Why I NEVER Wanted A Birth Photographer | Personal

I’ve always thought the idea of Birth Photography was super duper cool.  Whenever I’ve seen professional images from a birth I’ve been blown away.  There’s something powerful about them, and oddly beautiful.  I know this doesn’t even sound like me, right?

Here’s the thing though.  I’ve always thought birth photography was for blonde haired skinny hippy chicks. Like the ones that wear LuLu running tights to the grocery store and somehow look really good. The ones that have unattended home births and eat their placenta.  These are all totally wonderful things by the way.  They JUST AREN’T ME!

I wear tights absolutely no where, my placenta is in a medical waste facility somewhere and I had all 3 of my kids in the GLORIOUS High River Hospital aka The Resort.  And… I DO NOT LOOK AWESOME WHILE GIVING BIRTH!

I know this because, OH MY GOD, this is the photo of me after having Danger

Do you see what I’m saying???  That is not good.  Granted, yes, I was in the process of having my second blood transfusion and was crazy swollen from all the fluids they had pumped into me in attempts to stop me from bleeding out (see why I have kids at hospitals now?).  But still, in my mind this is why I didn’t hire a birth photographer - because NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THIS!

Want more proof?  Epic!  Much better because, dude, I remember how awful Danger’s pic was.  This time around I made sure to brush my hair. Still not really the stuff dreams are made of.

When you look like this DEAR GOD why would you hire a birth photographer, right? Am I right? Plus there’s the actual giving birth.  I don’t have any pictures of that from the first two but good lord baby Jesus if this is what I look like after, during can’t be pretty at all can it?

Then there’s the whole “how many people really need to see my vagina” debate.  My answer, as few as humanly possible.  I’m a pretty modest person.

So no, I did not intentionally hire a birth photographer.

I hired a really super rad photographer (and friend) from LA, specializing in Newborn and Birth Photography.  I booked her flights based on Lennon’s due date  Nov 15th and the fact that my other two kids were both born a week early.  SURELY Lennon would be the same.  Then her due date came and went.  Then Lauren got here.  Then I panicked because OH DEAR GOD she’s leaving tomorrow and I haven’t had a baby yet…

And then I started having a baby.  So I figured since I paid for her flight I might as well get something out of it.  Clearly the universe thought it was a fun idea.

Although it was a tiny bit weird (in my mind) explaining to the nurses that we had a photographer with us, they all thought it was cool and didn’t really seem phased.

To be honest, once things really got started she kind of hid in the corner and I pretty much forgot she was there.

And I got this…

And this…



And ultimately an amazing video.  I wasn’t going to share it on here.  Once again, because I’m modest, it’s personal and let’s be honest a little bit scary to show people yourself while in a hell of a lot of pain and very little clothing BUT I’m doing it anyway.

I’m doing it because I think that every mother should have this at least once to remember how damn awesome she is for bringing a human into the world via her cupid’s cupboard.  Or how crazy it is that we can grow tiny people inside of us.  I also think that every kid who was ever born (hint: that’s all of us) will one day find it amazing that from the moment they entered the world they were loved in a way that can’t be described using words.  At least I don’t have the words to describe it anyway but I think these pictures do a damn good job.

And maybe most importantly I’m showing you because even though I have photographed births before and loved it, I was sure that birth photography and Nikki didn’t mix.  That I would look AWFUL, scary even.  I would want to show no one. Hell I assumed that I wouldn’t even want to look at them myself. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Instead they are currently my most valued possession.

I can’t imagine not having these images.  So maybe birth photography can and should be for everyone.  Maybe you just don’t know it yet. I didn’t.


Oh yeah, it’s Tuesday! I almost forgot!  Did you love the song from L-Dub’s birth story? If so check out Amy Seeley.

Here’s a live performance of Surprisingly So.

AMY SEELEY//Surprisingly So

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.


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  • Lauren GuilfordDecember 10, 2021 - 10:54 am

    I love, love this! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing both your thoughts & Lennon’s birth video!! :)

  • Erin Oveis BrantDecember 10, 2021 - 11:45 am

    Thank you for sharing, Nikki. That was so sweet. I’m totally crying. And wanting more babies. Damn it! ;)

    Congratulations on your perfect new addition! You have a beautiful family!!

  • JulieDecember 10, 2021 - 11:59 am

    Yeah…you’re right, that was pretty neat. Thanks for sharing. Congrats to you guys!

