Mein Umzug von den USA nach Deutschland, Polch im schönen Maifeld ist so ziemlich abgeschlossen. Acht Jahre lang habe ich in den USA gelebt und Fotografie studiert lieben gelernt und habe mein eigenes Portrait-Studio betrieben und sehr viel an der Uni und bei Messen und Workshops gelernt. Die Bundeswehr gab uns die Möglichkeit, tolle Erfahrungen in den USA zu sammeln. Jetzt sind wir zurück in Deutschland, was uns auch wieder sehr freut. Wir haben zwar die Zeit dort sehr genossen und sehr viel gesehen und kennengelernt, aber die Heimat fehlt einem dann doch etwas.
Als wir in die USA gekommen sind, war mein Plan, als Hausfrau, mein Englisch zu verbessern. So begann ich nach einem Kurs an der Uni zu suchen. Irgendwie dachte ich mir, dass ich bei einem Fotografiekurs auch mein Englisch verbessern könnte. So schrieb ich mich dafür ein. Es blieb nicht bei einem Kurs, die Fotokunst hatte mich gepackt, und ich habe innerhalb von 3 Jahren meinen gesamtenAbschluss an der New Mexico State University of Alamogordo gemacht und im Jahr 2013 graduiert. Ab sofort konnte ich dann dieses Wissen und Können in meinem eigenen Porträtstudio anwenden und immer mehr lieben lernen.
Es machte mir so viel Spaß mit Menschen zu arbeiten und deren Erinnerungen zu erstellen. Die Liebe zur Fotografie wuchs und wächst ständig. In den Ferien, wenn wir die USA erkundet haben, liebte ich diese Auszeit, um meine Kenntnisse in der Landschaftsfotografie auszuprobieren. Ich bekam nicht genug davon. Von HDR über Panorama oder Langzeitbelichtung, alles probierte ich aus. Im Mai 2013, direkt nach meiner Graduation von der NMSU-A, eröffnete ich mein Fotostudio, das ich bis zum Juni 2017 sehr erfolgreich betrieben habe.
Irgendwann entdeckte ich die Organisation “Professional Photographers of America”, PPA, und wurde dort Mitglied. Die Imaging USA, eine der größten Fotomessen auf der Welt, wird von PPA organisiert. So kam es, dass ich meine 1. Imaging USA besuchte und neben der Ausstellung an so vielen Workshops wie möglich teilnahm. Am internationalen Stand lernte ich Jacqueline kennen, die mit Steve Kozak, tätig im Komitee von PPA und TPPA Direktor (Texas PPA), befreundet war. Unsere Freundschaft sollte etwas ganz besonderes werden. Wir trafen uns jedes Jahr auf der Imaging USA, egal in welcher Stadt diese stattfand. Heute ist Steve als Master Fotograf mein Mentor und unterstützt meine Arbeit wunderbar.
Auch lernte ich viele andere Fotografen kennen, und viele davon sind jetzt meine Freunde, mit denen ich mich ständig austauschen kann. Z. B. ist da Sandra Kuhlmann von Wunderkindfotografie, mit der ich die Messen gemeinsam besuchte und sie jetzt hier in Deutschland wieder treffe. Sie führt ihr Fotostudio in Schleswig!
Sie lernte ich an der NMSU-A kennen, Tina Beltran, das war ca. 2011. Ich traf Tina an der Uni während einer Photoshop-Klasse. Nach dem Unterricht sprach sie mich an und wir stellten uns gegenseitig vor. Dies war der Beginn einer sehr innigen Freundschaft, die andauern wird. Gegenseitig tauschen wir bis heute Ideen aus, motivieren uns, wenn es mal nicht voran geht und helfen einander, wie es nur irgend geht. Außerdem haben wir ihre Familie lieben und schätzen gelernt. Ich wünsche mir so sehr, sie wiederzusehen. Tina von Tina Beltran Photography ist in meinen Augen eine ganz große Künstlerin.
