Nashville Birth Photographer || Tips for Hiring Your Birth Photographer//03.18.15

Congratulations!! Whether it’s your first bundle of joy or your fifth, you are probably a little overwhelmed with decisions. The opinions and advice of kind hearted family and friends is enough to make your head hurt, and of course, all of the information your care provider sends you home with  in the infamous packet is enough to make anyone feel bogged down. What you thought would be easy tasks (choosing a doula, a childbirth class, a birth photographer, a newborn photographer) seem to be just as difficult as deciding on nursery colors or a baby name (I had to hide our car keys so my husband couldn’t go to the gym until we decided on a name). But they don’t have to be! Here’s a quick list of five things to consider when choosing your birth photographer (this can also be applied to choosing your newborn photographer, doula, or even midwife!)!

 

A couple announces their pregnancy photographed by Victoria Anne Photography, a birth photographer from Nashville, Tennessee.

 

1.) PORTFOLIO 
Does the photographer you’re considering have an extensive birth portfolio? What other images have they included in their galleries? Are the images consistent or are they all over the place? These are all important questions to ask when browsing through photographers you are looking to hire . If they don’t have many (or any) births in their portfolio, it’s likely they aren’t well experienced with them. When my husband and I decided to hire a photographer, the first thing I looked at while browsing the hundreds of birth photographers in Nashville were their portfolios. I think I’ve seen just about every birth photographer portfolio in the Nashville area. I had very distinct things that I was looking for. For instance, I love color. I’m a colorful person, and my own images reflect that. I didn’t want a birth photographer who shot exclusively in black and white because it didn’t fit me or my family. I wanted beautiful artistry that told and enhanced our story, not just snapshots or lucky shots. I’m pretty picky, but when it comes to birth photography, you need to be.

2.) EXPERIENCE
        When it comes to birth, there are no do overs. Each child’s entrance into the world is as unique as the child itself. As part of your birth team, your photographer should have experience in all types of situations, from fast deliveries to slow labors and everything in between. They should know when mom needs peace and quiet and when she could use a dash of encouragement. Having an experienced birth photographer will ensure those all important first moments are captured artistically and modestly, preserving each moment seamlessly to tell your full story, a story of strength and power. An experienced birth photographer will know when and how to use a flash, how to compose images so they retain the details of the moment. An experienced birth photographer will leave you feeling confident that this birth, the only birth of this child, will be treasured and remembered for years to come.

 

A woman delivers her second child as photographed by Victoria Anne Photography, a birth photographer from Clarksville, Tennessee.

 

3.) AVAILABILITY
 A baby is never late, nor is he early. He arrives exactly when he means to. Everyone else must adjust to your baby’s timing, whether it’s middle of the day or middle of the night. This point was especially important to me when choosing my own birth photographer. The chances of me delivering early (pre 37 weeks) were fairly high, so my photographer had to be willing to be there, even if it fell out of her official on call time (which it did). Being on call means being ready and willing to drop the kids off with the sitter and speed… er… drive carefully and consciously to you. Birth photographers have to be available day and night and afternoon and evenings, Saturday’s and Sunday’s, to be ready when baby makes his or her arrival. Also, be sure they have a back up photographer! This is something I can never stress enough, and if you are currently pregnant and reading this and thinking about hiring a birth photographer, please please please make sure they have a back up system in place! If your photographer for any reason can not make it to your delivery, a back up is there to take their place, so no matter what you will have a photographer there. The back up will likely have similar experience and portfolio as the main photographer, so you should have no reason to worry!

4.) TRAVEL
      How far away from you does your birth photographer live? How far away from the hospital? One of the questions I’m asked the most in interviews is, “What happens if you miss the birth?” Chances are, I won’t. But it’s a possibility and reality that ALL birth photographers face. The further out you live, the higher the chance that your photographer will miss it, especially if you wait to call them until you’re pushing. If your photographer lives further out, make sure you go over options available for you if   they miss the birth. Will they still come out and photograph after delivery? Do they offer a  fresh 48 if they miss it? Is it covered in their contract? When working with a birth professional who is coming from out of town, make sure you give them plenty of notice so that they can be ready to go. Communication is key for every birth professional to make certain you have a smooth experience!

