Smith Family at Dabob | Kitsap County Family Photographer

There are those rare times in life when you meet someone as wonderful as Marina Smith and her family. I am grateful to have been invited to their favorite spot in Dabob Bay, for some swinging in the meadows and adventuring on the beach.

Thank you for having me, Smith family!

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 35mm f/1.4L ii, and 50mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

The Birth of Baby Finn | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

Hello friends,

There is a part of me that wants to tell you this story with words. I want to talk about this family's challenges, perseverance, and insurmountable amounts of love. I can't shake the idea that in doing that though, their story becomes a piece of a puzzle, of some greater thing, some bigger picture here on my website. When in all truthfulness, I am the piece of the puzzle, and this birth story is the bigger picture, the greater thing. Each one is unique, and stands wonderfully independent of my thoughts and influence here. I am so honored, over and over again, to document this family's journey and all family's that I am privileged to work with.

The one thing I will say, is to all women who are birthing their babies without their partner, whether they are deployed or otherwise - please see strength in this story. Please know that our community is here to lift you up and hold you with love. <3.

poulsbo birth photographer

On the way to this birth, passing Brownsville Marina just before sunrise..

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 24mm f/1.4 ii, 35mm f/1.4L ii, and 50mm f/1.2L. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Special thanks to Joella Pettigrew, DC, LM, CACCP of Innate Start Midwifery. Our families here in Kitsap are lucky to have you! A humongous thank you to Morgan Huges of The Flourishing Mother! You enrich our community in so many ways!! A loving and heartfelt thank you to Katlyn Carter (doula) of K4 Birth Services, watching you work with birthing women is inspiring! And last but not least, a big thank you to the wonderful Elizabeth Montez of Nourish PNW, for caring for sweet Owen during the birth, and for providing this family with love and support during the 4th trimester.

The Birth of Caroline Rose | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

Hello friends,

Long time, no see. That is the story of a nature loving outdoors woman and her blog.

This glorious day was back in January, my first birth of 2017. I was called in the late afternoon, and when I arrived about thirty minutes later, this mama was in the throws of a wildly intense and strong labor. She was working hard, and her body was in complete dominance over her mind. It can be freeing to labor that way, it means we trust ourselves, we feel safe, and that our strong bodies have in fact been wired with years and years of evolutionary adaptations to birth our babies. 

When I look at these images, I see a love story that I'm completely fascinated with and caught up in. This is precisely why I do this. I want to live like this, every day of my life, every moment. I want to look at life through this lens and know there is love this pure and uninhibited.

I'm not taking any of this for granted. I have so much gratitude to my clients who invite me into their birth space. Thank you, Stottlemeyer Family, from the sincerest place in my heart!

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with a 35mm f/1.4L ii lens (this is very atypical for me - I'm usually switching lenses, but there was no time this day - I love the results!). All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Special thanks to Peninsula Midwives, Kathy Luch and Maya Horrocks. Our families here in Kitsap, Jefferson, and Clallam counties are continually blessed by your phenomenal care. Thank you both for all you do for our growing families.

Meet The Artist | Poulsbo Birth and Newborn Photographer

Hey friends!!

I had such an amazing day with these fabulous ladies at the Nurturing Expressions anniversary event and I feel so blessed to have such strong and inspirational women in my life! Thank you to Elizabeth and her entire team, for hosting such an amazing celebration - your energy, enthusiasm, and warmth are incredibly inspiring. And Jen, your presence is so very healing and I'm grateful for all that I have learned from you these past few years. And, ironically enough, the woman who snapped this shot of us ended up winning my giveaway this evening!! Proud moments for me today, and I'm so honored to share them with you.

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And, a special thank you to my lovely sister, Tamar, who is an incredibly talented graphic designer. She never hesitates to give me lessons in Ps/Id, and more often than not, she creates the graphics for my teeny tiny local business. Endless love for you, sister!

Poulsbo Birth Photographer

COLOR in 2017 | Bainbridge Island Birth Photographer

In years past, I have convinced myself that I saw in black and white, and therefore, color imagery - especially in low light using ISO's between 6,400-10,000 - was supremely challenging for me. As an artist, the most fearful moments I've had, are those when I think I'm done learning. The feelings of stagnancy can be overwhelming, and it often takes great effort to overcome these lulls. I've invested a great deal into my art, and into my education - always trying to improve, to learn new things, and to keep an open mind and heart. A breakthrough has presented itself my friends, and I couldn't be more proud to share the results with you in the coming weeks. Color is coming..!

bainbrige birth photographer

The Birth of Baby Samuel | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

I will start by saying this - every birth I photograph is special in infinite ways. Every mama holds a special place in my heart, along with their partner and their birth team. Every baby's birth I'm able to witness will stay with me, forever.

