The Tangible

 

The tangible. It all comes back to my story. Stories we share, stories that unite us. Childhood memories. The story of family & Love.

I am a mother of four children. Before my first child was born, I was already reading to him. The value placed on reading, shared reading, story telling and story writing are very high within my walls.

Each of my children have all been able to sit and be active listeners from a very young age. I was reading Charlotte’s Web to my three year old. Where the Red Fern Grows to my 5& 7 year old. The Giver to all four kids, over 2 years ago. The ages sitting beside me were: 6, 8, 11, 13.

Sharing stories is powerful and humanely connects us. 

Sharing stories allows for laughter, discussion, root- seeking, joy, resolution, healing.

My children LOVE reading and they LOVE their albums. Albums that are filled with images of family. Images that show me (mom) growing each one inside of me. The kids look with magic in their eyes at these memories. There are so many questions surrounding Birth Days. My children never grow old of hearing some sweet detail of the day they were born. We don’t sit at the computer pulling up file after file, or searching for files to reminisce. We lustily grab the big, thick albums and sit together on the faded sofa.                                                              We turn pages. 

We feel together texture and warmth of fiber and fabrics- are eyes flood with the moments that have been preserved.

This is the behind my business –values that I want to share more honestly and openly over and over again. I want my clients to know that when working with First Embrace Photography they can invest in a product to sit down with, slow time with, create and enjoy connection through.

Missoula Professional Birth Photographer.

When a dad reviews my page, it is the biggest compliment. Dads may see things through a different filter than mom. See birth and babies just a bit differently. And it was a wonderful surprise to hear this Dad’s review-

Jenna did an amazing job capturing the beauty and power of birth.- Joel Patton

Short and to the point. Two words: Beauty & Power. This is it. This Dad was able to see the beauty and power that was captured. My job here is done.

The joy of his daughter’s arrival lingered in his smile for hours following the delivery.

#existinphotographs

I just listened to a short talk by Sue Bryce on the importance of existing in photographs, not for yourself but for those who will be looking for them when you are no longer present!

The short 3 minute video, had me teary!

I really would like to start living by this- EXIST IN PHOTOGRAPHS. It is so easy to always be behind the lens. It is also easy to have hard drives full of images and never look upon them.

I encourage my clients to print, invest in a wall mount, album. Be present, exist in photographs, see yourself, your family in the tangible.

 

Missoula Birth Photographer

May was amazing! I was blessed to be the witness at 3 — THREE– births!  I was able to share space at familiar stomping grounds- Missoula Birth Center. I was also warmly invited into two new birth facilities- Butte and Anaconda. All three stories are so different, beautiful and warm. All the staff and family holding space for three, different, amazing mamas.  I am so lucky to give the gift of photography back–.  For you I witness and give it back. This is your story. Your baby’s story.

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Missoula Maternity

I have had the honor of photographing some really gorgeous maternity sessions recently here in Missoula. I’m drawing some fans from Butte, Anaconda and transplant Washington mamas! This has been such a joy, stretching my wings in different directions, making these mama connections. Showing mamas just how beautiful they are. Not sexualizing but emphasizing the body, the change that is happening from within.

Missoula Newborn Photographer. In-Home sessions.

So this has always been it! Newborns at home in their sweet surroundings. Loving parents, pets, siblings. Comforting linens, colors that truly represent the identity of your new LIFE with BABY!

Missoula Newborn Photographer

Another note, I’ve mentioned before about these sessions is the comfort of home. HOME. – Food. Not only food for mom and dad, but food for the newborn. It is completely natural that we might take 2 breaks during the newborn session to feed your baby.  You can be comfortable in your rocking chair, or the well worn couch. If it pleases you, breastfeeding images are some of the most cherished moments, I will thoughtfully photograph you nourishing your newborn.

Book Now!

Birth. What it is. Missoula Birth Photographer

Birth just IS. I have to start with that. The world of Professional Birth Photography is so tricky. Tricky in terms of what to post, how to crop. How will my images be received by society? Wow. Consider the workflow of a birth photographer. The added element of risk and judgement a birth photographer takes on surpasses – I believe all other forms of photography. We, risk being banned on social media platforms for sharing images of birth. Birth images are repeatedly kicked out of photography competitions trying to reason that said images might offend the overall audience. Birth photographers are constantly assessing their market to determine what types of birth images will be accepted or recoiled at.