5.) CONNECTION
If you didn’t like your dentist, would you be comfortable enough with them to pull out a wisdom tooth? Likely not. Your labor and delivery are very private, very intimate moments. Those you invite in are privileged to be there to witness it. If you are not comfortable with your birth photographer, your doula, your care provider, it can muddle your experience as a whole, sometimes even causing anxiety during your labor and delivery which can lead to multiple drawbacks. Hiring a photographer you mesh well with and connect with on a personal level will see to it that you leave having had the best experience she could offer. Personality is so important when choosing your birth photographer! Don’t be afraid to interview and re interview multiple birth photographers before deciding on one. You may love their work, but once you meet with them, discover they have an awkward quirk that you can’t stand! For instance, I’m pretty outgoing. I’m 100% an encourager. If I see someone struggling, I’m the one that will give you a verbal boost. This has never bothered any of my mom’s in labor and many have thanked me for that single encouragement. Interviewing any birth professional is so important to the success of your overall birth experience!

 

A woman cuddles her newborn baby after delivering at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

These are just five important tips to help you get started on your way to hiring your birth photographer! These can be used really when hiring any birth professional or even your newborn photographer! The birth of your child is a once in a lifetime experience, and following these tips when hiring your birth photographer will help you make it a positive one! All of the above tips were incredibly important for me when I was hiring our photographer. As I said, I was picky, incredibly picky, and that’s okay! It’s your birth, you need to be picky about your birth team! Interview your birth photographer and even ask them out to lunch to meet your doula and/or midwife!

If you’re looking for a birth photographer in the Nashville, Clarksville, or Fort Campbell areas, hit the contact button above and let’s set up an interview! I’d love to meet you to discuss your birth plan and how what I offer can enhance your experience!

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Fort Campbell Homecoming Photographer || Welcome Home//03.13.15

I really, really love it when my awesome clients book me months in advance for special events, like homecomings!! It gives us plenty of time to chat about their expectations, their needs and wants, and to grow and blossom into friendship before the big day!

Miss V contacted me during the height of summer homecomings, eager to book for her boyfriend’s Christmas homecoming! I was so excited and immediately started counting the days down with her! We grew impatient as the days shortened until finally I was on my way to the National Guard hangar in Nashville. I greeted her with a hug and a smile, we took a selfie, and then sat and waited. The gathering was small, much smaller than what I was used to with the homecomings on Fort Campbell,  but it was an incredibly intimate event, everyone seemed so close to one another and everyone had smiles on their faces despite the cold.

 

 

 

It was time to walk outside and garner for a place against the barriers and wait for his plane to arrive. Firetrucks pulled around and hung an American flag from their tall ladders. An airplane took off from the airfield and circled around us. Every time it came back into view our hearts soared and then crashed in disappointment, too impatient to wait much longer. Finally, finally, their airplane was spotted! We watched as it soared closer and finally landed and taxied. The Commander walked onto the tarmac to greet the soldiers on their return home. The doors to the plane were opened, and a loud cheer rang out from our group. The soldiers filed past us, giving hugs to family members as they marched into the hangar and formed up to be formally dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the heaters were turned on. We found a cozy place to stand, close to where he was standing, and waited for the dismissal. At long last, it came, and they were reunited, this time for good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She had lost a significant amount of weight while he was deployed, and was thrilled to finally be able to show off to him! She looked radiant as she twirled in front of him, smiling into his eyes before embracing again. He had a look of utter contentment and happiness, the feeling all soldiers have when they’re finally home.

 

 

 

 

 
Is your loved one returning home to Fort Campbell or Nashville soon? Contact me to book today! Homecomings are extremely limited, but so special!

