Hold her, not a camera.
For the dads.
To capture the Joy...
For those precious details, so quickly forgotten.
For this moment..
...for every moment.
Why Birth Photography?
They say, to get a good feel for a cultures values, you should look at the way they treat their mothers. Maternity, birth, and postpartum care are the greatest reflection of culture you can find. Birth is a right of passage. Now bear with me, because I am not just talking to the hippy types (whom I love) I am talking to all of you, every kind of mother, every kind of birth. A right of passage is defined as a ceremony that surrounds an important transition in ones life. A becoming, a shift from one state of being to another. Every mother knows how true this is- when you give birth to a child it is trans-formative. You never will be the person you were again. Sure you will still have parts of yourself, but in my opinion our society focuses too much on
trying to hold on to what you once were, when instead the focus should be on how beautiful it is that you are becoming something completely new. Capturing not only the moment of your child's birth, but also the moment of your birth as a mother, is an important step in honoring this beautiful transition.
Our birthing culture in america has so much room for improvement. Not only do we need to improve in maternal care and birth care, but also in postpartum care. While birth is beautiful and amazing, its also raw, messy, and hard. The mental health of a mother as she prepares for birth, as she labors, and as she recovers- is SO important. So how can birth photography affect mental health or postpartum mindset?
As much as I would like to, and though I make an effort, I can not single-handedly fix what all is broken in the birth world for birth mothers. But I can help them process.
During birth, a birth mothers hormones take over and much of her experience will happen at the height of emotion. Regardless of how or where she birthed, those moments will shape the rest of her life. A baby won't remember that day, but his mother will. It can make or break the days to follow. It effects everything, how the mother bonds with her newborn, what kind of mother she becomes, and how she sees that child's beginning for the rest of their life.
Birth Photography can help shape this space that a mother grows into. Birth photography preserves the moments of that day, it freezes emotion, and eternalizes precious seconds of love. It captures what your baby looked like, their tiny toes, the first time they looked out into the world.
It can help your fuzzy mind remember your baby perfectly, remember the emotions, let you relive moments you may need to process to accept. When a birth is passed, some mothers are surprised at how much they want to talk about, and relive that day. Surprised at how much it sticks with them. It can be easy to focus on either just the good, or just the hard moments. Getting to see your birth from an outside point of view can center you, and remind you that there was both hard and happy moments, and that the hard moments were beautiful too. It can remind you that there was joy, even amidst the pain. It can show you how empowering your experience was. It can show you just how strong and beautiful you were. To show a women a glimpse into her own strength- that is truly powerful.
Birth photography can help you process your birth, reflecting it just as it was in an artistic storytelling way. Making postpartum emotions and memories more clear, making it an amazing tool for healing and growth.
There is also the benefit of having an extra soul on your birth team. Someone strong, educated, supportive, and gentle. Who is on your birth team, also has a huge effect on mental health.
Birth photography can help memorialize moments between siblings meeting their baby for the first time, it can capture and give power to tears and laughter, it can be a powerful reminder of how much love and support those around you showed you. It can free up the hands of those
on your birth team, and allow those you love to really be present, put down their phones, and simply worry about being there to support you. Along with all of these amazing benefits, my personal favorite thing about birth photography is the effect it can have on future generations.
Birth, is the most important part of life. Everyone who lives today, was once born to a mother. There is not even half enough value and respect given to those mothers, but there should be! Not because birth is hard, but because mothers are strong. Because birth is the single most important thing to our survival. Because birth MATTERS.
This is one of the first generations in which everyone will have information and access to anything at their fingertips. Specifically in this case, to birth photos. I can not begin to explain how empowering it can be, to see someone that looks just like you, giving birth. Especially when you never have before. Showing that its possible, that it does not have to be terrible(like portrayed on TV) that it can be amazing. That they can DO IT. Women of color for the first time are seeing photos of other women of color breastfeeding, birthing, and mothering. They, in the past and even now, have been less likely to breastfeed or have a success in breastfeeding, and have higher maternal death rates then any other race. Not seeing other women do it- not seeing themselves represented, is a huge part of that.
And that goes for women as a whole. Birth, up until now, has been something of a taboo subject. No one talked about it, no one shared it, and mothers were meant to go through everything by themselves, expected to get through it and move on. It became a hugely medical event, something to be feared, and birth workers were taught to became desensitized to mothers- and their mental well-being.
But now, we are starting to get back to what matters. To see birth for what it is, important, beautiful, strong, necessary, empowering, natural. Women have been birthing for thousands of years. In some cultures, birth is still an honored ritual, that really puts due emphasis on the mother and surrounding her in love and support as she is surrounded by women who have gone before her in this journey. Now, because of birth photography and similar resources, a woman in our culture who may not have people supporting her birth, who may be alone, who has little to no experience or wisdom to gain, can go and find her own information, self educate and prepare. She can build the team to support her. She can see exactly what birth looks like, and when you see something- it becomes infinitely less scary. Birth is NOT meant to be fearful, and it is not meant to be portrayed as an emergency medical event that is all pain and no joy(though medicine is amazing when used appropriately). Birth can be beautiful, it has so many ups and downs, its unpredictable, and wild, and in that- quite fantastically natural. EVERY type of birth is included here.
Women should not be ashamed to talk about, see, capture, or share their birth stories. For so long we have mistaken modesty for shame, and that needs to change. It IS changing. We need to empower women, and especially birthing women who are so often overlooked. Because they ARE the backbone of our world, the source of our life. And to sustain life, we must sustain our mothers.
I believe birth photography is a HUGE incredibly powerful and amazing tool, it captures culture from all around the world, from every race and background, and brings us together. Unites us as birthing women. Unites our children. And to be able to finally have access to that kind of connection and education, and to be able to pass that on to our daughters and grand daughters, is an important, beautiful thing.
Your birth story matters! Your future birth matters! Your past births matter! It's my job to respect every aspect of your experience; to me, birth is sacred. And I want to help tell your story! Please contact me to book your birth, to donate to my "mothers in need" birth photography fund, or with any comments or questions you may have. You can also view my FAQ page for more info on birth photography and what to expect.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I could go on for days, but if you've made it thus far, I am confident you have at least a small glimpse of the passion I have for birth, and why it matters so much to me, and hopefully, of why it should matter to you.
-Leann Allen, Mrs. Sprinkles.
p.s. I am now also offering personal postpartum care visits, and am actively working on resources and connections for moms of loss.
I am so looking forward to beginning our journey together.
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