Just think about that for a moment. If someone were to recoil at a birth image, doesn’t that speak volumes about that individual and their view of birth versus the artist? I say so. Looking at the big picture. – Society has yet to accept birth completely- accept women and our right to birth in a manner we choose, in a place that we choose (?)Yes, we are making waves in the community. There are more and more pockets of humans that love and appreciate birth and the sharing of the journey through images. We still have a long way to go.

This year 2017. I am unwilling to keep stunning birth images a “secret”. I will love what I do with complete abandon. Birth IS. I cannot risk stifling my passion and a women’s birth story for the sake of possibly offending some one individual. And maybe, just maybe…the more we start to look–really look at birth we all will be more accepting, uplifting, and empowering of women.

Thank you to so many. To private people and private groups. Friday coffee ladies. Local groups and online. Birth Becomes Her (closed) & The women of birth (closed). To the lodge and the sweat! Wow that was intense.
To my business coach and mountain friends. To intense soulful talks in the book store. Thanks to a family that blesses me with their childhood and love. A passionate man who sings to me. A mom who has presence. Open people, soulful people. People who have helped and let me help. People who press me to be better. Thank you Pattee Canyon, thank you Spain. Thanks to doors that shut, I preach being a pathfinder. All these, that I cannot go on, but enrich my sphere. In business this energy has transferred into- a Press Company contacting me in request to license 3 images for a lamaze book, September birth, December birth, January birth, coming February birth, May Butte birth, Winter portraits, Intimate Materntiy- , Newborns, —in all of these the relationships I’ve found! This week an opportunity – contact from a film maker after having seen one stunningly raw birth image and my caption.- updates to follow- and back to the beginning.

THANK YOU

A birth photographer on Hiring a birth photographer.

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Things to ask.

  • Do you have a website where I can see your most recent work?
  • How many births have you photographed?
  • Are you familiar with my place of birth?
  • Do you own professional gear? Are you able to shoot in low light?
  • What providers have you worked with?

 


Are you allowed in the OR?

This is important if you are scheduling a cesarean, if you are high risk, or in the event you do have to have a cesarean.

Why are you a birth photographer? This is possibly one of the most important questions.

In private birth photography groups that I am a part of, we have discussed the business of birth. We have discussed hearing that some photographers have picked up a birth or two because it sounded fun. In a few cases due to the inconvenience of birth, the photographer did not show up- it didn’t mesh well with their schedule in the end. A professional birth photographer who has made this their specialty, aims at serving the client on a higher level- NOT to “pick up some work”, not to make some extra money on the side of what they primarily photograph.

There have been other cases where a photographer, inexperienced and not understanding the space of birth violated and or disturbed hospital policies or staff.  These unintended actions ruined the opportunity for the already established professional photographers to continue their work.

Birth does not happen on a photographer’s schedule. Birth is unpredictable and a professional birth photographer will have life adjusted accordingly to be able to drop everything to walk out the door for an unlimited amount of time to be present for your most transformative day!

I am a birth photographer because documenting the transformative in women is priceless, powerful, humbling, validating, and essential to my clientele. It is essential to advocate for women and women’s birth choices. It is essential to uplift women in their birth story. It is a tool for healing and education. It is a way to build a community around women. It is also a private, secret story to relish in the heart and share with the child- the coming earth side. 

This is important if you are scheduling a cesarean, if you are high risk, or in the event you do have to have a cesarean.

How do you navigate yourself within the birth space?

“JENNA IS AN EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL AND RESPECTFUL BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER. WITH HER KNOWLEDGE AS A BIRTH DOULA, SHE UNDERSTANDS THE FLOW AND ENERGY OF THE ROOM AS IT PERTAINS TO THE LABORING WOMAN AND PARTNER. SHE MANAGES TO BLEND INTO THE BACKGROUND WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY CAPTURING BEAUTIFUL, INTIMATE IMAGES. SHE WORKS WITH THE FAMILY, BIRTH SUPPORT STAFF, AND MEDICAL PROVIDERS TO DOCUMENT THE EVENT WITH EASE AND GRACE. IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO WATCH JENNA WORK WHILE I PROVIDED DOULA SUPPORT AND I LOOK FORWARD TO BEING A PART OF A BIRTH SUPPORT TEAM WITH HER AGAIN IN THE FUTURE!”
– MELINDA CLINE; DOULA

Do you have a back up, in case you can’t make my birth?

