"More then a photographer. I am
a passionate and
compassionate birth worker.
I will hold your hand, honor your
space, dry your tears, connect
with your loved ones, and capture
memories that sing to your soul."
Published in Lensational Magazine
Trained in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders
My name is Leann Allen, aka Mrs. Sprinkles. I have been holding a camera for as long as I can remember, and before that I was holding a pencil. I was the official documenter at family gatherings, whether I was snapping awkward photos of people while they ate potluck, or drawing their portraits. I have always been an artist, dabbling in every media imaginable. I even spent some time entering into 4H contests, and have a few published coloring books and poems. But it wasn't until I got into professional photography that I really found my passion. A few years of stumbling through classes and youtube videos, I got the hang of my camera. But I kept getting burnt out. I would go through huge seasons of inspiration, and then feel just bleh at the end of each one. Until I discovered my love affair with birth.
When I first heard about birth photography, I was amazed, but I never thought it would actually be something I could do. I wish I could go back and tell myself "Hey! You made it! This is it!" because if I knew then what I know now, I would have jumped into this pool with a splash. How it really started, was more of a gradual toe dipping. A birth here or there while I kept up my other photography. I am so proud of this journey and how far I have come.
Birth photography means so much to me. It has filled up my soul like nothing else I have ever experienced. To be able to witness and capture the very first breaths of life, and the making of a mother, to be able to closely care for and support those mothers - is ethereal to me. This is my passion. This is part of what I was made for, and it is absolutely what God has called me to do in this season of my life.
My home, life, and business are
rooted in North Carolina. I was born in Colorado, where me and my younger brother and sister spent our summers exploring, fishing, and going on wild adventures of imagination together. We moved to North Dakota when I was in my early teens, spent a year in Florida, and then moved back to North Dakota.
The second time was the charm because that is when I met the love of my life, my husband Justin. We met in a youth group, became best friends, and spent years together. We ended up running a non-profit radio station together that outreached to the youth in our community. We had so many good memories there, and got so close to God and one another during that time. We had a beautiful winter wedding, did some world travel, and a year later when we found out we were expecting- we high tailed it out of there! I did NOT want to raise a new baby in -40 degree winters. We miss our friends terribly, but it was definitely the right step for us.
We moved to NC, where we had our son Despin Tristen Keith Allen, who is now a hilarious 4 year old who keeps us on our toes. He is gentle, kind, and the light of my life. He's just as free spirited as his mama.
Our move to NC also marked the start of my slow dive into birth photography, natural living, and embracing my hippy dippy ways. I love this state, and I see us spending the rest of out lives in these
gorgeous green summers.
In 2019 we experienced the birth and loss of our second child, Elsie LynnGayle Allen.
Our little family is strong, full of love, and my husband has been my biggest support and rock during this whole journey.
The birth of my son, Despin is what brought me into birth work. As I was prepping mentally for his birth, I first came across professional birth images, and I was amazed. I never imagined that spark would light such a grand fire in my life. His birth was everything I want to change about birth care. I was unsupported, uneducated, and mistreated in a way that endangered his life. My transition into motherhood was something that ripped me wide open. It was the opposite of graceful, but, it did me a great service. The ripping of my heart, the depth of those moments, opened me in a way that I can't completely explain. I was unable to bury this kind of emotion inside, it shone right through me. As I recovered from ptsd, ppd, and ppa, I grew into a new person. Someone who was open and honest and expressive. His birth made me start searching for the birth experiences of others, I started listening, and once the sound was turned on I knew I would never turn away. I found out that what I had gone through was not the normal. I discovered the world of birth rights, and learned so much. I dove into birth education, and eventually I was asked to photograph a birth.
Watching other women birth in beautiful supported ways brought me so much healing.
I fell head over heals with birth work, and head over heels for these mothers.
Every birth I attended, I offered my hands, my heart, my voice. I have stepped back and forth between the roles that are needed in a birthing room so many times. Supporting and encouraging, praying with and crying with and laughing with these mothers, has changed my life. The moments I step away from my camera, the seconds between the story, I live for them. And then, to be able to piece together that story, and relive it while I am editing, and to deliver it to these mothers. To show them just how beautiful and strong they are, it truly fills my soul.
