Katie Jackson certified doula and photographer, with her second daughter

I'm glad you are here

I’m a deep thinker and curious. I'm comfortable with silence. I don’t take myself too seriously and I appreciate sarcasm.

I don’t care much for gadgets or technology. However, if I am on my phone, you might find me snort-laughing over gardening or parenting memes.

I am happiest hiking with my family, digging in the dirt or hearing live music.

I find the most beauty in the raw things, vulnerable things and the growing things. I love the real and the natural, whether it’s emotions or landscapes.

 

Tacos and plants are my love language.

 

In my everyday life, I’m not always taking photos. I like to see things with my own eyes. I consider it a very real privilege to help people  experience their most important days the way

I prefer to enjoy mine: 

in the moment and not through a camera lens

My second birth: a big, challenging,
beautiful and powerful day

I have always been interested in the human body and I have a degree in Public Health Education. After my first child was born, I realized I had been unprepared. My second experience, I felt more informed and confident. It was transformative for me.

 

I've felt inspired since then to have a career supporting others through this significant time. I have been supporting births for five years and I am a certified Birth Doula, Birth Photographer and Childbirth Educator. 

 

Curious about how this works?

You take photos of what?!

Birth photography, in reality should be labeled as BIRTHING DAY photography. What I do is less about the anatomy and more about capturing the emotions of the day. Sometimes the sensations and hormones of birth can get ahead of us, leaving the brain rushing to catch up to speed. Having photos can help you remember and process your experience; allowing you to sort through the haziness and recall the details of one of your most important days. No matter how your birth unfolds, it is beautiful and worth celebrating.

How can you do both?

Taking photos will not replace any of the support I provide as a doula. As a professional with years of experience, I am very familiar with the birthing space and timeline. I have seen enough labors to understand the ebbs and flows. As your doula, it’s my job to know when to lean in and when to give you some space and support you in a different way.

 

I am not always actively using my hands. I use my voice, my eyes, my words to provide comfort, suggestions, encouragement, and to keep the environment calm and peaceful. I have a good sense of when it is an appropriate time to pick up and put down the camera.

new parents overjoyed at seeing their baby

How much nudity is involved?

It is entirely possible to tell a beautiful birth story without showing lots of skin. This preference is up to you and your wishes for the intimacy of the photos. We will meet to discuss what kinds of moments you are most interested in documenting. I am able to use angles and framing in order to get the kind of images that make you most comfortable and you feel happy sharing with friends and family.

Will you post my photos?

It's up to you. If I have your permission, I love to share. I believe it’s so important to see realistic and joyful stories. For many years, the experience was kept very secret. The only examples we have seen in the media, or heard through the grapevine are often dramatic and fear-based. This has not done us any favors as a culture. Ask anyone who has never given birth and they likely have a lot of anxiety around the topic.

 

The only way we move past this is to make birth more visible and positive. We owe it to the rising generation to help them remove unnecessary fear and give birth with confidence. They need to know they can speak up, they can ask questions, they can have options and wishes for their experience. They need to see that birth is a safe and normal part of life and not a scary medical emergency. For most people, it happens without major complications. 

Why does it cost so much?

I have invested to learn from the best professionals and to purchase equipment suited for this unique job. Many professional photographers would shy away from the limitations of birth. Unlike a studio artist, I am not able to control the environment or rely on natural light. Most labors include dark spaces, harsh and unflattering fluorescent and surgical spotlights. I do my work while being mindful of important medical professionals in the room. There is lots of movement and the stakes are very high. There are no do-overs.
From a technical standpoint, it is very challenging.

 

Another consideration is the time commitment I make to you. I limit the clients I accept to ensure I am available. Whether your birth happens at 37 weeks, 41 weeks or at 3 in the morning. Unlike a wedding photographer, (whom we pay thousands) I can’t put the event on my calendar. I don't know when or for how long I may be working. It’s not uncommon for me to spend 12+ hours in labor and many more for post production. I miss holidays, important events and nights of sleep. As someone who is self-employed, I am responsible for all the costs of doing business: taxes, fees, insurance. 

There's many challenges involved in the schedule and the mechanics of the job. But I choose it because I love it and I believe those memories are priceless.  

Any more questions on what to expect? 

Contact me to talk details

Education and Certification

Childbirth Education Seminar 

Birth Doula and Labor Support Workshop 

Student Doula program with Better Birth  

Lamaze Certification  

ICEA Birth Doula Certification 

Improving Birth Outcomes in NC Seminar

Spinning Babies Workshop

UNC Safezone Training for Professionals

Essence of Birth Photography Course

Certification with Birth Becomes You 

Lamaze Certification Badge
Doula Certification
Birth Photographer Certification Badge