I love, love, love birth. It has been by far the best thing I have ever done. Being present during a birth is an honor. The images I have of my births are treasured, not only by me, but by my children. Photographing your birth story will be amazing. It has been during labor, giving birth, overcoming each powerful contraction that I have felt closest to our God. The act of joining in creation is transformative. It's that transformation, that pure love, I work to capture, to give witness to your miracle.
I've been an advocate for birth choice for over 20 years. As a college student, I wanted to become a midwife, but it was illegal in my home state: at the time there were only 2 schools in the country producing midwives. I continued on through college and read everything I could get my hands on. I started attending births a few years ago after 3 children and then took a break to have my last sweet daughter.
I've had children at a birth center, home, and the hospital. I can offer first hand experience as a birth assistant and laboring mother. I deeply support a woman in labor and understand the quiet peaceful atmosphere that must be maintained. I will never disrupt your labor for a "shot." My camera and lenses are able to handle the low light in a birthing room and I strive to be an asset to your birth team in any way I can. As a doula and a student of natural birth for the past two decades, I am well-versed about the birthing process.
You don't. Just like you didn't need a wedding photographer. You wanted one. You wanted to capture the most amazing day of your life. Having a family member or friend snap pictures at your birth is a lot like having a friend snap pics of your wedding. They can be great, but they will inevitably miss that moment, the one you will never forget. How can they tell your birth story when they are part of it?
I want everyone to have tangible memories (besides your amazing child) of their children's birth. A family member or friend is also a part of the event in an emotional way and can be easily distracted and unaware of how to take pictures in a challenging environment. A pregnant woman will say she will have the lights on, but a women in labor often needs low lighting, candles, sometimes almost pure darkness. I use natural light 98% of the time because my equipment is capable in almost no lighting, but I am also experienced in how to use a flash without disturbing a laboring woman, so that no moment is missed.
I am also on-call for you for weeks. Lots of photographers like the "idea" of documenting a birth, but few specialize in the unpredictableness of birth. 2 am? I'm there. I don't go more than an hour away from home when I'm on call for you. My schedule is dictated by my service to you.
What you do need, is support from your birth team, love from your partner, and faith in your body. Documenting this is my joy and privilege. Giving you back the memories that are sometimes vague and capturing the pure love that is the birth of your child.
I am in it for the long haul! I may step out for a bit or rest if your labor is long, but I will be there to shoot your birth. If I am unable to attend your birth due to illness and I cannot find a back-up, you will receive a full refund. If I miss your birth due to a faster than usual delivery, meaning I arrive within one hour after I'm called and you've already given birth, I will not be able to refund you. I will continue the session as planned.
I'm on call 24/7 from 38 weeks on and will be available via text or cell phone. You will need to appoint someone to call me when you are in active labor (usually 5cm). I ask to be notified when your labor begins so that I can arrange my day. I will arrive to photograph active labor, delivery, and the first moments of you and your baby together, breastfeeding, including the newborn exam if it is done with an hour and a half after birth.
I have documented almost 50 births. You decide what type of pictures you are comfortable having taken at your birth. I have a vision, but it will not conflict with yours, only enhance it. During our initial consultation to book your birth photography, we will discuss your vision for your birth session and answer any questions you may have about the process. I will not shoot any types of images that you feel uncomfortable with and I will work to make sure we capture the little things to remember the day as well.
No. The birth photography you see on my site is a 10% of what I have documented. some stories are not even here. The pictures that are chosen for my portfolio are cropped for modesty and discretion. Remember this is your birth and your memories. I'm here to serve you. I will usually have pictures from your birth that you will feel comfortable posting on my blog/website. I do not use last names here for privacy. I will post a close-up photograph of your sweet babe on FB, again without an identifiers, but nothing else without your approval. If any labor or birth pictures are posted, you will have full approval first, and my clients are never tagged. Many do, however, share their birth stories with family and friends.
Not everyone wants to photograph their birth, yet they want to capture those fleeting first moments after the birth: baths, diaper changes by Dad, Grandparents welcome, nursing pictures, or just the sweet newborn moments that disappear all too quickly. A Babymoon documentary session or a First Day session takes place 24-48 hrs after your birth and can be shot at the hospital, birth center, or your home. I can follow you home from the hospital or birth center. You pick the first moments you want to remember. This is not a newborn session which captures stylized pictures of you and your newborn. Those are beautiful keepsakes, but this is about telling the story of those first glowing days of your babymoon.
As soon as you decide you want a birth photographer. I usually book 4-6 months in advance. Some parents have booked their birth session at 8 weeks! Booking early also gives you plenty of time to pay for your package through payment plan options. But please always contact me, sometimes there are birth stories available when God has called a sweet angel to heaven and I also have had families relocate.