Linda von Justus Photography lernte ich durch Sandra kennen. Sie hat ca. 20 Jahre Pferde fotografiert und hat sich in den letzten 2 Jahren durch die PPA weitergebildet und ist jetzt eine erfolgreiche Portaitfotografin. Mit Linda verbrachte ich einige Zeit, auch bei der Imaging USA und bei anderen PPA-Workshops.
In den USA zählt ein Zertifikat in Fotografie etwas anders als in Deutschland. Dieses Zertifikat muss man sich hart erarbeiten. Zwar hatte ich meinen Abschluss in der Fotografie an der Uni gemacht, aber es reizte mich, von PPA zertifiziert zu sein, einfach um mir selbst zu beweisen, dass ich das schaffen kann. So lernte ich und bereitete mich auf die Prüfung vor, die aus 100 fotografischen Fragen besteht. Es war nicht einfach, aber kurz vor meinem Umzug, im Juni 2017, habe ich diese Prüfung geschafft und arbeite jetzt an den Fotos, die ich dafür einreichen muss. Die Fotos müssen genau nach den Richtlinien von PPA fotografiert und technisch umgesetzt werden.
Zurück in Deutschland möchte ich all meine Kenntnisse und künstlerischen Fähigkeiten bei meinen neuen Kunden anwenden und werde mein Bestes tun, damit all meine Kunden sich wunderbar fühlen und ihre Erinnerungen in Zukunft lieben. Mir ist es ganz wichtig, dass der Kunde meinen besten Service bekommt von Gesprächen, über das Shooting, bis hin zum Bild an der Wand! Nur durch kompetente Beratung ist es möglich, dass sich meine Kunden nach der Session nicht allein gelassen fühlen mit zig digitalen Dateien. Eines habe ich gelernt, 100 digitale Dateien zählen lange nicht so viel wie ein schön produziertes Porträt an der Wand, das jeden Tag bewundert werden kann und man sich immer an diese schöne Zeit erinnert. Gerade Familienporträts tragen zum Zusammenhalt der Familie bei. Die Kinder sehen sehen jeden Tag und fühlen, dass sie ein Teil der Familie sind! Und jedes Alter sollte in Bildern festgehalten haben.
Die Familie ist ALLES, sie gibt dir Halt, ein Ziel, Liebe und eine Zukunft!
Dann wartet nicht länger und kontaktiert mich, um deine Erinnerungen und schönsten Momente in unvergesslichen Bildern festzuhalten. Stöbert auf meiner Webseite und schaut Euch meine Arbeit als Fotografin an und lasst Euch inspirieren!
Everytime, I am waiting for a delivery, I am ‘on call’, that means that I should not leave Alamogordo about two weeks before due date until the baby is born. Libby’s due date was September 28th, 2016. That meant I had been on call since September 14th. We texted back and forth but baby Abel took his time. My husband planned on going on some trips as the German School was closed for vacation and my cousin from Germany came to see us here. The first weekend in October was a long weekend and my husband planned on going to see the balloon fiesta in Albuquerque. But as the baby did not want to arrive, I did not want to risk to leave for the weekend. Too bad but that’s my work. Sometimes, it is hard to understand for my family that I love birth photography so much as I am very limited during this time. And even for me, it is hard for me too.
Libby was induced on October 03rd in the evening. The next day I stayed very close to my phone and received some updates from time to time. At the end of the day, Libby was 4 cm dilated and until then nothing really happened. I went to bed at 9 pm hoping to get some sleep before I go to the hospital. I was thinking of them and was not really asleep when Caleb sent me a text that Libby suddenly was 9 cm dilated. That’s when I jumped out of my bed to make it on time to the hospital. I ran through the long corridors of the hospital and arrived at their room … on time. Everything was prepared for the delivery. Libby looked very tired from such a long time in labor. At about 10.45 p.m. the delivery started. But Abel took his time to arrive. He did not want to arrive on October 04th so he waited till midnight and finally arrived at 00.03 a.m. All the time of labor and pain was over and forgotten and I had a very happy family in front of me. Congratulations Libby and Caleb. Your son is gorgeous, precious and absolutely handsome.