  • joshDecember 10, 2021 - 12:35 pm

    so good. one of my biggest regrets is Jenny and I never hired a birth photographer. this is beautiful.

  • JoshDecember 10, 2021 - 12:36 pm

    Also, Lennon was born on Ava’s birthday :)

  • Carrie TungateDecember 10, 2021 - 1:45 pm

    Thanks for posting this! The video was beautiful and made me cry!

  • KristinDecember 10, 2021 - 1:49 pm

    Stunning! You’re making me want to have a third baby! :)

  • WhereLoveGrowsWildDecember 10, 2021 - 2:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing, birth is amazingly beautiful in all it’s forms! These images are moving & tell a beautiful story. Congratulations to you & your family on the newest addition. As a photographer I often refuse to get in front of the camera but I also treasure the 10 pictures my midwife took during my second birth, pictures have a way of bringing back every emotion from the experience. I’m glad to have those pictures to look back on. If I am luck enough to have another baby I will definitely heed your advice and have it photographed, but professionally this time.
    -from a jean wearing, home-water birthing, placenta eating, dark haired photographer. ????

  • JamieDecember 10, 2021 - 3:44 pm


  • Tina BasinskiDecember 10, 2021 - 3:52 pm

    Wow, incredible! I am weeping! ;) I am pregnant with our 4th & possibly our last, and after watching this, I am going to look into finding a birth photographer! That video of just you and baby sent me over the edge, and the pull-back shot of your whole family on the bed all just looking at each other…oh my word, memories you will have forever, that otherwise would have been forgotten. Thank you for this post!

  • Brittany WarrenDecember 10, 2021 - 5:12 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! And you kids’ names are AWESOME, love them! lol

  • AmandaDecember 10, 2021 - 6:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing! What an absolutely beautiful memory <3

  • AmberDecember 10, 2021 - 9:00 pm

    That yawn at the end made this video! Too stinkin’ cute! What beautiful memories.

  • KelsiDecember 10, 2021 - 9:07 pm

    I unfortunately didn’t have a birth photographer for my first son but for all future babies..I plan on it because the pictures are amazing.. yours are gorgeous!! I loved the video..thank you for sharing it!! <3 I just absolutely loved it!!

  • MorganDecember 10, 2021 - 9:20 pm

    Wow! I see nothing but an exceptionally beautiful and powerful woman. <3

  • Tonia Olsoe-RubeoDecember 10, 2021 - 9:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing these precious images, and moments and people with us. It’s good to be reminded of the awesome beginnings with our precious children. Now that my oldest is 12, and pushing strong for independence, it’s easy to forget the baby inside her and our first magical meeting.

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:23 pm

    Yay!! Birthday Buddies! This means I ate donuts on Ava’s birthday and I know you guys ate donuts because that’s what you do! Here’s to many more years of eating donuts on the same day!!

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:24 pm

    Thanks for watching Julie! When Does Baby D get here?

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:26 pm

    Thanks for being Phenomenal and ridiculously talented!

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:26 pm

    Thanks so much Erin!

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:27 pm

    Shockingly 3 isn’t THAT much harder. Except when getting the other two out the door for school in the morning :)

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:32 pm

    Well now I’m all excited for you to be lucky enough to have another baby so I can see how awesome your home-water birthing photography turns out!!!

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:33 pm

    Yay!! Yes, find one and let me know how it goes!! I’m so happy I have these images.

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:34 pm

    THANK YOU! I tend to agree they ARE awesome names!

  • JessieDecember 10, 2021 - 10:35 pm

    I didn’t realize that baby Lennon was born on the 21st! That’s Patrick’s bday - she will grow to be a strong independent soul, with a very soft side for all those in her life that she holds dear, if she’s anything like my nov 21st hubby :) What a beautiful birth story. You looked like you absolutely rocked it and looks so beautiful in doing so. Congrats on your newest arrival she is gorgeous!

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:35 pm

    Thanks for watching!!

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:35 pm

    I like you!! Tell me more :)

  • nikkiDecember 10, 2021 - 10:56 pm

    Thanks Jessie! I like Patrick! I’m totally okay with Lennon being like him!

  • KelliannaDecember 11, 2021 - 12:02 am

    I heart you. I heart your words. I heart your photos. I heart this post. Damn it. You’re made of awesome. Ok enough gushing.