In 2019 I gave birth to our second child, Elsie, whom we had been preparing our hearts and our home for for years. Her birth story, was miraculous and unique. Despite the loss of her life, her birth and story brought such healing to my soul. Everything about her time on this earth was so beautifully designed, every detail of her birth so supported and full of love. God worked in such grand and mysterious ways during this time. I learned so much about what it means to parent a child who you never truly get to know. It was an intense and vividly spiritual experience, and I thought at first it might push me away from birth work. I am so glad that wasn't the case, in fact it was quite the opposite.
I am more dedicated then ever, to supporting birth mothers, and capturing their stories. Elsie has touched my heart in a way that helped me connect to other moms of loss, and I have so many plans and ideas for ways to bring healing and illuminate the meaning to her life.
In regards to me as a person, I am a light free spirited soul. I love all things hippy dippy, and spend a lot of time laughing and enjoying life. I am intuitive, empathetic, and easy going. I am a calm and caring presence in a birth space, and a true friend to those who win my heart. When I am not photographing births, you can usually find me supporting moms postpartum, snuggling babies, baking bread, sewing, reading, or having grand adventures with my son. I am so looking forward to 2020, and all of the stories and moments it has to offer. I am walking forward with an open and light heart. I truly can not wait to hear from you, to support you, and to help you tell your story.
Thank you for reading, may your day be blessed.
-Leann, Mrs. Sprinkles
Leann Allen is amazing! We had Leann do our birth photos. Not only did I get the sweetest pictures, I also gained a true friend. Birth is a very intimate thing and she honored that. Leann has a good intuition of knowing when you may need a word of encouragement and when you may need a little space during the birth process. My family is so grateful to her and the sweet gift of photos we will cherish forever. I hope Leann can be present for all my babies coming into the world.
-Mattie, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann photographed my son's birth this summer and I 100% suggest anyone thinking of hiring a birth photographer to just meet Leann once and you'll see why she is so highly rated. I'm a very private person in general and especially in labor and only wanted my fiancee and doula in the room to minimize noise and distractions. When I decided to look into birth photography I knew it would take a special person who could capture the moments and memories I wanted without stepping into my birth space. Leann blended into my birth team seamlessly, she was there but she wasn't. I never once felt like I was being photographed or distracted by her quiet and unassuming presence in the room. When I saw the photos from my birth I was blown away by the raw emotions captured as well as her talent for photography. If you hire Leann to do your birth or any other event you will not be disappointed!
-Serena, birthed in Statesville
Leann is absolutely amazing! Not only was she my photographer but an amazing support person and friend during my labor and after! Her presence put my mind at ease. Her heart truly goes into her work and It’s so evident in her passion and love for labor and birth! I am looking forward to working with her again for nursing and post partum photos! I will never forget my birth experience and Leann’s kind and encouraging words! ❤️❤️ She will always hold a special place in my heart!
-Tiffany, birthed at Forsyth Medical Center Winston Salem
I highly reccomend her as your photographer. She is very unbelievably easy to work with, both in staying in contact during labor, the day of your birth, and when she delivered the images. She is super responsive over text and facebook and provided our photos way ahead of schedule. She even sent some gorgeous sneak peek prints the day after with a birth announcement. In person, she is really kind and friendly and we were comfortable around her, we couldn't even tell she was in the room. End-to-end, we couldn’t have had a better experience with her or our photos. I couldn’t recommend her more!” you can truly see how much she loves what she does through her photos!
-Mindy, Birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
She is the best photographer! She was so easy to get along with and fit right in with my family. I highly recommend her. I mentioned a few things I wanted her to focus on and she was very accommodating. Her work is amazing and I am beyond thrilled with her. If you are looking for a photographer you have came to the right place. She also made our birth announcement and had it ready very quick.
-Ashley, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann was my labor and birth photographer as well as my Newborn photographer. She was so kind and captured the experience marvelously. She felt like a doula, helping me through tough moments of labor. She was kind and patient. I would use her again for any of my photography needs.
-Crystal, home birth
Such a wonderful photographer & person. I was amazed at how beautiful our birth photos are! God has given her a special gift, to capture perfect images for families. Would definitely use her again!
-Janie, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann is amazing, she was kind, patient & very caring. She took gorgeous pictures, exactly what I wanted! I will be using her for my future photography needs!
-Patricia, birthed at Women's Hospital Greensboro
Leann did an amazing job and showed a lot of care. The hospital was not very accommodating but she still caught some beautiful moments and was great company when my husband had to leave.
-Heather, birthed at High Point Regional