All of that being said, there is something extra special when I have the opportunity to document a birth of someone who I care for, or have had a relationship with outside of birth photography. Anna is a special person just like this. When I first started my photography business, Anna was the first person in the birth world to reach out to me and show me support. She is a talented Acupuncturist herself, and I've always remembered this kind gesture. I then began treatment with her, and always felt so calm and rejuvenated after a session - she has an incredible, healing energy. So when she called me with the exciting news that not only was she expecting, but that she was interested in birth photography - I was thrilled, and honored. Whenever I'm able to provide my services for those in the birth world, it's a pretty big responsibility that I don't take lightly. I find I do my best work under this type of pressure - and this is definitely one of my favorite collections thus far. And, to top all this specialness off, I was able to share this experience with my wonderful midwife from Autumn's birth - Peggy Thurston - pretty amazing!

Anna, I'm still in awe at your strength and calm throughout labor. Adam, it brings me such joy to see how incredibly loving and supportive you are. And Samuel, you made an entrance that I will never forget! Thank you so much for inviting me into your birth space, I love you all!

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 24mm f/1.4 ii, 35mm f/1.4L ii, 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Special thanks to Peggy Thurston, Maya Horrocks, Katlyn Carter, and Marina Smith!

The Day Silas Was Born | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

There is a special feeling that comes over me, when I witness and take part in something holy, in a sacred space. There is a desire to keep it close to my heart, in a secret place tucked away.. Tending to it with the same love and holiness that was entrusted to me.

Of all the love in my heart for this family, and of all that I could tell you of their story.. I will to leave it to these images - to show you my heart, and to share with you the beautiful beginnings of an incredible journey..

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 24mm f/1.4 ii, 35mm f/1.4L ii, 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Thank you for spending your time with me here and with this family's inspiring story. If you're feeling connected and want to get in touch, e-mail me here.

I'd like to send special thank you's to family and friends that made this possible - THANK YOU for believing in my ability to tell this story. Thank you for creating community here in Kitsap, and for supporting this family, and a local business. I'm beyond honored and humbled to have played a small role in their journey.

To all who donated - Many thanks:

Deborah Collins
Luke Morgan
Tamary Baz
Annie Perry and Peter Davies
Melissa Kelii
Nora Mccurdy
Julie Bennett
Jim and JoAnn Splawn
Anna Scofield
Olivia Harris
Jennifer Duer
M Louisa Wales
Michelle Louie
Ashley Stanley
Laura King
Janelle Veach
Scott Collins
Jeff, Le-Ann, and JoAnna Little
Lynette Pettibone
Courtney Adkins
Katherine Dexter
Morgan Hughes
Kelsey Forsyth
Katherine Fowler
Valerie Loughney Stapleton

Please join me in congratulating the Collins Family on the birth of their son, and in thanking them for their bravery and willingness to share their story - Leave a comment below!!

Thea's Beautiful Birth Day | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

I have to tell you guys.. I'm so in awe of this family. When I think about the families I am honored to spend time with & photograph when their baby enters this world, it is those like this one who mean the most to me.. Who I feel will find value in these photographs the most as time ticks on throughout our lives. Not everything happened the way it was planned, and yes, part of my heart breaks.. Not because of the outcome, but because I can empathize and understand that it can be disappointing or shocking when a birth happens so fast and in an unexpected way. But another part of my heart - the bigger part - sees so much beauty in these photographs. Beauty in the love given to baby Thea in the first few hours of life, and beauty in witnessing the start of this family's journey. Their love was permeating through the room, and I hope I was able to capture a part of that here.

Thank you so much for having me, Winslow family. I am so full of gratitude.

These next few of mom and baby bonding are some of my absolute favorites!

And although grandparents weren't even planning to be at Thea's birth, they were there.. Waiting with patience and anticipation to meet their grand-baby.

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with35mm f/1.4L ii &  50mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Thank you for spending your time with me here and with this family's amazing story. I am currently accepting birth clients with due dates November - May. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please join me in wishing this family all the best in their sweet newness.

A Newborn Session | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

Oh this beautiful boy... Is. so. loved.

Sometimes I have the privilege of returning after a birth to document a new family still on a love high from birthing their new baby. This family touched my heart - before their birth, during their birth, and after their birth. We had the tiniest space in a hospital room, and I am just amazed at how much emotion and love I can feel from looking at these images. So many times in the photography industry - we talk about the light, the location, the clothes, the camera settings, etc.. All of that stuff matters, except for when it doesn't. When you're capturing real emotion, authenticity, and fleeting moments in time - the photographs matter - and they mean something more than just a pretty picture. I find myself always thinking about how honored and grateful I am to do this work that I do, and it's true. Thank you for being here.

