Category Archives: Birth

Birth Photography

Dakota – Newborn Photography

Dakota was born late on the evening of the 10th of March. After her mother assumed she would be in for a prolonged labour, Dakota decided she wanted out! She came quite fast! How do I know? I photographed her journey earthside and her very first moments after her amazing birth.

The Birth of Dakota

Birth photography is almost the complete opposite of posed newborn photography! Documenting emotions, feelings and keeping the intimacy of birth intact while capturing it in photos. It’s a time that is such only a fleeting moment in the context of our lives, and it is so full of emotion that it can be quite easy to forget bits and pieces or even huge chunks! So when I deliver a birth story to new parents, it can feel like they are reliving the whole experience all over again because their photographs  help them to recall those special ‘first’that they has with their brand new baby and handing the photographs to new parents is something I completely relish! And then returning to see the new baby and photographing them again as beautiful art; sculpturing them into gorgeous poses, usually while they sleep quite soundly, that look amazing in print and displayed on your walls for you to proudly share with everyone for years to come.

I am so very privileged to have shared all of that with Dakota and her parents!! I am truly BLESSED!!

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By Tanya Minotti – Shepparton Maternity, birth and newborn photographer

For session details call 0412673156

The Loving Birth of Dakota – Shepparton Birth Photographer

Eagerly awaiting notification of an impending birth. I had been a little on edge and was carrying my phone with me everywhere and on the morning of the 10th of March while preparing my children’s lunches for school and kinder I recieved a text from my client, Jess;

“Don’t want to get too excited but I am thinking today might be the day!”

I then started making arrangements for my children for the day. I kept in contact with Jess throughout the day and she sounded as though she thought it would be a long wait with her contractions coming only every 20 minutes. I could tell at stages she was feeling discouraged and she was prepared to try a bit of dancing to see if it helped get bub moving a little quicker. She sent me a clip of her dancing in her loungeroom to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, which was quite a sight but it did look like a lot of fun and I kind of wished I had been there at that moment to take some photos! My mum came to help with my youngest child and after I picked my 4 year old up from kinder at 2:30pm I decided I wanted to be with Jess to start capturing the story of her journey to giving birth to her daughter.

I arrived at Jess’ at about 3pm  and I had a feeling she felt she had put me out, that she may not even be giving birth that day. Jess and her friend and work colleague, Taylah were relaxing in front of the TV watching the US version of One Born Every Minute… I made them turn it off and told them that they were scaring the baby and there would be no way she would come out after watching it 😉 (honestly this show sends my blood pressure soaring and is a sure way to get me to yell at the TV!!)!

Jess and I soon had a chat about what was happening and Jess was keen to try a couple of things to get bub into a better position (she had a feeling baby was posterior where baby’s facing the front). We did some rebozo sifting (sifting, or jiggling the entire abdomen with a sheet in this instance, that can relax tight ligaments and may help a baby rotate in pregnancy or labour more easily, and help a birthing woman relax into her labour) and I also gave her a foot massage and put some pressure on a couple of pressure points. Soon I finally met Jess’ Hubby, Stu after he returned home from work. Stu had been working FIFO but had quit just a few weeks before Jess was due to give birth and returned home after their dear friend, Daniel had died, So previously I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet him.

According to Jess and Stu their son, Jordan wasn’t in much of a hurry to be born and Jess’ labour was quite long and somewhat traumatic, and I could tell that both Stu and Jess were sceptical that any other length of labour could be possible. Stu went about doing some tiling outside while Jess and I stayed indoors.

Soon it was time for Jordan to be picked up from daycare and I took this opportunity to capture some special moments with mum and Jordan… some of the last moments he was an only child.

Jess’ labour was still very slow and relaxed so I soon felt Jess may need a few moments on her own so I took my leave for a bit and went to visit my sister and have some dinner. I returned at about 7pm and Jess was enjoying company from Taylah and another dear friend and birth support Tamara. The light outside was beautiful as the sun dipped below the horizon and it inspired Jess to go for a walk to see what a quiet stroll would do. So the 5 of us set off to take Jordan to the skate park with me at times scooting ahead to take photos.

