Hi, I’m Bekkie.
I often get asked how I got into this line of work. Although birth photography is extremely popular in the U.S and Australia, it is still a very new concept here, and when I started photographing birth stories back between 2007 & 2010 it was literally unheard of by anyone in the UK, and even now a decade later although growing in number there are still very few people offering birth photography in the UK .
So why do I do it? What twists of fate set me on this path you ask? The story of my own pregnancies and births go hand in hand with my evolution as a birth photographer, so let me begin where it all began ….
My story goes back to 2001. I was 18. Married just 7 months, nearly 3 of those I’d spent in hospital with pre-e, that turned into eclampsia. Cue one emergency section, my baby boy being shoved over a curtain, not making a sound, for a fraction of a second, and then immediately being rushed off to nicu with hubby in tow. There I was, left alone and not having a clue what was going on, let alone any real memories of the whole experience. To say I found it hard to adjust to and accept that birth would be an understatement. It took a lot of soul searching to accept what had happened, and although never part of the plan, ultimately birth photography, and especially photographing my first section, aided that healing process greatly.
Fast forward three years, and there we were again with our second baby. This time we planned every eventuality for that birth to make it as personal as possible. Natural or gentle sections weren’t even a thing back then, and if you’d mentioned those words to staff they would of conjured images of naked women dancing chanting round fires on the beach.
We took control of what we could, planning, visualising, music, and … PHOTOS. My hubby photographed our c-section from the first incision through too being stitched up. I needed with every fibre of my being to be connected to the birth process after what happened at our first birth. To feel I had birthed, rather than being handed a baby. These photographs were the invisible tie to this abstract birth happening behind that curtain. The difference it made to my healing process, in comparison to our first birth was immense, and still is years later, I still 16 years on mourn my what my first birth and passage into motherhood could of been, and feel so sad for my 18 year old self. Ultimately it helped shape the person I am so I don’t regret it, I just feel sad for my scared, ill 18 year old self. In contrast, my birth photography from our second birth is a source of joy and hope and love, and most importantly change for us.
Two more children followed, and c-sections had come along so much that by our fourth miracle baby, I was having skin to skin, immediate feeding, curtains lowered to watch him bring born, music playing, photos being snapped, and my inner naked goddess was feeling the oxytocin love big time. The photos from this section are magical. I even managed to snap my hubby holding our baby for the first time whilst I was being stitched up, one of my greatest photographic achievements if I may say so 🙂
My progression into birth photography progressed along with my own birth stories. I became more and more involved in the local birth community, supporting women, women rights and birth rights. I began to devour everything I could on the birth process , how our experiences of birth , how we are treated, and supported, help shape us, and effect us. When I started photographing births I had to fight for quite a long time to be allowed access into hospitals and birth centres, as to the powers that be it was new and scary (understandably if not also frustratingly ).
Now, many years later we are a far cry from that time, I’ve photographed many many births, and numerous csections, and the hospitals and midwives for the most part, welcome with my excitement, the fact that parents want to capture these beautiful memories and moments that show the staff and parents, and humans in general, in their element, full of love and compassion and empathy and connection. The way the humanity should be, honest and connected.
I photograph all ‘sorts’ of births all over the country ( myself and my husband both work for ourselves, and home educate our children so I’m lucky that it allows me to spend time attending births far afield).
As for me …. outside of my photography, I am a mom to four amazing children, that we home educate and travel the world with, sharing in new experiences and cultures together. I am wife to the amazing man who’s been supporting me in all my new ideas and passions since we met when I was 17 and never waivers in his belief of my new or crazy notions, whether it’s birth photography, travelling the world, renovating houses, starting art history courses for children, or home educating our children, he has absolute faith in my hearts desires, and that gives me the strength to follow all my passions. I am a lover of classic literature, old houses with trees to climb, vinyl records, the smell of the sea, and the feel of warm sand between your toes. My heart is tied to Paris in inexplicable ways , and I love nothing in this world more than just sitting with the hubby and kids doing absolutely nothing, no matter where it is in the world, as long as they are there, my heart is home and my soul is steady.
It is this love I aim to capture for you in your stories, your love, your home, your heart and souls’ steady , translated into images for you to sob and smile over when your hair is grey and your grandkids are sat on your laps.