Erika Ray Photography » blog

Number Four

I met Kristen at my very first birth.  She was the doula and was pregnant.  She asked me to photograph her birth, but her birth is the only one I’ve ever missed.  I can’t let this go.  It irritates me every time I think about it. We’ve remained friends because she’s lovely, badass, and I respect her.  She once said, “You know my sister, Kellie, is a big fan of your work?”   I blushed and smiled.  Who doesn’t love fans?  And then I discovered that Kellie is also a photographer and is really talented.  Even sweeter and humbling.

One night last winter, I met Kellie at Kristen’s house.  We chatted about photography, our kids, and her barn.  Shortly after our meeting, I got an email that she was expecting her fourth child and she asked for me to photograph the birth.  Are you kidding me?!  YES!  It would be my first official hospital birth, I’d finally get to shoot one of these women in labor, and photographing a photographer was a good kind of pressure.

Kellie started having contractions early.  So I had plenty of notice (a rarity in my position).  When I got the call to show up, the room was full of light and laughter.   I pride myself on being quiet and out-of-the-way during a birth.  That was not happening this time.  I laughed at their jokes and stories.  Even gave my opinion on weight, middle names, and bathroom etiquette.  But labor always heads one way: pain.  The room drained of the fun and went straight to business.

Kellie was amazing.  She was supported by her sister and her husband: he gently played with her hair (because he’s the best at it) and Kristen gave Kellie different positions for comfort.  It was time.  The team assembled and she got serious.  She accessed her power and pushed out her son.  And when she did the room once again filled with smiles, laughter, and the kind of light only a baby brings.

Dear Little One,

You’re the baby of a large, caring, supportive, and hilarious family.  You’re life will be beautifully documented and you’ll hear stories that will make your belly hurt from laughter.  I know this because I’ve witnessed it.  The very hands that held your Momma on the day you were born will support you for life.  The smile your Momma couldn’t hide even while in pain will greet you every day of your life.  You were given the most supportive and humours start at life.  That’s a gift, Kid.  It’s your world and I’m so thrilled that I got to witness the second you enter it.

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You can see Kellie’s work :: Shutter and Glass Photography  ::  Facebook Page

Kristen :: Birthing Beautiful Ideas :: Facebook page

Jim :: He’s just funny.  Sorry I don’t have anything to link.

  • Sarah Lang - What a beautiful Momma, and I love that look of joy on everyone’s faces in the last shot.
    Urg, you make me reconsider my stance on shooting birth photos- there’s just nothing like it! An incredible story, yet again. Love it.October 10, 2014 – 9:46 amReplyCancel

  • Jo - Beautiful beautiful birth. And Kellie, you look so gorgeous throughout the entire process!October 10, 2014 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Mickie - These are beautiful!!!October 10, 2014 – 5:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Jamie Lynn Roberts - In love with this family!!! We are def lucky.
    Thank you for sharing that.October 10, 2014 – 9:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Erika. These photos seriously made me cry looking at them. What a beautiful memory of this new little baby joining the family.October 10, 2014 – 11:27 pmReplyCancel

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