A professional birth photographer will have a back up in place in case they are not able to make it to your birth. They believe your birth is so important and they work with such integrity that they back themselves up. Birth is unpredictable and we do not know if your birth is going to happen when my child is in the ER, or if I come down with the flu.

I have two professional photographers who back me up. I trust them and their work. 

Do you own a business lisense?

Do you belong to any Birth Photography groups; has your work ever been featured?

This may or may not matter to you in making  your decision, but ask if you are curious.

I belong to IAPB (International Association of Birth Photographers). I have been featured on Birthphotographers.com, Birth Becomes Her, and Tampa Birth Photographer- Dear Little One.

NEW- one of my Twin images was chosen by Birth Becomes Her as one of the TOP 29 images this February 2017!

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Do you edit in color and black and white?

This may be a discussion about philosophy of the art. But it is good to ask your birth photographer if they only edit in black and white and why?  Birth photography is subject to very challenging lighting situations. A strong command of light and knowledge of ones camera is vitally important. Being able to compose an image under stressful situations and poor lighting is a must. Black and white editing should be used to enhance an image, to focus in on the moment or emotion and is ultimately up to the photographer. But should not be used to mask poor quality images.

Personally birth is colorful- I edit in both color and black and white.

Why are you a birth photographer?

In private birth photography groups that I am a part of, we have discussed the business of birth. We have discussed hearing that some photographers have picked up a birth or two because it sounded fun. In a few cases due to the inconvenience of birth, the photographer did not show up- it didn’t mesh well with their schedule in the end. A professional birth photographer who has made this their specialty, aims at serving the client on a higher level- NOT to “pick up some work”, not to make some extra money on the side of what they primarily photograph.

There have been other cases where a photographer, inexperienced and not understanding the space of birth violated and or disturbed hospital policies or staff.  These unintended actions ruined the opportunity for the already established professional photographers to continue their work.

Birth does not happen on a photographer’s schedule. Birth is unpredictable and a professional birth photographer will have life adjusted accordingly to be able to drop everything to walk out the door for an unlimited amount of time to be present for your most transformative day!

I am a birth photographer because documenting the transformative in women is priceless, powerful, humbling, validating, and essential to my clientele. It is essential to advocate for women and women’s birth choices. It is essential to uplift women in their birth story. It is a tool for healing and education. It is a way to build a community around women. It is also a private, secret story to relish in the heart and share with the child- the coming earth side. 

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IAPBP. #birthphotogs

So glad I was a part of this amazing, jaw dropping competition. Birth is wondrous!

So proud to be a member of such an awesome association. Uplifting birth and women.

Welcome Baby Landon!

“In this way, every birth is a natural birth: each of us is part of nature, not separate from it, and nature is always stunning in its variety. Your birth, then, is part of the natural world, however it unfolds.” — Lauralyn Curtis


Congratulations Megan & Jesse!

A beautiful and sweet baby boy was born into the world

Monday January 23 2017.

I am honored to have been a witness and document a great miracle of life.


Last Weekend as a Birth Photographer, Mom and Woman.

Happy Anxiety, is this a thing? Well, I truly can say this is the feeling that fills me up hours away from birth. When a mama is near her birth or over due. Each day is a strategic symphony of energy, business scheduling, family scheduling, baby sitter and grandparent scheduling. Keeping groceries in check , activities in check, back up transportation, back up activities, lists of resources that fit each individual child, have I eaten today?–all for the moment that I get the call to zip up the bag and head out the door. The bag has been checked and double checked. Batteries charged and recharged. Compact flash discs cleared and multiple on back up. Everything I might need or find helpful to be away from my home and my family for an undetermined amount of time. This is Birth Photography. The behind the birth photographer view.