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 35mm f/1.4L ii, and 50mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Thank you for spending your time with me here. Please leave me a comment with your thoughts and find me on FB! I am currently accepting birth clients with due dates November - May. I look forward to hearing from you.

Beating the Odds | Esme's Beautiful Birth Story | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

When Sara first e-mailed me, I could tell immediately that she had it together - she knew what she wanted, and was putting in the effort to make it so. She and her husband Evan wanted their story documented for reasons close to their hearts - the love between them is a truly a joy to witness. When we met before the big day, they were sitting a mere foot from each other, and still they were smiling and blowing kisses through the air towards one another. As their photographer, I was pretty stoked at about every level. I crave that connection and it's what I am drawn to most about birth photography. Most people I've talked to about what I do expect the moment of birth to be the climax, and maybe for some it is.. But not for me. I relish in the details, the moments of connection, and all the strength and love throughout labor and delivery. I love watching dad step up to the plate as he supports his beautiful wife while she's doing one of the most amazing things on earth. I love watching mom wrangle all the strength within, and still somehow exude an air of loveliness throughout. I've never seen love as potent than moments after birth when each parent lays eyes on their babe for the first time, and also when mom and dad look into each others eyes with pride and gratefulness. It's amazing to witness, and fulfilling to shoot.

So when I heard from Sara that their birth plan was being thrown to the wind for reasons I won't go into here - I was worried. I was worried for her, and looking back - I think I mourned for the experience they so badly wanted, and had planned so diligently for. It's heartbreaking to do everything right, and somehow still have things fall apart.

Amazingly though, while I was at home worrying, Sara and Evan were taking it all in stride. They were going with the flow, and baby stayed happy throughout a three day induction. Although I had joked with my husband about camping out in the hospital waiting room, I patiently waited until I was summoned to head over. When I arrived, Sara was at 3 cm dilation and within one hour, she was at 10cm and ready to meet her beautiful girl. Talk about good timing ;)

I can't thank the birth team at Harrison enough for all the love and care that was provided to this family during labor and delivery. I was reminded yet again, that there are no certainties in life. It just take one person to elevate a situation from so-so, to wonderful. The nurse in these photographs, Wendy, was literally the best nurse I have had the privilege to work with. Not only did she treat Sara and Evan with compassion, empathy, and respect - she welcomed their Doula (Jen Watson) and I both onto her team with open arms. I left feeling hopeful about this hospital, and for that I am grateful.

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 35mm f/1.4L ii, 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

Thank you for spending your time with me here and with this family's amazing story. Please leave me a comment with your thoughts and find me on FB! I am currently accepting birth clients with due dates August - December. I look forward to hearing from you!

By far the hardest part..

My sister, Tamar. It's hard to say what I am going to say, because it makes it real. It forces me to face the fact that my life isn't always what I want it to be. I can't will it to happen, or 'try harder', or keep working towards a goal. Tamar lives across the country from me, back home in MI. It's probably the hardest aspect of my life - being away from those I love, especially her. She's the last bit I have left of our mom, although my children are a constant reminder. Whenever she comes out to visit, we always make plans for photo time - I mean, always. But, for one reason or another, the amount of time we spend actually taking photos is like 20 minutes. It's kind of hilarious actually. But when we do it, we do it. I'm grateful for this time we had together. And even though these were meant for her new website, I already have plans to print some for our walls because we just miss her so.

The most challenging part of being a professional photographer (for me) is creating connection with strangers. People who hire me to shoot their births, or take their family photos, or even simple portraits like these.. It's all about the connection. I've been blessed with the birth clients I've had so far.. Six wonderful families who really put their trust in me to create my art and capture their story simultaneously. Birth is where I thrive, I feel SO ALIVE and I'm able to just be - I call it an out of body experience. Something comes over me and I go into the zone of creating and I am gone. I often need to look at the photographs myself to see what actually happened, or to grasp the time line because it goes by so darned fast. Portraits are tougher for me, it's more of a director role - I'm touching your hair, fixing your clothes, telling you where to stand, etc.. So when my sister and I went down to the bay, I was a little nervous. Not fumbling around stuttering nervous, but butterflies in my stomach, I'm about to ride on a roller-coaster nervous. The good kind. When we got to the shots of her looking out onto the bay waiting for the sun to go down a bit, I had tears in my eyes, because as I was looking through my viewfinder at my sister, I saw our mom. In Tamar's extreme laid-back coolness, her eyes, and her smile. It was truly beautiful. We were connected, in a big way. I felt so revved up and alive from these 20 minutes that it's made me want to shoot more portraits for members of my community. To really connect one on one and have that intimate experience to create beautiful and meaningful photographs that will be cherished.

