Category Archives: Maternity

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


Kim’s Pregnancy – Shepparton

I met Kim shortly after the birth of her 1st daughter about 18 months ago. Her little newborn baby was so very tiny and only a few days old when we attended mother group at My Midwives (Shepparton ans Echuca branch) together. She had given birth at home a few days before and since then we have kept in contact. Kim is very friendly and loves to chat with other mums about babies and all things birth… so it’s no wonder we find it easy to find things to talk about with me being a birth junkie!

Kim has always been a really great supporter of my work and has always recommended me to anyone looking for a photographer. So it was a pleasure to photograph Kim when she became pregnant with her 2nd child.

Kim was one of those women who really loved being pregnant, she was always happy and glowing and when I asked her to model for me she just couldn’t wait!! We did a couple of small shoots in her last trimester and Kim was eager to try anything including getting very wet in the Shepparton lake for the 2nd one. And she truly was stunning 🙂

Here are a few of the shots we achieved…

These are from the 1st shoot when Kim was about 31 weeks.

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This set was taken at about 35 weeks…

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I also had the privilege of being asked to capture the birth of this little babe. There will be a post on this in the very near future since this week babe entered the world just over 2 weeks ago (on the 19th of February) into Kims hands in water at home with the assistance of Andrea from My Midwives Shepparton and Echuca so keep an eye out for more of Kim’s journey soon 🙂


By Tanya Minotti Photography – Shepparton Birth, Maternity and Newborn photographer

Melissa’s Maternity Session – Shepparton

I have known Melissa for a very long time now. I was very good friends with her sister in High School so I visited their home often, I recall many fun days at the Strathmerton pool together. I hadn’t seen Melissa for many many years but when she messaged me about her desire to have maternity photographs taken I immediately knew who she was and was very excited that she was expecting a baby.

I met up with Melissa and her long time partner/fiancé along the Goulburn river in Shepparton and I immediately noticed how stunning Melissa looked in her long emerald green skirt and a perfect bump!

I started with some shots of the pair together to increase their comfort in front of the camera, they were both feeling a little nervous. Then I put Melissa in the spotlight and she was amazing!

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In the end we achieved some beautiful images using Melissa’s own clothes as requested, so nice and natural just as she is 🙂

I look forward to capturing this baby’s newborn portraits when s/he decides to make an appearance earth side. I really really hope it’s a little red head! I am sure no matter the hair colour baby will be divine!

Thank you to Melissa and Pete for trusting me with to document such an amazing time in your lives. I wish you all the best for your baby’s birth and look forward to seeing the three of you very soon 🙂

Tanya Minotti Photography – Shepparton Maternity, Birth and Newborn photographer.

Jessica’s Belly Henna

Jessica contacted me a few months ago enquiring about birth photography. We have been in contact since and have met up a few times. The last time we caught up I decided to follow Jessica to Koonoomoo to capture Sharon from “Henna by Azeesa” applying henna art to Jess’ baby belly.

I arrived to a welcome party of dogs, big ones, small ones and they looked quite intimidating, but were all very happy meet me. I was shown into Sharon’s lounge where Jess was laying very relaxed on the couch with “Scrubs” quietly playing on the television. There was a lovely scent in the air that flowed from scented melts burning on the coffee table along side an open box of prepackaged henna application pipes. Jess’ belly was exposed and Sharon was sitting beside her on a dining room chair applying fine lines of dark brown henna onto her bare skin.

Jess was very relaxed and would quite frequently express her feelings of bliss. Her baby still growing within Jess’ womb was very active and would quite often kick and squirm which didn’t bother Sharon at all. The three of us chatted quietly and I would move about the room snapping photos as I saw them.

When Sharon completed her piece we waited for the design to dry completely before moving outside to snap a few more photos.

We were photobombed by Frankie the bulldog, and I couldn’t resist trying to get Frankie to sit for a few solo images (it wasn’t easy! Dogs are more interested in pats than in photos 🙂 ).

Here are a few of the images I captured of Jess, Sharon and Frankie.

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I look forward to the birth of this little one and capturing baby’s first breath and maybe even some newborn snuggles 🙂

Tanya Minotti Photography – Shepparton Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer.

Rebecca’s maternity and family shoot


I recently booked in with Liz Arcus Photography to have her capture me with my youngest 5 children, the youngest of which I am still breastfeeding. I wanted her to capture us as we are now and to capture some shots of the breastfeeding relationship  my youngest and I have. I am not often in front of the camera and when I am I usually don’t enjoy it or the looking at my image, this is why I wanted Liz to photograph me (us), I knew she would make me happy with the results 🙂 And I was right!!

Take a look at me and my beautiful family captured by Liz, here;

Tanya and her Children – a breastfeeding session + a little bit more

Doing this for myself inspired me to offer photographs to others who do not often have photos taken of themselves.

I put the call out for people to nominate who would be suitable for this shoot and I had some really great nominations and it was very difficult to choose!

Rebecca’s nomination read: “Rebecca is pregnant with her third baby, she already has 2 girls Riley’s who’s around 4yrs old and Asha who’s 2/3yrs old, her partner’s Shaun, for the past year they have been through a lot with their daughter Asha being diagnosed with leukaemia…

“I feel they deserves it, not only because they had a rough year but because they’re a beautiful family.

Rebecca and her girls were so welcoming and friendly. The girls were excited to have me there and were keen to show off their nail polish, new toys and how high they could jump 🙂

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I want to say a huge thank you to Rebecca for being so welcoming and accommodating to my requests. It was so much fun spending the afternoon with you and your family. It was a hot day and I have no doubt you were tired, so thank you again.

Written by Tanya Minotti Photography

Shepparton Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer