Monday, April 27, 2009

This is the Post Telling You What's Up. It's a Doozy.


I'm not even sure where to begin. It's crazy really. Yet I know God's hand is firmly upon it. At least I think it is. Sheesh.

Welcome to my world lately. My crazy, exciting, feel-like-I'm-gonna-throw-up-at-any-second-I-can't-believe-I'm-doing-this world.

And no....the feeling like I'm gonna throw up is not because I am pregnant. But I am dealing with pregnant women if that counts for anything.

Vomiting by osmosis. Who knew.

Part of me is a little embarrassed to admit this. Why? Well, it has to do with photography and while I've really become rather obsessed with photography over the last year, I'm still very much a beginner. Or amateur. Or beginning amateur. And there are some people who read here occasionally that have some absolutely STELLAR photography skills. (Hi Andrea! Hi Mindi!) And me? I'm a schmuck.

A beginner beginning amateur who is still learning about f-stops and apertures and white balance and whatever else I can learn, absorb or inhale about digital photography. I am a photography sponge. Well, with the exception of the whole Photoshop boob thing where I obviously have some sort of creative block. Or. I'm just a boob.


My "plan" was to take this year, while Charlie is still nursing, and just learn all I could about photography. Take classes, read books, scour the internet, send long emails to photography bloggers asking long questions and making them think I'm some sort of weird, creepy, fertile, stalker mother and just learn, learn, learn. ( I really did send an email, y'all. Or two.)

Then, AFTER I had done all of this research and practice..... I was going to start a birth photography business.

There. I said it.

Me, the very, very, very, very, beginner beginning amateur-lame-o-can't-even-understand-Photoshop photographer was going to start a birth photography business. I had a plan. I never have a plan, so the fact that I actually had one was a miracle in and of itself!

My plan crumbled 3 weeks ago. That's when the whole pit the size of a grapefruit took up residence in my stomach.

My wonderful friend and midwife, Ann knew of my aspiring photography plans and was very happy for me. After all, she is in the business of birthin' babies, owns a birth center, etc.., so I knew she could hook me up. Eventually. I'm not sure if she knew about the whole I'm-gonna-take-a-year part or not.

You see where this is going, right?

Three weeks ago, while eating hamburgers and baked beans at a cookout, she informs me that she gave out my name at her last birth class as a photographer who was willing to do birth photography for free while building my portfolio. Wha??

(This would be the part in the movie where the stunned expression comes across my face, my burger falls from my hand and the sounds of tires screeching to a halt can be heard in the background.)

But in all honesty, I sort of laughed it off. Who was going to call some schmuck photographer with no experience to take pictures of something as precious and as priceless as a birth? ::thought while chuckling to herself::

I got the first call on Monday. I met with the people on Tuesday and they hired me on the spot. (Is it truly hired if you're free?) Then, in a moment of utter insanity I offered to take maternity pictures and do newborn shots as well. Gratis.

I am building a portfolio, after all. Oh my.

Since that day I have done three sets of maternity photos, booked a second birth photography client and photographed my very first birth this past Friday night! All while screaming on the inside, "what the heck am I doing????".

::excuse me while I go throw up::

The plan is to start a photography blog in the next few weeks that will act as my "portfolio" of sorts ( I feel so weird and grown up using the word port-fol-io). It will be there that I record this crazy mixed up photography journey and post pictures as I am given permission to do so.

All the while learning more and more about photography. While still nursing a baby. A baby who by the way, went with me to photograph my first birth (a homebirth) this past Friday night AND who slept through the WHOLE ENTIRE THING thankyouverymuch!!! Ah yes, Charlie is a gem!

And there you have it. The Big News. It's a dandy, ain't it? I bet y'all were thinking I was pregnant again, huh?

I'm sure y'all want details about this whole "photographing the first birth" thing, am I right? Well. You're gonna have to wait. It's a good story ~ maybe not as exciting as my own hilarious tale of birth, but a good one nonetheless. And it deserves it's own post. You're thinking murderous thoughts of me now, are you not? Anyway, I'll try and elaborate on that one a little later in the week.

But I'll leave you with this picture. Just cause I'm nice. And you love me. And little Baby R is so precious I just can't keep her to myself! She was staring intently at her daddy in this picture.

Baby R homebirth ~ Daddy

So? Is there a stunned silence out there? ::cricket:: ::cricket:: Whadda y'all think?

(Not about the picture, but about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g? But the picture too if ya want.)


Anonymous said...

That picture is AMAZING!!!! Look at the wrinkles in the hands! I knew you were ready and don't care if you want to throw up or not! I want to work with you!!!
So there.

Love ya, Ann

Sarah R said...

That picture makes my ovaries ache. Seriously.