I can’t find words for the time when parents finally hold their newly born son or daughter in their arms, so much in love. These are the most beautiful moments of my work and I can’t everybody thank you enough for inviting me in such a private atmosphere to create and document their baby’s birth story that they will be able to look back for years to come. Their baby when he or she is grown, they can even look at these beautiful images full with love and precious moments.
Documenting a birth story does not mean that I as the photographer is interrupting the family during labor and birth, NO, I try to stay as quiet as possible, I don’t talk unless I am asked and I am just squeezed behind the bed and try to do my job using my best technical skills to document each individual moment. As it is very hard in the delivery room, I need these technical skills to produce the photos in good quality. I never use flash to not disturb anybody in the room.
After a delivery, the parents and families are so happy and they are thankful when I snap all these beautiful moments that happens right after like first breastfeeding, first kisses, exploring babies body, cuddling, bathing, measuring, and weighing the baby, and when parents or family arrives, I also document these moments.
Thank you for letting me document Abel’s birth story on October 05th, Thank you Caleb & Libby! You are a wonderful family!
I met Steven and Alysia at the birth preparation class in August at Gerald Champion Regional Hospital in Alamogordo. After seeing my presentation for my birth photography, this couple decided to hire me as their birth photographer.
We met another time to discuss the details, I answered questions and talked about other birth stories. From this time on, we stayed in close contact and Alysia sent me updates from her doctors visits. On September, 10th, Alysia’s water broke about at lunch time. Right away, they went to the hospital to make sure that she is in good hands.
I received my updates about contractions and dilation status while I still had a family session up in Cloudcroft and planned on going to the annual German Airforce Oktoberfest at Holloman Airforce Base. After my family session, I decided to go to the Oktoberfest and still got my updates. At 9 p.m. I left as Alysia was already 6 cm dilated. I arrived at the GCRMC at about 9.45 p.m.
Little Amelia did not have any rush. She took her time. I was sitting in a corner in the room with Alysia and Steven. Steven held hands with Alysia all the time. He really took good care of her. The nurses checked her from time to time and after midnight they started to say that the baby should arrive as the water has been broken for over 12 hours now.
It still took till 3.45 a.m. until Amelia was born. During the delivery, unfortunately, the little girl got stuck with her shoulder behind a bone and Alysia did not have enough power and energy anymore to move her forward. The team at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center did all what they could do to birth the baby. Amelia was born and this team made sure that mom and baby got their best medical inspection as possible.
Alysia is a very strong mom and did a wonderful job by giving birth to Amelia. Both, Steven and Alysia are the happiest parents in the world.
I am still looking back and get tears in my eyes, tears of happiness, tears of helplessness, tears of love!
A birth of a child is a very natural situation and therefore it is the best story a photographer can ever tell.
Thank you so much, Steven & Alysia that I was part of your birth story. I could not be more honored.
When we first met to talk about documenting her next birth, Tabitha told me that she would have a fast birth as her four children were born the same way. She was prepared to deliver at the hospital but knew that it would be a challenge to make it there on time. Her luggage was packed, and there were more bags for all of her three children. They would have to go to the hospital, too. I knew, Tabitha as a doula would have loved to deliver at home which would have been more comfortable for the whole family but she was not able to find a midwife to control the delivery.
I met Liz from Otero Birth (Please check out her website and Facebook) on May 19th, Tabitha’s due date, at the Plateau Espresso in Alamogordo. Liz Derry is an experienced midwife and just moved to Alamogordo a week before. We talked about deliveries and her work, I shared my experience as a birth photographer with her before I told her about Tabitha and her family. Liz was open and offered her service as a midwife. So, Tabitha and Liz got in touch. There was no time left to make big plans.
On May 24th, at 7.15 a.m., Tabitha called me and said that she had been having contractions off and on since midnight already and she said that the baby would be delivered probably during the next two hours. That was my signal. I sent my son to school and went on base, HAFB, to Tabitha’s house. I took the first photo there at 7.49 a.m.
