• Leann Allen

Looking Back-#1 The one where it all began.

Hello beings, full of magic and life and hope.

Thank you for sharing this space with me<3

I wanted to start a new series on this blog, both to keep me accountable to blogging and to give you something to look forward to every month. So come on inspiration, magic, art, and photography! Oh and of course, #birth<3<3<3

Every month I will share a post. Each post will contain my top three FAVORITE photos from a birth I have photographed, and little stories behind each one.

I hope you love this little glimpse into my work as much as I will love reliving and re-sharing these moments.

Looking Back on Birth- round one.

This first birth, was my very first birth I ever attended. Back then, birth photography was an idea, a wish, a dream. It was something I was going to try. Now, it's my whole life. I can not express the amount of warmth and love I have for this birth, this mother, this friend. She gave me a gift by asking me to attend her birth, and an even greater gift in the friendship that followed. Because of this birth, I found the thing I want to do for the rest of my life. That is just so huge.

I was still learning how to navigate a camera. I was still learning about birth and women and how to fill this role.

This first photo is one I still love to this day. There were so many moments I wish I could go back and reshoot with my current skills and view. This mama spoon fed her children breakfast, soothed tantrums, and mothered gently in the midst of heavy and strong contractions. One more bite of cereal for the youngest, pause for contraction. Fold a shirt, pause for contraction. One more hug for the oldest, pause for contraction. There was even one photo where she rocked on the floor through one powerful surge, surrounded by a field of legos. So many moment's imprinted on my brain.

This moment though, was beautifully captured. I love the lighting, the colors, the mood. I touched it up a bit with better editing, and it still shines. I remember this moment because I was the only one there with her. Her husband was still trying to make it home praying he arrived in time. I was helping her with quiet uncertain words of encouragement, and soft touches. My hands and voice shook ever so slightly. I rubbed her back and told her she was doing amazing- I had no idea if I was saying or doing the right things because I had never been in this space before. Turns out, I had just the right touch and instinct. Mama told me later that she was so grateful for my presence. That I had the touch and heart for birth, and that It felt like a friend and experienced doula was in her space all the while. The thought of her words, her hug, and the sight of this image, still makes my heart swell to this day.

This next image impacts me in such a different way. The angles were off, it was out of focus, and technically flawed. But the depth of the love captured, makes it one of my favorites regardless. I love the mood, the light of the candle setting the tone. I love the warmth, of the robe, the colors, and thier embrace. Mama had retreated inward, she was silently powering through a long labor. She leaned on her husband and he supported her without question. I loved seeing that kind of mutual trust. It was the first glimpse I had of the way birth could bring out touch, love, connection. This was just moments before I left the room to give them some space. Moments before the shower, the car ride, the elevator, the room, and the rest of this epic birth story.

LAST but definitely not least in this mini photo series, is this amazing image. Due to a tricky hospital transfer and a near car birth, I was unable to capture the moment this sweet baby came into the world. But I got to witness it. Oh the joy. Oh the hormones, the oxytocin, the adrenaline. Oh birth. Those moments were amazing... Then in addition to witnessing that miracle, I was able to start capturing again. Moments of nursing, of the time on the clock, the numbers on the door, the love in the air. This sweet sweet photo, of a vernix covered baby face. A child who had only JUST taken their first breath of life. That was just incredible to me. It still is. It's so so so amazing. I love this image most, because of every moment it took to get to this point, and every moment it led me to after. So many births, so many journeys, so many mothers and families to support. Sweet Aria, the beautiful girl who set me on this journey and began my love for birth.

I tried so many types of photography before this. Nothing clicked until birth. And now, I will keep on clicking forever, or until something stronger calls me (which I doubt is out there.) I love and could share thoughts from so many moments of this birth, but these three, really tell a lot of the story on their own too.

Stay tuned, I am going to continue this series. My hope is to highlight specific moments and photos from each birth I have attended. Each photo I take is a story. Each photo I take, I take it for a reason. There is so much art, passion, and purpose behind my camera. I'm going to share it all with you.


-Leann Allen

A Wildwood Birth Photographer

A Dreamer

An Artist

A Storyteller

Your Birthkeeper


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