My First Birth | St Catharines Birth Photographer

October 10, 2018

If you know me, you know my family means everything to me. We spend a lot of time together and are actively involved in each others lives. So it is safe to say that my sister Sarah’s life has influenced me on numerous occasions and has lead me to choose newborn photography and ultimately birth photography as my career.

My First Birth  |  Elora Williams Photography

In my last year of university Sarah surprised the family with special news that she was pregnant. The thought of having a little niece or nephew to cuddle and kiss overwhelmed my thoughts. I decided that once the baby was born I was going to photograph the mess out of him/her. So I set about learning all I could about newborn photography. I looked up articles, watched videos, purchased tutorials/workshops, anything I could do to learn how to get the best photos. I even had the privilege to apprentice with Deanna while I was still living in Toronto, which boosted my confidence and paved the way for my future in newborn photography.

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God’s timing is amazing and allowed for me to be at my nephew Ben’s birth. Sarah went into labor while I was still at home (in the Bahamas) at the end of my Christmas break. Her doctor was so accepting and allowed me to photograph the labor, except for the final moments of pushing because of the hospital’s policy[. The atmosphere in the delivery room was very relaxed which was perfect for me because I had no knowledge of labor or of how to photograph it.

My First Birth  |  Elora Williams Photography

Sarah was induced in the early morning and the extended family arrived at the hospital shortly after. However, hospitals in Nassau are very strict and Doctors Hospital would only allow two people in the room during labor. I believe this created a more intimate setting for Sarah and Daniel, which allowed them to focus on each other and the little life they were about to bring into the world. Labor progressed slowly and Sarah was forced to spend a lot of time in bed because of an epidural.

My First Birth  |  Elora Williams Photography

The hospital room we were in was very limited with available natural light. There was only one window, however I did not feel comfortable or experienced enough to ask about opening the blinds. I was forced to work with dim lighting and was pushed out of my comfort zone. It was definitely eye opening to how unpredictable birth and the setting in which it takes place in can be.

My First Birth  |  Elora Williams Photography

Many times throughout Sarah’s labor I was hit with intense emotions but nothing compared to how overcome with emotions I became when she was in the final moments of labor. There is something just so powerful about a woman giving birth to her child. To see the hard work that she and her body goes through, and then to see mother holding baby and the look of triumph on her face. This event seven years ago lit a spark in me that burned dimly at first and over time became a passionate flame for documenting birth through photographs.

My First Birth  |  Elora Williams Photography

Benjamin was born almost seven years ago, but I didn't get into birth photography in Nassau because of the limitations put forth by the hospitals. Three years after Ben’s birth Sarah gave birth to Abigail. I had every intention of photographing her birth, however she was born in Princess Margaret Hospital which is even more limiting with what is allowed during labor. I had to get permission from the hospital to photograph the birth. Sarah had the same doctor who once again had no problem with me capturing the birth story, but the nurse assigned to Sarah’s labor just would not allow me in the room. It was very frustrating at the time and I still regret to this day not being able to photograph Abby’s birth. It has made me more aware of what to look for in a birthing facility and to be more vocal in what I desire during labor. I encourage all you expecting mommies out there to do the same! Take your birth story into your own hands and have the type of labor you wish to have!

St Catharines Birth Photography Model Call

Sept 3rd, 2018

Just like your wedding day, your baby’s birth will come and go in an instant. How will you remember all the emotions and details of the day?

I thought I was already in love with all things baby.. until I photographed my first birth. How did I not know more about it and why weren't more moms doing it?! Couples focus so much on the before and after of pregnancy, capturing images of the bump and then baby at a week or two of age. But not enough attention is given to the labor aspect of their child's story. I have now photographed three births and with each experience I have grown more in love with birth photography. Every mama should have beautiful pictures of her journey bringing her child into this world, to look back on and remember all that she has accomplished. 