Tabitha got strong contractions, Liz who also arrived a few minutes earlier than me, helped her massaging the contractions away. Everything was installed for a homebirth. The bathtub was filling with warm water.
The kids just got up and were already excited to watch TV and play with their tablets.
Liz checked on Tabitha, temperature, contractions, etc. She worked very quiet and professionally.
Next contractions arrived and Tabitha told us she wanted to sit on the toilet. That was the sign for Liz that the baby wanted to arrive. Quickly, Liz got her huge bag and took out everything she needed for a sudden delivery. All of us helped getting everything in place.
When I arrived at this tiny little bathroom, Tabitha was not able to get up by herself from the toilet. Her husband had to move her to the floor. There was no time. On all fours, she pushed a few times, and baby Maxtin arrived in this world. I only then realized that all of us were squeezed into a tiny bathroom, Liz and I were in the doorway, the corridor was very tight, too. Tabitha’s husband was sitting on the toilet seat to help his wife during the delivery. And sometimes the other children squeezed in behind us asking questions, only kids would ask.
Liz managed to get the newborn towards the front of the mom and the dad. These were the happiest moments for everybody of us before Tabitha took Maxtin into her arms.
Boom, at 8.06 a.m., May 24th, Maxtin Andrew Ryan, 8.3 lbs and 21.5 inches long was delivered very quickly.
All of us including mom were super surprised about this speedy birth.
The bathtub that was supposed to be used for the delivery was not yet filled up with water, even after delivery. The children came to see their mom and the baby and could not believe that they got a new little brother that fast. The family came together to touch and cuddle on little Maxtin. Liz did her last exams on mom and the baby and then we left this happy family of now six by themselves, getting to know little Maxtin.
Once again I want to thank you Family Ryan for choosing me as your birth photographer, I am honored to create these beautiful memories and being part of this amazing birth story.
I also thank Liz for the wonderful work together. She gave me the right signs to capture the most important images during the birth.
My passion is not only photography, my passion in photography even grows every time I attend a birth and create these families’ birth stories.
Mom has written her own detailed birth story that I want to share here with you. Please check it out. There are amazing photographs and very detailed information: http://theryans-keepingtabs.blogspot.com/2016/06/in-womb-from-beginning-to-end.html?spref=fb
I got to know Tabitha about a month before her due date. Little Lillian Loraine was expected on March 19th. Her three brothers were very excited that they will get a little baby sister now. Unfortunately, Steven, Tabitha’s husband, has to serve abroad and will not be back with his family until June 2016. But look at the images, he was with them over the iPad during the whole time. Only sometimes, we forgot to move the iPad and he did not see his little princess.
Therefore, the decision to hire a birth photographer was even more important. The plan was to stay with her mom, a nurse at the delivery station at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, during labor and then deliver at the hospital.
On March 21st, at 2 a.m. I received a phone call from Tabitha to join them in two hours at her parents home. So, I set my alarm and tried to sleep a little without success. At about 3 a.m. I received another phone call from her dad telling me that the baby has already arrived. Little Lillian was born at 2.52 a.m. on March 21st. When I arrived at her parents house a few minutes later, the kids were already up and watching their little baby sister. Tabitha was sitting in the bath tub holding her fresh baby in her arms, overwhelmed by such a fast delivery. I did not want to miss it at all but they told me that everything went so fast that even her mom almost miss the birth of little Lilian because she went to get water for her daughter.
In the meantime, Tabitha’s sister with her two girls arrived. Everybody was super happy and helpful and just enjoyed the new family member. Check out their images. I think this birth story is amazing. Every woman wishes to deliver fast without pain.
Tabitha and her baby felt very well from the beginning. At 7 a.m. in the morning we went to the hospital to get the check ups for Tabitha and the little princess.
Thank you Tabitha and family that I was chosen as your birth photographer. I am very honored for being part of your birth story. Your family is amazing and I really felt like home!