This may strike you as odd, but I may not be right for you and that's okay. There are other birth photographers out there, just like there are other doulas, midwives and doctors for you to choose from. I'm a birth worker first, therefore I understand how personality and connection are a part of what I do. Please examine my portfolio, read my blog and what my clients say. Meet with me and ask questions. As your photographer, I am going to be part of your birth team and ultimately part of your birth story. Choose your birth team carefully. This is one of the most incredible days of your life and as much time as we all spend researching car seats and cribs, those present during your birthing time are so important for you to feel good about. Congratulations on your upcoming birth!
When a woman is asked what was the most important day of her life she most often answers,
"The day my child was born. The day I became a mother."
Last year a client texted me this:
"I need to tell you...
Over the last few weeks I have been suffering from PPD, barely even able to take care of my son, but I have used the video you made for us as part of my therapy. It has brought me through some pretty rough times. Also the card you wrote hangs on my bathroom mirror as one of the many affirmations I have posted around my house. Thank you for what you do!"
Documenting her birth was more than even just that day. I am humbled to have provided support to her even after birth. I get to serve the best women and their families. Each time I photograph a women giving birth, my world expands that much more. I love every minute and I'm so blessed to do this. Contact me and we'll get together for coffee. We'll get to know each other and talk about your birth vision. Once you book your session, I'll touch base via email until I go on call. At 38 weeks I'm available via text or cellphone 24/7. Usually you, your partner, or your birth attendant (doula) will contact me when you go into early labor so I have a heads up. They will make the call as to when I arrive. You may not even realize I'm there depending where your labor is when I arrive. I will assist your birth team in any way possible. I will honor your birthing space and after your baby is born, I will stay and document all those first moments in the hours after birth.
Jen was such a positive presence at our birth. She entered our home quietly and captured not only the beauty and miracle of bringing a child into the world, but also the emotion of each individual present. She connected instantly with my birth team and family. Jen was professional and the images were beautiful. I am so thankful we chose to invite Jen to our birth and am forever grateful for the film and photos she has blessed us with! -Noelle
There are lots of big decisions to make when you are planning for your first baby and one of the best decisions we ever made was having Jen as our birth photographer/documenter. Caught in the moment, it is hard to appreciate all of the once in a lifetime things that happen while giving birth. My son's first breath, the look on my husband's face when he saw him for the first time, the precious first moments as a complete family; all wonderful memories that fade with time but are forever preserved in our amazingly emotional pictures. The story Jen told of our first birth experience with her photographs made our friends and family feel like they experienced birthing time with us and brought many to tears. Jen was absolutely amazing and we look forward to her being such an integral part in all of our future births! -Megan
We had such an amazing experience with Jen Conway Photography. We could not have had a better person to be on our birthing team. She captured so many precious moments.during my son's birth. Jen was so much fun to work with and truly a blessing! I would not change a thing and I highly recommend her to anyone! We love you, Jen!!! -Ashley
My first experience with Jen was when my she photographed my hypnobaby birth at Greenville Memorial in December. It was my first birth and I had signed up for everything under the sun..natural birth, hypnobirth, water birth, midwife, doctor, doula, placenta encapsulation, birth photographer and blood cord and tissue banking. As our due date grew closer, I started to get nervous that I had set my expectations too high. That seemed like a lot of people in one tiny little room while trying to welcome a new baby in a "peaceful way." My husband and I started to think..what can we cut out? The birth photographer seemed like the only thing we could spare. I've spent much of my life in front of the camera and I started to think, maybe just this once I don't need a camera in my face. Surely, I would remember it all. Before I could even tell Jen about my thoughts of reconsidering, my contractions started. My doula met us at the hospital and there was Jen. It was my first time meeting her. It didn't take long for me to realize I was actually relieved she was there. It's not very common to meet calming souls, but to meet a soul so gentle and delicate that it radiates and soothes you in the most intense moment of your life? I would guess, is rare. That was how I felt with Jen. I never felt like I was being photographed or exposed. She offered quiet help and support to me and my husband. She even took charge of my music so that my husband and doula could focus on me. She checked on my family in the waiting room. She whispered encouraging words to me. After a very fast delivery, I needed a little "extra care" from the physician and midwife. While my doula stayed by my side, Jen focused on my very nervous husband so that he could bond with our new baby instead of worrying about me. While I couldn't hold the baby right away, she captured the most treasured photographs I've ever had. A new father and his son. The two loves of my life, meeting each other and holding one another so tightly. She was simply amazing and I am so glad she there with us.
She also came to our home to take nursing photos. I had a newborn session with another photographer a couple of weeks after the birth, but I was still so out of it, there was hardly an image of me and the baby that I liked. Jen and I picked a quiet morning about two months after the birth to photograph our special time together. It was perfect. By then, the baby and I were so comfortable with each other, we hardly noticed Jen was there. They are absolutely my favorite pictures of us to date. I feel so lucky to have met Jen and have had her by my side, helping me to remember the most special time in my life. -Olivia