Clarksville Lifestyle Photographer || Babywearing is the Best Way to Keep Them Close//03.11.15

It’s no secret that I love everything babywearing. The wraps, the slings, the closeness between baby and mom, just everything! There are so many benefits to babywearing for both parent and child! I know for us, the most obvious is being able to get things done around the house without listening to the heartbreaking sounds of Little Minion’s cries as she fights sleep for the bazillionth time. It also makes photographing homecomings super super easy and fun! She is able to join me and be my little assistant and my poor husband gets a break.

These mini sessions were the fruit of many long months of planning and praying. I was so excited to photograph these beautiful moms and their babies and, of course, their carriers! There are so many different ways to hold and keep your baby close!! Our adventures this day included watching cows come to drink in the stream in the morning calm and battling the wind towards noon! Every mom was radiant and every baby was so happy to be up and close!

Babywearing sessions provide a unique opportunity to portray the bond between you and your child. Cherish these moments for a lifetime by investing in high quality prints! These portraits were stunning printed as 11×14 mounted prints, and a couple made beautiful canvases! Even when you aren’t wearing your little one, walking by these photos in your home are bound to bring a smile to your face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to document your own babywearing family before the days of wrapping are over? Contact me today so we can set up your own exclusive session!

Fort Campbell Homecoming Photographer || Welcome Home//03.09.15

This homecoming ceremony at Fort Campbell, Kentucky was a truly special one! Dad was coming home not to one little girl, but two! Just a couple of months prior to his homecoming mom had delivered baby girl #2 at Blanchfield Community Hospital! It was so exciting waiting for the plane to land, knowing that this would be his first time meeting his tiniest daughter, his mini me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This homecoming was a bit different as two different battalions were coming home at the same time. As we waiting for his plane to come in, we watched the first disembark and form up behind the hangar doors, waiting on the next flight to land and join them before heading inside to the waiting families. As the next plane landed, cheers erupted from families of both groups of Soldiers! Home, home, home at last!   We ran inside to find our seats and waited ever so impatiently for them to come in!

 

 

 

Finally, the  hangar doors were opened and the Soldiers marched in! The excitement and anxiety was at a palpable level! Once the Commander released the soldiers, the search was on! Luckily, this family didn’t have to search long or far to find each other! This family of now four was reunited! Dad tenderly cradled his newest daughter while big sister watched with envy, ready for it to be her turn. Meanwhile, baby sister found her newest teething toy in daddy’s uniform. <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All too soon it was time for the Soldiers to return to formation to await orders to head in for in processing. Knowing they’d see him again in just a few hours made the parting  so much easier! This new family of four was together again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your spouse returning home soon?? Homecomings book quickly! Be sure to contact me today to secure me for your reunion!

Fort Campbell Homecoming Photographer || Welcome Home//03.05.15

Let me start this off by saying that Jaimie is seriously one of the happiest, bubbliest, most lovely ladies I’ve been around. She’s bright and beautiful and puts a smile on everyone’s face every time. Truly one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met.

And this night, she received the best gift ever, a part of her heart that had been away for far too long!

Earlier in the day, I saw Jaimie at another homecoming she was photographing for a friend of hers.  I was a little in shock, knowing that her own husband was going to be home in just a matter of hours! But we know that the last few hours apart are always the hardest and longest, so we do what we must to pass the time.