  • emilyDecember 11, 2021 - 1:13 am

    beautifully done. i saw snippets of photos on your instagram, and was hoping that the full thing would be posted. and i’m so glad you shared it with us all. fantastic. i can’t imagine being one to photograph births, but now i anticipate that one day, i’ll be looking for a photographer to do so for me.

  • Maggie murrayDecember 11, 2021 - 1:38 am

    Nikki! This is amazing it makes me want to have a baby and I actually never truly meant that till seeing this video! You looked amazing you have the most beautiful family I miss you hope you and baby are doing well :)

  • CallieDecember 11, 2021 - 3:15 am

    i never really labored with any of our kiddos. watching this gave me a whole new appreciation for it…such a great birth story.

  • Melissa Ter MeerDecember 11, 2021 - 8:39 am

    I loved this! I had to share your story. It’s so hard to show the value of birth photography and I think you did an amazing job in doing so. Congrats on your beautiful new baby and gorgeous birth story <3

  • PamDecember 11, 2021 - 10:44 am

    Oh goodness! I’m so glad you didn’t NOT have a photographer! I’d hate for you to not have these gorgeous reminders of an incredible experience! You are more beautiful than you realize. I’m so glad you shared.

  • ChloeDecember 12, 2021 - 8:02 am

    This brought me into tears. Thankful for Pinterest for making me discover such an amazing story. Thankful (oh so thankful) to you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and precious moments with us. I absolutely fell in love with your images and now I’m getting nuts because there is no such thing as birth photographer here in France. I’m not pregnant yet (trying to, very hard) but hopefully when the time comes I’ll have found someone! Thank you again!

  • MeganDecember 12, 2021 - 8:31 am

    Oh my gosh. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Tiffany hatchDecember 12, 2021 - 10:37 am

    Just so gloriously beautiful.

  • JacqueDecember 12, 2021 - 5:12 pm

    Wow. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Congratulations!!

  • AmberDecember 13, 2021 - 9:01 am

    You ARE beautiful!

  • MimiDecember 14, 2021 - 6:45 am

    Exquisite! Thank you for sharing such an intimate, beautiful family moment with us.

  • AlexisDecember 14, 2021 - 12:05 pm

    1) I BAWLED like a baby watching the video
    2) you’re BEAUTIFUL your whole family is BEAUTIFUL
    3) I am now convinced I will have a photographer at my birthing of first and all babies.

    fdsafdskn <3 in love with this! :D

  • jenn tinkhamDecember 14, 2021 - 7:17 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I wish I would have had some one for my boys. (my sis did a pretty good job though :)) My friend/photog didnt make it for the whole show for my daughter but I love the ones that she got right after. They truely are priceless! The days my children were born really were the best days of my life. Thanks for sharing your story and beautiful photos.

  • rachaelDecember 14, 2021 - 7:23 pm

    Love love love! Amazing photos! What a wonderful experience to be able to literally look back on. Congratulations on your sweet new baby!

  • HeidiDecember 14, 2021 - 9:41 pm

    Wow!! Just, Wow!! Especially love love loved the first pics of your other kids seeing her for the first time. Absolutely priceless. Congrats and God bless!!

  • StephanieDecember 15, 2021 - 12:24 am

    Wow.. I can understand why that’s so priceless to you she did amazing job and captured the emery emotion of the entire experience
    congraz and the new addition Thank you for sharing :)

  • JulieDecember 15, 2021 - 7:10 am

    That is one of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. After watching, I am really regretting not doing this, and almost makes me want a third. ;) Congratulations.

  • MollyDecember 15, 2021 - 10:04 am

    This is such a touching video, and i wish we would have had a birth photographer for my little one’s birth! Thanks for sharing, truly touched!

  • […] rad people out there who have commented or emailed saying really, really nice stuff about my recent birth photography post.  You neat peeps have made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It’s been really cool seeing […]

  • TriciaDecember 17, 2021 - 7:11 am

    Great story:) you were my patient in High River with your first birth and you were absolutely unforgettable :) funny, kind and just truly a great mother. Glad to see you and the family are doing well (and that you decided to have so many after our fun first experience:)

  • […] Why I NEVER wanted a birth photographer - loved this article from a mom who “accidentally” hired a birth photographer - and loved it! […]

  • KariDecember 18, 2021 - 9:47 am

    WOW!!! That brought tears to my eyes. It is done so beautifully and makes me wish that I had taken the plunge and had a photographer at one of my births!! Thank you for sharing was simply amazing to see!! And congrats on your beautiful baby!!