Missoula BirthWhat is needed to do this job?  Patience, passion, compassion, art, skillfulness with light. Ease of presence. This list can go on for the photographer personally. There is also, in my life, a family that is flexible and loving. A husband who is resilient and can step up, when I step out. Children who can appreciate the simple and edited stories I share with them about why I was gone for so long, and how important I think my job is. When I leave, they say, “Please don’t go!” and when I return, they say, “Was it a boy or a girl?”

Birth Photography requires an on-call life and a be present life. Once I am on a birth, I may be working for 15 hours. I may take a 30 minute nap in the waiting room, while mama naps. I may be working my SQUAT as I take a position in the OR.

There have been times when the camera comes second. I have put the camera aside to assist, in what strangely becomes a little bit my story. I have held and rocked a baby, so a loving husband could stand by his wife as she was prepped to re-enter the OR. I have become a willing messenger, letting nurses know the needs of my client- she is thirsty, her back is hurting, she says she feels pressure, she wants you to come back now, the monitor is beeping etc. I have passed cold wash clothes to midwives and drug over the medical bag in a time of need.

As a birth photographer I am a QUIET, FEELING, VESSEL. I hold the stories of every birth story I have witnessed. I hold the stories through my lens and also my eyes, even when my camera was not permitted. I hold the now hushed stories of the OR, so thankful I have been permitted in to deliver a seamless story to my client, yet I leave with the KNOWING. Truths that aren’t discussed and truths that are CELEBRATED! Stories of YURT births, and water births, birth center births, and cesarean births, TWIN births. Hypno births, and yelling- shouting births.

Last weekend was back to back birth for me. I had some amazing resources on board. I worked with an amazing doula who kept me in the know–knowing I was eating, sleeping, not sleeping and scheduling like a mad woman on the back end. Thank you, thank you Marisa! The first birth, scheduled induction, twin vaginal delivery in the OR. Oh yeah! What a great, loving, fun couple. They could not have been matched better with their OB. Stand up man. So cool, can’t really say enough. Because birth is BIRTH. That 7 a.m. induction was a full day into the night story of patience. Two beautiful, healthy twin boys were born! SECOND birth of the weekend- what another amazing story of patience and endurance, stamina and family. Mama was quite a warrior. Friday night to Monday right before noon, was the journey. Handsome baby boy, born into this world!

Bless these families that choose me. Bless my family that supports me. Bless my hands, my eyes, and my heart that guide me. Bless the providers that nurture and perform their jobs well.

Herbal Bath. Intimate. First Embrace.

Do something nourishing and beautiful for you and your baby. The herbal bath session with First Embrace Photography features MeadowSweet Herbs herbal bath for mamas! This blend is good for postpartum mamas and babies skin. Dads can get involved and siblings. What a sweet, gorgeous session with the new babe!

Mama Mia! Beautiful Maternity. not cute; we talked about this.

missoulamaternity-0779Missoula Maternity. The Intimate un-studio session. Melissa was so kind to share her beautiful belly. Growing twins!  I said we would be an hour, okay, we took 2. But we had fun, talked. We discussed the clothes like sisters. Minimal fuss, minimal set up, minimal environmental footprint! Ever think of the studios running all those lights? Yikes. Minimal, and cozy, beautiful and genuine. Women, bellies, birth, babies. The wonders of the world.

St. Patrick’s Hospital -baby

In 30 minutes that usually creeps into 60, Family Maternity Center photographers work some magic.

I use all natural light provided by the Family Maternity Center’s gorgeous windows, we crank up the heat in the room, so we are all nice and toasty and the professional work begins.

Parents typically watch closely and coo over the delicate way their child is handled and photographed.  First Embrace Photography aims to capture details and a natural, organic look. I have been ending each session with dad or mom holding the newborn. At first this wasn’t part of the efficient 30 minutes, but it is authentic and mirrors my professional private work in the community.

There is a connection and a story in every newborn and I would like to highlight that. On the first day of life First Embrace Photography starts with what is most important- love and family.

Fall Portraits. First Embrace.