 

 

A few hours later we met back at the hangar. This time, she was the one dressed to impress and stun and ready to greet her husband! We walked the hangar and talked with other fellow photographers, joked, and laughed until the time to go out and await the Soldiers. The awesome part about night homecomings is that the first sign of the plane is usually the headlight of the plane as it comes in for the landing. Once that bright light is spotted (and affirmed that it wasn’t a star or helicopter) cheers go up and the excitement spikes. The plane lands and the Soldiers depart and begin forming up outside of the hangar doors. Once she spots her husband, she’s ready to go inside, eager for the reunion that’s waiting after the doors open!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Finally, FINALLY, it’s time. The Soldiers stand in formation, each with a yellow rose to give to the ones who have waited so long for them. Once they’re released, it’s a mad dash of camo and perfume as everyone searches for their significant other. Jaimie finds her husband quickly and they are reunited at last!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next fifteen minutes were spent in utter bliss, reuniting and reacquainting with each other. Although they only had fifteen minutes, it was fifteen minutes that was filled with the love of years. It was time for him to finish his duties, and she to wait, as is the Army way. This time, though, the waiting was much shorter and made easier by knowing that he was home, and that she wouldn’t be waiting for long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your spouse coming home soon? Do you want a unique and fun way to remember this moment? Email me for more information! Homecomings book quickly, so please don’t delay!

 

Clarksville Lifestyle Photographer || Farewell February//03.03.15

Wasn’t I just writing a farewell to January??? Why do the first few months of the year go by so quickly?? February was filled with lots of fun, like babywearing mini sessions, surprises (one of my best friends is PREGNANT!!!), and overall joy. I am enjoying the last few days I have left until my Little Minion turns one and my Tiny Dictator turns five and starts kindergarten.

 

 

 

 

 

It astonishes me everyday how much my children change everyday. February 1 my littlest wasn’t yet standing up and today she pulls up on everything. In the past month my son has learned new words, like tardy and new things, like solar systems, and is continuing to amaze me with his math prowess (totally not inherited from me). My greatest prayer and wish is that I can be the mother they need to be everyday. And many many days I fail. Miserably. I’m thankful for Grace and that both of them have incredibly forgiving hearts. They don’t expect much from me, just to love them (and serve them nutella sandwiches and juice). 

 

 

February was Snowmageddon month here in Clarksville, Tennessee and even Nashville was hit with quite a bit. We were trapped inside for what seemed like forever, and since Fort Campbell was shut down for a couple of days, Husband enjoyed some off time with us. We didn’t play in the snow much (only about as long as it took to shovel the driveway), but we greatly enjoyed our newly cleaned fireplace. There was lots of warmth in our home on those days. Lots of cabin fever, but lots of heart as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Before the snow could melt, we were hit with the Clarksville stomach  bug. Let me just say, this was probably the worst bug I’ve had in a very VERY long time. Tiny Dictator was the lucky one to catch it first, followed by my poor Little Minion, then myself, then Husband bringing up the rear. My house has never smelled cleaner, as we all walked around in a fog of Lysol to avoid getting the ickies again.

 

 

February was a month of fun, but I’m actually happy to see it go, in favor of slightly warmer temperatures and SUNLIGHT! Beloved, blessed sunlight that has been so scarce this winter is slowly making it’s way back into our lives, and we are thrilled! Next step, cleaning the pool and gearing up for the inevitable birthday parties!

Happy March everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Lifestyle Photographer || Goodbye January//02.02.15

Is it just me, or has this month positively FLOWN by?? We still have our Christmas wreath on our front door, we are almost finished moving into and organizing our new home, and I have been so privileged to photograph some beautiful families this month!!

 

 

 

 