  • […] I told you all about how I “accidentally” hired LA Birth Photographer and friend Lauren Guilford when what I meant to hire her for was super awesome newborn photos.  If you haven’t read/watched our birth story/photos yet you can see them here. […]

  • Jacquiehoare HoareDecember 18, 2021 - 11:33 am

    Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate time for you and your family . . . I have tears in my eyes remembering the birth of my boys . . . Today my first born son is celebrating his 30th Birthday . . . What a precious time . . .

  • AbbyDecember 18, 2021 - 4:55 pm

    Well I just finished balling my eyes out. So beautiful. Congrats again :)

  • DanielleDecember 19, 2021 - 11:52 pm

    What was the song that was played?
    Beautiful Keepsake.

  • nikkiDecember 20, 2021 - 8:42 pm

    Hey Danielle,

    The song is surprisingly so, by amy seeley.

  • Amanda SJanuary 3, 2022 - 6:52 pm

    Wish I would have done this my first two said the blonde hair, tights wearing girl lol. Here is my birth photo video. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6iGX-CImbSQ&feature=plcphttp://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6iGX-CImbSQ&feature=plcp
    A birth photographer is a must on any hospital packing list

  • ArmiJanuary 9, 2022 - 10:01 am

    OMG! This was beautiful. So touching. Thank you for sharing.

  • Natalia WalthJanuary 11, 2022 - 11:05 pm

    What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this AMAZING story! You’re awesome

  • LisaJanuary 17, 2022 - 3:42 am

    Awww what a gorgeous video, and I love the huge smiles from the older siblings when they first see the little one. <3

  • MonicaJanuary 17, 2022 - 4:01 am

    That was one of the most beautiful things to watch. I too am on my 3rd child and did not even entertain the idea of a birth photographer for either of my first 2 but something about this having the most wonderful moments of my life captured like this to have forever is just amazing. And now as I sit here and wipe my tears from watching this beautiful thin, I think I have been won over and we will be photographing my 3rd baby coming into this world! Thank u for sharing

  • CassyJanuary 17, 2022 - 8:03 am

    I came across this through fb & absolutely fell in love with your video. It was tastefully done & not awkward at all considering you were giving birth & you are a stranger lol. It had be tearing up. And definitely gave me baby fever & interested in birth photography but wouldn’t be able to capture those instant moments because I would need a c-section. We shall see !

  • […] Once we were at the hospital and knew that little Lennon was for sure on her way, we called and changed my flight so that I could stay and do her newborn shoot as well…yay! And then just like that, everything worked out. My little dream to do Lennon’s birth story came true, and Nikki got the family newborn session she originally wanted. And then, as if that wasn’t cool enough, Nikki’s view on having a birth photographer totally changed. She loved it. And my birth photographer’s heart exploded with happiness. You can read all about why she never wanted a birth photographer, here! […]

  • […] Once we were at the hospital and knew that little Lennon was for sure on her way, we called and changed my flight so that I could stay and do her newborn shoot as well…yay! And then just like that, everything worked out. My little dream to do Lennon’s birth story came true, and Nikki got the family newborn session she originally wanted. And then, as if that wasn’t cool enough, Nikki’s view on having a birth photographer totally changed. She loved it. And my birth photographer’s heart exploded with happiness. You can read all about why she never wanted a birth photographer, here! […]

  • MandiApril 7, 2021 - 1:57 pm

    I had my first son this past fall and decided that after I had him that I would like to hire someone to take pictures of my next birth. It’s such a beautiful thing that I want memories of for sure! Beautiful pictures!!

  • » EpicDanger PhoBLOGraphyNovember 3, 2021 - 8:23 pm

    […] year we struggled with the idea of having just hired Lauren to do our Birth and Newborn Photos and the reality of Baby 4.0 coming 14 months after Lenny’s arrival […]

  • HopeNovember 12, 2021 - 8:53 pm

    Thank you SO much for sharing that with us! It was beautiful and inspiring, you have a beautiful family. I feel very special having gotten to participate in viewing such a special and intimate event. As the video played I could feel the excitement building and when his little head showed up I was immediately transported back to my own little ones births. Thank you!
    p.s This momma wants a birth photographer!!

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