If you need a little more of a nudge here are three reasons you need a birth photographer:

1. You forget.

It is actually common for mothers to not remember the hours before and after their child's delivery, and there is no shame in this. Who can blame her as her body and mind are preoccupied with the miracle of birth! Seeing photographs preserves these memories, helps you to relive moments and remember how you were feeling at a specific part of your birth experience.

2. Fathers should be in photos not taking them.

Dad is just as much a part of the labor experience and should be able to participate 100%. Let him be a part of the memories, not capturing it. When you hire a professional birth photographer you allow this to happen and this also frees dad up to be there for you completely without any distractions. A birth photographer's sole role is to focus on capturing every precious moment so your team can focus on what they were meant to focus on.

3. To have photographs of moments, details and expressions you may miss because you are occupied.

During labor you are so focused on yourself and bringing your baby into the world, just as you should be, that you miss a lot of the other things taking place around you. Having a photographer at your delivery helps you to experience these events without having to actively participate in them. Amidst all of the waiting, motions, coaching, delivery and recovery there are details and events which should be captured for you to be able to enjoy later on. Excited moments shared between family members in the waiting room, the way dad looks at you during labor, your face when you meet your baby for the first time, or experiencing your older child meeting the new baby, to name a few. 

When you book the model call birth session you will receive an in person pre-consultation where we will go over your expectations of birth and all that I provide during labor. Starting at 38 weeks I will be on call, day and night, to capture your entire birthing experience, from active labor, through the first few hours of your new baby’s life in a beautiful and real documentary style. This includes sweet moments such as your baby’s first breath and first cry, cutting the cord, you meeting your little one for the first time, and all the little details about your brand new baby. 

Within two weeks after delivery you will receive 75+ fully edited digital images on USB, which will include both color and black and white images. 

The regular cost of a birth photography session is $1200, however if you book the model call session you will receive it for $400. That is an $800 savings. 

The nature of birth photography requires your photographer to be on call. As a result of this there will only be two (2) slots available for November 2018 and two (2) slots available for January 2019.  Applications are open for submissions starting today and will close on October 1, 2018.

The Long Awaited Update

November 24th, 2017

Something big has happened over the last few months. My husband and I are now living in chilly Canada! We have finally settled into our new life and new routine, and I am finally at a place where I am excited to get my photography business up and running again.

My husband and I officially moved to St Catharines, Ontario on August 18th. We spent six weeks at an Airbnb while we looked for a car and a place to live. It was great having that time to relax and reconnect as a couple in between getting everything checked off of our to-do list.

We are currently living in Niagara on the Green, which is south Niagara-on-the-Lake. We are about a 20 minute drive from downtown NOTL. However, we are only about a 12 minute drive from both malls in St Catharines, as well as a 15 minute drive from downtown St Catharines. So I still consider us to be living in St Catharines ;)

Since moving here quite a few things have taken place. My amazing sister Sarah gave birth to my second beautiful niece Anna, her third child. I got a call one Saturday evening in September saying that Sarah and Daniel were heading to the hospital, so Naldo and I rushed 40 minutes to Burlington to meet them. I spent the whole night with them throughout the delivery and photographed the whole journey. I actually had the pleasure of photographing their first delivery of my nephew Ben in the Bahamas, but unfortunately because of hospital rules I was not able to photograph my niece Abigail’s birth. Thankfully it wasn't like that for Anna’s delivery, which was beautiful and extremely emotional. There is something so amazing and magical about a woman giving birth. I feel honored that my sister allowed me to be there with her as she went through that.

Naldo and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary on October 13th. We decided to spend the weekend exploring Elora, Ontario, a township about a two hour drive from where we are. Of course I couldn’t pass up exploring a town with such an incredible name! On the first day we walked through the downtown and stopped at an indoor craft fair.  The second day was overcast and rainy, but we decided to check out the Elora Gorge. It was a sight to see and we already have plans to return in the spring.

It has definitely been an adventure the past six months with lots of unknowns and hard work. I am very thankful though for the opportunity and all the doors God has opened for my family. I’m excited for what’s to come and to expand my photography business in a new country. I look forward to sharing my adventures with you.