January is the time for new beginnings and fresh starts and goal setting. A couple of my January goals were to book a session (or two) and to finish up Tiny Dictator’s lesson planning, as well as going to the gym regularly. Two of those goals I’ve accomplished, ans surprisingly, hitting the gym is one of them! Since Little Minion’s birth I’ve really tried to place more of an emphasis on my health. Along with working out regularly (and by regularly, I mean once weekly. Let’s not get crazy now) I’ve started cutting out processed sugar (which has been miserable) and replacing it with stevia and sugar in the raw and natural sources of sugar, like fruits and honey! No, I haven’t lost weight, but I’ve steadily been feeling better. One of the worst things has been the migraines from the sugar withdraws, and the absolute lack of energy I feel most days, but even that is waning and, day by day, I’m feeling better. I haven’t had a soda in quite a while, and I’m super proud of myself for that! We just won’t mention my coffee intake, mmhmm kay? ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another overarching goal for 2015 was to nourish my soul more. I’ve suffered from severe depression for years, and while it’s in remission, I constantly feel on guard against it. I discovered in the past couple of years the poisons that I’ve been introducing into my mind and heart, little venomous thoughts that seed and root in my head and from there, sprout and grow until they’ve leeched all of the positivity and  happy from me. Being kind to myself has never been easy, but I am determined to change that in 2015!! A while back I started unfollowing things on Facebook that weren’t directly relevant to me or gave me negative feelings whenever they popped up, whether it was jealousy, ineptness, despair, etc. These weren’t just photography related, but as a whole, I started realizing that some things just made me feel very bleak. So I got rid of them! sounds simple enough, right? Well you won’t believe actually how difficult it is. Social media is such a defining presence in our lives and it’s so hard to get rid of, but it has made a HUGE difference in my life. You don’t realize how bad something is for you until you get rid of it and see the damage it’s left.

 

2015 is going to be a healing year for me, and I plan on taking it day by day, month by month, and enjoying and relishing the time I have with my family and my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So tell me, how are you doing? How was your January?

Ft Campbell Homecoming Photographer || Welcome Home//01.31.15

Welcome Home ceremonies at Fort Campbell, Kentucky are emotional and beautiful events, possibly the best day ever for a military spouse! This one was a little bit more special than most because of a pretty big surprise…

 

A family anxiously awaits their soldier's homecoming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

Their parents had all flown in to see their son (and son in law and brother in law) come home!! It was a joy getting to know this amazing family and chatting about Seattle and the Pacific Northwest before the plane landed. It was a beautifully warm day, so waiting outside was not a problem! Eager eyes looked toward the plane and tracked its progress as it landed! Finally, they were finally home!

A family anxiously awaits their soldier's homecoming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

AS the guys formed up outside we headed inside to wait. The hangar doors opened, bringing in a great gush  of fresh air and our soldiers!

 

A family anxiously awaits their soldier's homecoming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

Songs were sung, words were spoken, and a thrill of anticipation hovered over the crowd. The soldiers were finally released amidst cheers and cries! Amber found her soldier almost immediately, and they were able to gain a precious few seconds alone before they turned to the rest of the waiting family.

 

A family anxiously awaits their soldier's homecoming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

We all sat and chatted, fanning ourselves in the sweltering heat of the hangar. I found another photographer, owner of Liberty Belle Photography, and gave her a huge grin. Her husband was coming home that night. After a short break for the soldiers, they were called back into formation. Their loved ones would see them in a few hours. My family headed out for lunch while they waited, elated to have been witness to one of the best moments a military spouse can ever have.

A family anxiously awaits their soldier's homecoming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

A family anxiously awaits their soldier's homecoming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a loved one returning home soon? I am currently booking homecoming ceremonies at Fort Campbell! These book quickly so please book soon!

 

Nashville Lifestyle Photographer || Printing is Oldschool (and so are the excuses)//01.28.15

It’s an age old story, an excuse as old as time, and one I’ve used myself on countless occasions.

“I’m sorry professor. I couldn’t print my paper because my computer crashed last night.”
“I’m sorry boss. I couldn’t finish the project because my computer fell to a terrible death off of the top floor of our building.”
“I’m sorry photographer. I didn’t print my photos because before my computer crashed to the floor below it had given me the blue screen of death and I simply never had time to get around to printing them.”

 

Nashville Lifestyle Photographer Victoria Anne Photography talks about how printing albums is important to her.

 

We live in and through social media. The first photos of a new baby are instantly instagrammed for everyone to see. Everything from a first pregnancy to wedding day to grandbabies is viewed on social media networks. The most common and popular commodity a photographer could possibly offer in this day of foodgrams and retweets of the first time on a potty are digital files. Many potential clients will only book with you IF you give digital copies. Because who would want prints anymore?? They’re so outdated when you can tag and show off your newborn’s photos on Facebook!