I just had to share this image on the blog. . and I might add a few more from this session, cause the are ssssoooo cute.  Orion, man, he is a whippersnapper!  The best part was him racing up to meet me, first out of the car. I invited him to come along for special pictures just of him, and he held my hand. Sweet boy!missoulafamilyphotographer72-0020

Missoula Newborn Photography. Jenna Nord

In the comfort and intimate setting of your home. In a space that naturally evokes togetherness and safety. Newborn Photography that doesn’t need a lot of room, just thoughtfulness, an eye for light.

I get to marvel in the closeness of siblings. I can sympathetically smile when a disheveled dad opens the door to greet me. I can take my time to wait for cozy nursing sessions and I will photograph that too–there’s so much good life energy in the act of nursing.

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Family members come in and out. There’s food in the kitchen, it’s yours. I ask for, and love the stack of swaddling blankets and precious family linens that I get to work with. Yes, I bring my own supplies too, but how warm and tender are the things that belong to you?! Right! The fabrics that you grab out of the dryer or off the foot of the bed to comfort your baby with.

As I work, mom and dad can wrangle the other children, or read the paper, walk the dog, or just get a chance to sit and watch. Most of my clients sit and watch, they are quiet-maybe half asleep! But it’s so comfortable, because there is no expectations. You can be in your pajamas if you like!  Let me capture the mood, the wonder, & love of this completely unique point in time.

-Jenna Nord First Embrace Photography

Missoula Maternity Photographer. Gorgeous, not cute.

Hello! I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Jenna Nord. Missoula Maternity Photographer. And of course there is: artist, baker, dancer, wife, mother of 4, nurser, hiker, lake swimmer, tent camper, birther, genuine, talkative once  you get to know me, loyal, loving, emotional, pisces……….

So back to Maternity Photographer. The skinny or full and round of it is…I specialize in beautiful, intimate, romantic, gorgeous maternity photography. I do not do cute. There is plenty of cute out there. But the mamas who choose me choose whimsical and stunning, rich with the feeling of life and family. The mamas who choose to invest in First Embrace Maternity photography are not live out loud, yet live well, and live to connect.  I feel or see them as close talkers and long huggers.

A frayed linen not a perfect bow.

I photograph toes in the creek mamas, yurt yoga mamas, mud puddles and toms shoes teeny size 3 mamas. Maple syrup and butter fingers with a dollop of pb mamas, corgi walks and climb that dirt pile mamas, I love myself and I will soon love you mamas.

A chipped tera cotta bowl, pine needles and pitch.

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Maternity Rainbow Beauty. First Embrace Photography.

Megan, was extremely brave and lovely to photograph on a rather sunny yet chilly September morning. Just look at the love she’s getting from the rainbow! As a Maternity photographer here in Missoula, I am not interested in creating images that are cute. I am invested in creating images with the mama that are personal, romantic, and show her just how stunning she truly is.

I have the honored privilege of witnessing Megan labor and deliver this baby. I am thrilled to be in the birth space with her, documenting the story of her baby coming earth side. In the car ride I was able to talk all things birth with Megan and I was taken with her educated investment on just how her baby was going to come into this world. Megan will birth at the Birth Center here in Missoula, she has a doula on board, many family members, and myself.

Stay tuned for the Birth Story.

Birth Photographer Missoula. First Embrace Photography

I just don’t have words.

I recently learned from an Art director that she has always worked with a writer. She thinks in images, he thinks in text and they go together so well. I need a writer. I see, not necessarily write.  Are you out there?  What would you say to perfectly match this image? What words would pair with this moment that could uphold it for all it’s worth, all it’s meant to say, evoke?  I’m not sure……

 

There just aren’t words….sometimes….I’m okay with that.

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Missoula Birth Photographer. Jenna Nord

Give me moody, give me grit, and depth. Give me authentic emotion, spontaneous reaction, lust-full love anytime. Give me dark and shadow. Give me art, not just the bright and shiny, the glossy every day. I love the dirt in your nails.Birth-1099

Missoula Montana Birth Photography. Jenna Nord

What 50 words and fancy key words will reach you?  What time of day and tag line will turn your head?  The birth warrior exists and appears regardless of SEO and Instagram.

The Birth Warrior moves through our world & our lives with fierce determination, compassion, grace & freedom. She is passionate about truth, love & knowing. She is a silent tracker, a skilled hunter & fluent in the primal roar!

-taken from an attended Birthing From Within workshop-

 

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