It had become evident that the short stroll had helped, Jess was stopping every 5 minutes or so to relax through a contraction. We didn’t stay long at the park (much to Jordan’s dismay) and the sky was growing dark as we walked back home. Taylah soon makes her way home and we make our way inside where it is becoming increasingly evident that it is beyond Jordan’s bedtime.

Stu is taking it easy on the couch playing xbox (or something, I’m not so savvy with games) with his brother via wifi where he chatted away to him with an ear piece. Jordan soon calms down and sits by his dad while Jess sits at the kitchen table enjoying her more regular contractions. With each one she flushes and fans herself to try and alleviate her high temperature. Tamara scoots off to bring back a fan to make Jess more comfortable and then goes about making herself a coffee then cleans the kitchen. Jess moves about a bit and eventually (at about 10:30 pm) finds herself standing in the lounge room where her waters break on her brand new rug. Stu begins to get anxious to get to the hospital and they make a phone call to the labour suite. Jess can’t talk on the phone for long as her contractions really ramp up and it isn’t long before she starts getting cold and feels a bit nauseas! Screams transition to me!!

Jess’s mum arrives to collect the sleeping Jordan while everyone in the house prepares for the trip to Shepparton (about 20-30 minute drive). I take my own car because I live in Shepparton and didn’t want to get stuck without a car and I have a feeling that things will be quite quick. I decide to take an alt route, which was silly because I forgot that the way I go is blocked due to roadworks. So I arrive at the hospital after the birthing crew had already made their way up to Birthing Suite.

I pass through the emergency waiting room and advise the staff that I am on my way to a birth and they giggle and let me though… I later find out that Jess made quite a scene on her way in. I walk up the stairs to the Birthing Suite and I see Stu waiting for the lift to go back down. He warns me that things are happening quickly and I wonder why he is leaving, turns out they were in such a hurry to get Jess upstairs that the car was left running.

I make it to Jess’ room and she is kneeling beside the bed with her thongs still on contracting in a way that is quite consistent with 2nd stage (the pushing stage) . Stu appears soon with Jess’ bags and immediately joins Jess on the bed.

Jess is quite uncomfortable but doesn’t move from the side of the bed, she holds tight to the bed sheets and it isn’t long before baby begins to emerge…. head first… then fist!! When baby arrives, Claire, the midwife assigned to Jess, passes Jess’ new daughter to her through her legs where Jess immediately embraces her with her whole body!!

This is a moment that is irreplicable! Words can not even begin to explain how a woman feels right at this moment!! Photos paint a much clearer picture and I am so happy to have captured this moment for Jess and her brand new daughter that her and Stu named Dakota.

Written by Tanya Minotti Photographer – Shepparton Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer

The Gentle Home Birth of Adelina – Shepparton Home Birth Photographer

I had the morning off (all my children were at school/kinder/daycare) on the 19th of February and my friend, Kim was a few days past her estimated due date (I am not a big fan of due dates and being beyond this date was causing Kim some stress) so I paid her a visit. She had not long returned from a visit to her midwife, Andrea from My Midwives Shepparton and Echuca and she informed me she felt a little uncomfortable. I gave her a foot massage and manipulated a couple of acupressure points while I went. As I left Kim walked me to the door and she looked like she was feeling a bit of pain so I was a little suspicious that things may be happening (as I am sure she was also). I returned home and Kim messaged me at about 5pm letting me know that she thought she may be in labour. At this point I scurry about finalising my babysitters and tell her to let me know when she would like me to arrive. She messages me back and tells me she is “relaxing in the pool” and I think, she is either super keen or closer than she thinks… turns out it was the later! I soon received a call from Kim saying, “HURRY UP!” Needless to say I left straight away!! HAHA!!

I got to Kim’s pretty quickly and set up my gear. Kim was sitting upright in the birth pool, which was set up in the dining room, she was leaning on the edge of the pool. Mat, Kim’s hubby was busying himself around the house; checking the pool water and sorting other things out, keeping occupied. Andrea was not moving far from Kim’s side. I didn’t get many photos before I hear Andrea, who was sitting by the pool in front of Kim, say, “yep, that’s hair”. And the next thing you know Kim, with a little help from Andrea, was bring her baby up out of the water to her chest.