But are they as outdated as we think? Enter this commercial with a poignant message from CanonUSA. We may guiltily laugh at the little girls question to her mother, and even her seemingly nonplussed reaction to the only images of her existence being archived on Facebook, but that parent represents us all.

A study done a few years back stated that children who are raised surrounded by printed photos of themselves will grow to have a higher self esteem than those with no photos. And that isn’t the only study to research the impact our Facebook walls have in comparison to the walls in our own home.

Printed photos are good for your soul. Tiny Dictator loves receiving print packages and opening them and seeing his own little face shining back at him. His favorite photos are of him with The Piano Guys. He has them surrounding his bed, memories he will never remember but are kept alive in those photos. And they always will be, unlike the digital files from which those prints were made.

Nashville Lifestyle Photographer Victoria Anne Photography talks about how printing albums is important to her.
Digital files fade and corrupt over time, much more quickly than a printed photo. Even when it’s not touched, an average digital file will last less than 20 years, and that’s the file itself, not what it is stored on. The past 20 years have seen digital updates and upgrades, from the floppy disc to cd’s to usb’s and sd cards. I have several floppy discs lying around that, more than likely, will never be opened again because of the lack of hardware to open them, and they are less than ten years old. USB’s are swiftly going the way of the floppy disc and DVD’s are giving way to Blu-Ray.  It’s astounding to think of where we will be in another 20 years, but one thing is guaranteed: that disc sitting in your drawer will no longer be useful.

 

Nashville Lifestyle Photographer Victoria Anne Photography talks about how printing albums is important to her.

 

 

Many photographers are stopping the sale of digital files almost completely and offering in their place heirloom products that have and always will stand the test of time, like albums and canvases and prints. This is an extra service meant to help you avoid the excuse of never having time and meant to help avoid the heart ache of a crashed hard drive. Photos are meant to last and be displayed, not on your Facebook wall, but on the walls that grace your home, lasting memories and testimonies to a life you lead!

 

When your hard drive crashes or your new computer no longer supports USB’s, where will your photos be?

 

 Nashville Lifestyle Photographer Victoria Anne Photography talks about how printing albums is important to her.

 

Fort Campbell Homecoming Photographer || Welcome Home Soldier!//01.22.15

Very little brings as much excitement to Fort Campbell as soldiers returning home! I was so excited to be invited to be a witness to this event, my very first homecoming at Fort Campbell! The excitement was palpable as we entered the hangar to hurry up and wait. Arriving one hour before the flight landed left us plenty of time to hang out and chat with one of her closest friends and chase after the kiddos.

 

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

 

Finally, we were given the okay to head outside to wait for the plane to land. Oh what a site that was to see!! The first shout rang out, followed by a multitude of others as we watched the plane’s headlight inch steadily closer. A roar leapt from the witnesses as it touched down, followed by exuberant laughter, cheering, and singing. Oh what a happy night it was!!

 

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

The soldiers paraded past and stepped into a formation outside of the hangar doors. It was time for us to go inside and wait for them to open. Tears were wiped, children laughed and ran around, their excitement too much to contain. And then finally, FINALLY, the hangar doors were opened and the soldiers marched in. They were home. A few words were spoken over them, the Army song played, and then it was time to be reunited.

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

 

They hugged and kissed and cried and then hugged some more, perfectly content to let the world swirl around them as time stood still for them. Pretty soon it was time for him to go, but only for a few hours this time. They marched back out, leaving hearts full and happy. They were home at last, after what always seems a lifetime, they were home.

 

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

A military spouse awaits her husband's return to Fort Campbell from a lengthy deployment.

 

 

Is your soldier coming home? Homecoming photographers in the Fort Campbell area book very quickly, so if you are interested in having your reunion documented forever, please book soon!