As far as your business, I say go for it. Love what you do, do what you love. Not everyone can be so blessed.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I think you are going to do wonderfully. You have the desire, you have the love, and you are determined!

I am so proud of you!!

The photo is beautiful. Just beautiful.


Becky said...

OH sure, you start this business now that I'm done having babies. (I wonder if my hubby would consider a reversal?) The picture is phenominal and I can't wait to see and hear more!!!! Thanks for sharing with us. When I didn't see you at church Sunday, I just knew it was because you were home whipping up a BIG post. (Boy was I disappointed to see the cat picking her nose when I logged on!) :)

Katie said...

Oh, my! I'm so jealous and excited for you!

I would so totally hire you if I were having anymore babies.

And that is an absolutely AMAZING picture! I love it!


Elisabeth said...

Eeek! OK so I already knew all this but I just like to comment on here to say that I knew first! hhaah Again, love the picture! I'm so excited!

Christine said...

I am so, so, so, so very happy for you, Michelle! You have become so skilled with your camera, over these past couple of months. Stop underestimating yourself, girl, you have some major skill! I am so thrilled that you are going to be able to do something that you are so passionate about! How I wish I lived closer (for a variety of reasons) so that you could be my birth photographer, should the Lord bless us again. I am very impressed by Charlie being so good and sleeping for you. She sounds like a near perfect baby. ;)

bzymom320 said...

Oh my goodness! That picture is amazing!!! What a gorgeous baby! You did good girl! (on the pic, not the baby!) The parents did good on that. :) And yes, I know it's "You did well" - it just sounds better with the whole grammar slang and all. ANYWAY, I am soooooo very proud of you for using your gift and going for it. I am so honored to be witnessing what you are allowing God to do in your life.

Love ya bunches!!!

Jennifer said...

That's AWESOME!!! I don't think you're such an rookie photographer. I've been super impressed with your photography skills from the first day I found your blog (except for that whole Photoshop boob post. hehe). I kind of got suspicious when I saw the watermark on one of the pics earlier! :) Have fun building your portfolio you big grownup, you! ;) You're going to do awesome and God is going to bless a lot of families through your business!

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful. You will do a great job. Sometimes it is better to get shoved right in there. I love the picture. It is amazing.

Jason and Vanessa said...

That is so exciting! I have to see more pictures they are amazing!

I want you to do pregnancy pictures and newborn shots of our un-conceived baby. I'm not pregnant yet but it's always good to have a plan. Oh and family pictures would be great also :)

I'm so excited for you! You are going to do great!


The Burkes said...

permission granted!
this picture is amazing, absolutely breathtaking!

ugh, im so proud of you!
i cant wait for you take Fat Baby's pictures!

Anonymous said...

De-lurking to say that is an amazing picture of a beautiful baby. We hoped for a water birth but had a preemie in a hospital instead, maybe next time. :)

Wonderful job ... just amazing.


Anonymous said...

What a fantastic photo! This is great news. Your photos are gorgeous, so I'm sure you'll do an awesome job!

Rina said...

Oh my gosh, that is SOOOO crazy, because I've just been thrown head-first into a photography business, too! I think we got our camera's right around the same time, got lightroom/photoshop right around the same time, and now we're both being thrown out there! It started for me when I did a "practice" shoot with a friends children, my step mom showed the pictures around, and I got some job offers! Crazy, huh? I don't have a website yet, but I did set up a blog at I'd love it if you came by to visit. And congratulations! I think it's fantastic!!!

Rina said...

Oh, and by the way - that is a STUNNING picture.

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Way to go! Windows of opportunity don't open that often, so you have to jump on the chances when you get them.

The baby photo is lovely. Congrats!

Looking forward to meeting you this weekend!

I Heart Faces

Jason and Vanessa said...

I hope you are wanting some business because I have told two out of my 13 pregnant friends about you. Oh and I plan on telling them all :)

Love ya

bzymom320 said...

Okay, so we've read what you're doing now post something else already! Ha!

The Wilburs said...

I too am a "long" time follower who is de-lurking to offer support. I came to your blog via Ann (who was also my midwife). I really enjoy reading your posts and look forward to following your journey as photographer. You have a great eye and I wish you all the best with your endeavors.

Be blessed!

Jason said...

As the PROUD Daddy to Ryann (Baby R) I am so grateful to Michelle for accepting our request to photograph our daughters' birth. She did everything we asked for and MORE! She was never in the way or was noticed as an extra person in the room. With the photographic talent she has and the "experience" of being the mother in birth she knows how to capture the moments and emotions tastefully. We are honored to have had her photograph this beautiful event. While the cost for this was no charge the work you did for us has been PRICELESS!!!!