meet for a chat before you even book a birth story with me - so we have a chance to feel the vibe and see if I might be the right person for you, basically to see if we "click".

The last thing I would want is for me to make you feel uneasy and nervous during labour as we know this can in fact slow down the labour process. You will find me a kind of no-nonsense left-brained scientific-proof kind of person. However when it comes to birth, my own experience and that of the women I've photographed has shown me that our bodies are quite fascinating and your brain and emotions have a huge role to play in labour. So that's why I will insist that you consider this aspect carefully before booking me. 

   

After you have booked we then start with an in-person consultation. This is a chance for us to get to know each other better, discuss your birth plan, find out which moments or aspects you are most excited to capture and discuss privacy. Of course at this point we can then go into some detail about what you do and don't want photographed. 

Sharing such an intimate time with a couple is a real privilege for me, and I think that's why we seem to stay friends afterwards. During our journey together, from first meeting to baby's arrival and beyond, my role often moves around from friend to photographer and advocate to silent cheerleader.

At my first birth I did end up delivering the baby too, but I am quite happy - except in an emergency - to remain the photographer and leave midwifery to the professionals!

The moment of a birth - birth photography
Wow, the photos are absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much. We’ve all cried, so there you go - you’ve obviously done a great job!
— Charlotte Arthey, August 2017
birth photography cheshire stepping hill hospital

FIND OUT MORE

 
 

If you're interested in Birth photography and/or a Fresh 48 shoot, please fill in your details below to find out more..