By the end, we were covered in mud and salt water. My cameras were covered in mud (yes, literally), my boots, my pants, and my bottom. It was perfect and I loved every minute of it. I love you sister!

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light. I also shot these on my EOS 1-V with 35mm Fuji400H and I cannot wait to get these scans back! Please check back for an update :)]

Ember's Beautiful Birth Story | Kitsap County Birth Photographer

Birth.

What can I say that will allow me to express the affect of attending this birth?!

Tiffany was the winner of my 2016 giveaway. She is a photographer herself, and I remember feeling excited and also a little nervous about that! When I met Tiffany, Bobby, and their beautiful girls - I knew right away that their birth was going to be full of love. I hope I have been able to show you that here in these photos. I came home after a short 8 hours, feeling completely high. The love between the birth team had been palpable, and I felt a little stunned by it. The level of support from friends and family throughout was really kind of amazing! What a blessing it is to have this kind of support throughout labor and delivery - and so obviously in Tiffany's case - life!

A special thanks to Puget Sound Birth Center. What an amazing place to give birth..! I was blown away by the peaceful and humbling energy of midwife Melanie Dickson and two student midwives, Katherine and Erin. Thank you all so much for the amazing work you do in our community.

And one final thank you to Tiffany, who has so graciously allowed us all into her life. Sharing these photos takes bravery and courage, and I think we can all see throughout this story, that those are two things she definitely has. She is a very special woman and I am deeply honored to have been there to capture this part of her journey.

So please enjoy the birth story of little Ember, a beautiful baby girl born just last weekend and who will forever be in a safe and sacred place in my heart. Thanks so much for having me, Tiffany, Bobby, Rayne, Saige and Ember..

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 35mm f/1.4L ii, 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses. All images shot with available light, at f/1.2-1.4, ss 1/40-1/125, ISO 3200-8000.]

Click here to learn more about my view on birth photography.

Click here to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries about availability.

I appreciate you for spending your time with me here and with this family's amazing story, thank you!

Julian's Beautiful Birthday | Kitsap County Birth Photographer


I had the most amazing opportunity a few weeks back; I met Heidi on a Saturday afternoon, and had the absolute honor to photograph her and her family just a couple of days later during her labor and delivery. Heidi was in labor for three days, and I only showed up for the last 25 hours ;). It was incredible to witness her strength and grace. The love and support from her family was mind-blowing. I was so incredibly humbled to be present, and also so grateful to walk away being forever impacted by this family, her team of midwives, her doula, and the staff of Jefferson hospital, in Port Townsend, WA.

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with 35mm f/1.4L ii, 50mm f/1.2L, and 85mm f/1.2L lenses.]

Washington Wildflowers Workshop - Part One


It is only fitting for my very first blog post on my website to be this one. A weekend where something inside of me clicked, in a big way. There was a shift so deep within me, that it's hard to share here. Not because I can't put it into words, but because it is so close to my heart and I long to keep it a secret. I met the most beautiful souls full on wonder, beauty, pain, healing, longing, etc.. I was pushed so far, and I felt so much. I wondered how it would feel to see my photos, and to see the photos of my peers. I wondered if I would feel ownership - we were all there shooting the same. exact. moments. What I found though, is that we are all so very unique, and we all see things so differently. Here, is part one of my story:

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We arrived on a Friday evening, at 5pm. These first moments were filled with nerves, for me. I did what I usually do when I feel like this.. Well, two things! First, I went to grab a glass of wine as was suggested by our lovely host, and second - to grab my camera, this light was calling me.

I lingered here for a few moments after everyone headed in. I couldn't help it. The rest of our first evening is a bit of a blur, in a good way. There was a lot of sharing, crying, eating, and wine drinking. Our second morning, I spent some time outside with the chickens writing in my journal before heading to Whatcomb Falls State Park for an exercise with a partner.

Beautiful afternoon spent with beautiful people.. I spent some time in the woods with Tammy, silently, just 'earthing.' I think those six minutes were the most peaceful of the weekend.. Feeling close to the earth, and to myself. I felt so comfortable around Tammy's energy, and afterwards, we sat in the woods and talked all about motherhood, and how we both love it so.

This same evening, we had the honor of shooting the most lovely family alongside Joy. I couldn't get enough of the experience. I learned so much from this evening!

This evening led to a relaxing bonfire out in that field of wildflowers with lot's of talk to what is next for us all, and what some of us would like to leave behind as we look toward the future. I left behind grief, and welcomed love. Letting go of some of the pain I carry with me, in my minds eye, and through my camera lens. Welcoming love, that of my husband and children, and my commitment to love those I love, harder. Welcoming clients and allowing myself to share healing imagery with others, and to share my personal projects with my peers and really, the world.