This is a personal ride for me as unfortunately I suffered PND after I had my son and I wish I could have had my labor and birth images to show me how strong and how far I had come as I can't help but think that would have helped me get back to my normal self faster and so from my experience I want other mums to be able to look back and remember, to see the strength they had and know they are strong and capable to handle what comes next for them.
I decided to focus on birth photography because many women I speak to don't remember very much of their labor and birth experience and the parts that they do remember are usually associated with the pain and how horrible that pain was. I want to show women how empowered they are when giving birth, that they are amazing and beautiful and their body is created and capable of bringing a new life into the world, to show the love and support that they have in their journey. Most women I have photographed look back and say things like, "wow, I didn't realise my husband was rubbing my back "or "I didn't see him looking at me like that"; he was looking at her with complete admiration.
For me, birth is empowering but it is also an act of love like no other. To be invited into someone’s laboring and birth space and to witness such an emotional and personal moment is really an honour, I always leave feeling on top of the world, that I can do anything and I'm not even the one who just delivered a beautiful new life, so my aim is that, I want them to feel the same way when they look back at their photographs, on top of the world.
Through following this journey of mine with photographing births I now look at women in absolute awe, they give up so much for their children and they really should be praised more for what they go through to get there. It brings tears of joy knowing I have captured these precious moments for my clients to look back on and to know that they will one day be able to share their story with their children and show them what giving birth really is like, an act of love.
Milldove Photography | www.birthandnewborn.co.nz | 2015 NZ Documentary Photographer of the year | Wellington, New Zealand