My name is Alannah.
Mother. Wife. Birth Photographer.
My journey into birth photography began with a lightbulb turning on in my head. An "ah-ha" moment, if you will. When my oldest son was born in 2016, it wasn't long before I realized that being involved in birth, or something birth adjacent, was going to be something I had to do. I considered a multitude of options, but this job was never on the list. Being a stay at home mom, I was completely immersed in motherhood. I was battling postpartum anxiety and PTSD from my traumatic birth experience.
I wasn't in any hurry to decide what my calling in life was besides being a mom. We went on to buy our first and forever home in West Gardiner, ME. Now we had the space to expand our family! We welcomed our second son in the summer of 2019. His birth was healing for me in many ways. Having immense regret over not hiring a photographer for my first birth, I made sure not to make that mistake again. She missed his birth by literal seconds, but the photos she captured of me meeting my baby and the bonding that happened during the first couple of hours postpartum are priceless to me. The first few months postpartum were incredibly difficult. I found myself dealing with intense anxiety, rage, overstimulation. I wasn't ready for my husband to be back to work at just three weeks postpartum. I struggled. A lot.
We decided to expand our family once again in early 2020. We found out I was pregnant with our third son just days before the world turned upside down and the pandemic changed everything. We got so lucky that the hospital support person policy was two people when I went into labor. Our photographer didn't miss it this time! I learned that the next day they changed the policy back to one person. Woah.
Getting the pictures from his birth back was when I finally had the "ah-ha" moment. It was this very crystal clear feeling. I could do that. I could be the one behind the camera. I could document these stories for people. I could be a birth photographer.
I dove in head first.
I felt it in my heart and my gut that this was the right thing. I didn't want to be a photographer. I wanted to be a birth photographer. I didn't tell anyone for weeks. Telling people would make it real.
I had never picked up a camera. I had never attended a birth other than my own. I didn't have a clue where to begin. I was afraid to disappoint myself. I was afraid that I wouldn't be good at it. I was afraid that no one would ever want to hire me. I felt like I was coming out of left field and that my friends and family might think I was silly.
But you know what? My heart and my gut won. The call to this work was stronger than my fear of failure or rejection.
You know what else? Not one single family member or friend thought it was silly.
"Buy the camera."
My husbands words were the final push. I had mentioned a used camera I found for a decent deal on Facebook, but I was hesitant to spend hundreds of dollars that we didn't necessarily have at the time. He believed in me. He could see the fire in my eyes and the excitement that just the mere thought of doing this work brought me.
I bought the camera.