I think the first thing Kim said was, “What is it Mat?”. I know Kim was super keen to know if she was carrying a boy or a girl and despite her instinct telling her she was carrying a boy, ber baby was in fact a beautiful little girl.

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Andrea knew that Kim wanted to share this moment with Ellie, Mat and Kim’s 18 month old daughter, so she excitedly retrieved her from her room where she was sleeping and brought her out to meet her little sister. It is always so amazing to witness older children meet their new sibling soon after birth. They are always excited and filled with wonder 🙂 truly a magic moment and something I am so happy to have captured.

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As soon as Kim had come to terms with giving birth she wanted to share her news. She requested that Mat call her parents to tell them the news, and it wasn’t long before Kim’s parent’s arrived to meet their new granddaughter.

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Kim was super relaxed throughout, she was supported noninvasively by Andrea who knows exactly what she is doing, her experience and bedside manner was amazing with Kim. Kim looks up to Andrea because of her knowledge and expertise and they have a very close birthing relationship which is something every woman deserves during their pregnancy/birthing/new mother journey. This continuity of care is something that is really important and has proven benefits for women during pregnancy and birth. Private midwifery care is available to all women no matter where you choose to give birth. For more information please contact Andrea at My Midwives Shepparton and Echuca (all the contact details can be found by clicking through the link)

You can also take a look at Kim during her pregnancy here.

By Tanya Minotti Photography – Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer

Birth Photography – what it means to me.

I have recently had the absolute pleasure of being asked to capture two births. One home birth and one hospital birth (JUST!).

Being with women during this time is very special and I see it as an absolute honour to be sharing the same space with a labouring woman. There is truly something remarkable about women in this state. I know in the media it is quite often portrayed as a fearful, highly stressful time but it really isn’t. It is full of excitement, sometimes impatience and in the early stages the woman can be quite blissed out.

Birth always gets a lot of rough press, you often only hear about it if something bad happens or if a women doesn’t quite make it to hospital and the story is usually based on how there was a hero of an emergency worker who thankfully help “deliver” the baby (is my sarcasm coming across? 😉 ).

Birth in general is something that I love and something that I wish all women were as passionate about. I have found if woman are not well educated about birth (and not all women want to be) they can find their birth experience quite different from that which they had hoped for, maybe it’s because they feel overwhelmed during labour with the management they experience from their care providers or possibly they are not told all of their options. I think that because birth talk is still somewhat taboo and sometimes considered “gross” by some it can become quite difficult for women to own their birth due to not feeling able to discuss it openly.

This is where birth photography plays a great role giving real examples of how birth is for many, what other women have done and how they felt. It takes away some of the unknown; that is where fear hides and gives real life visual at what birth really is or what it can be given the opportunity.

Granted this is not the only benefit to having a birth photographed. Birth photography is an art form that depicts raw emotion that cannot be forged and illustrates how beautiful and sacred this moment is; a moment that can be shared with loved ones for years to come.

In summary birth photography normalises the process of birth, decreased the fear and I hope it will increase women’s ability to choose the birth they desire in the future all while preserving one of the most beautiful moments one may experience that can be cherished for many years to come.

Written by Tanya Minotti Photography – Shepparton Maternity, Birth, Newborn Photographer

My introduction to birth photography

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In 2008 while completing my doula studies (what is a doula? http://www.childbirthinternational.com/faq/birth_doula.htm) I attended my first birth. Baby Deon was born on Fathers day to ecstatic parents, Judy and Craig. His birth was a little stop start but once he decided he wanted out, he came in a hurry!
My first experience as a doula was also my first experience as a birth photographer. I always offered my clients birth photography but they usually only wanted photographs after their bundle was born. Judy was no exception. I know that she dearly loves this picture of moments-old-Deon and I know I loved taking it.
Recently I was asked by a friend if I would like to photograph her birth to which I accepted. I enjoyed the experience and felt my experience as a doula helped immensely. I also felt less pressure than when attending a birth as a doula. The doula’s role can be quite intensive and emotionally binding (but something that I still love).
Birth photography is becoming quite trendy, and why shouldn’t it? It is such a wonderful time, a time that should be treasured. And I feel that with birth photography comes empowered women; women who want to capture a moment in their lives that will change them forever.