Maverick {A Birth Story} | Watertown + Sioux Falls, SD Photographer + Filmmaker

The Birth of Maverick | Birth Film + Photo Session

Gosh, where do I even begin…

“I’m sorry, I do not offer birth photography at this time”… is along the lines of what my response has been for many years to each birth inquiry I get. While I have always wanted to capture a birth from a photographer perspective (vs. a nurse perspective) for as long as I’ve been holding a camera, with having young children, a nursing job, and birth being unpredictable… it’s just never been in the cards.

Then Dena contacted me about doing a birth film. And I could tell immediately how much this meant to her. I knew I had to say yes. With this being her 4th baby, me living two hours away, and two vacations planned weeks before her due date, I knew the probability of actually being able to make it was slim… but it was worth a shot… The day came, the stars aligned, and I made it for the whole thing.

And holy s**t this was one tough mama… I don’t care how many thousands of births I’ve seen - I am completely amazed every single time. The power of a women is absolutely incredible.

This baby proved to be completely unlike her other three. It was a long intense labor, but she was completely calm and relaxed through the whole thing. One thing I did not get to experience as a L&D nurse is hypno-birthing. This was truly beautiful to see… <3

The entire labor - Calm. Relaxed. Quiet. Peaceful.

Then, baby decided to throw everyone for a loop when he was found to be breech at delivery. The room got crowded fast, and it was a bit intense, but the staff reacted so quickly and the doctor helped mama get baby out calmly & safely.

Perfect. Healthy. Happy.

I was a little nervous to show mama the film for the first time afterward - I didn’t know if it’d be too soon to relive. Sometimes when births don’t go as expected, it can be emotional to relive. But I’ve found through the years it’s usually therapeutic for moms as well - to be able to talk through and share the experience is so important.

This video has been really healing! I was so focused on everything that went wrong that I blocked out all the beautiful moments.

The main priority was video, but I was still able to capture a lot of the labor and just after birth in still images as well.

It was such an honor to be there for this family to document one of the most beautiful, important and vulnerable times in their life.

The Birth of Maverick

Owen {3 days new} | Watertown, SD Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Owen | In Home Newborn Session

 

I'm absolutely obsessed with this sweet snuggly bug <3 Isn't he just gorgeous!? 

Big sis was excited to tell me all about him, and hold and snuggle him. Big brother was a little unsure initially, but he warmed right up. ;) Those heartwarming smiles...

One thing I absolutely love about in-home sessions, is the comfort and laid back feeling. They are so much less stressful for everyone, including baby, and an amazing way to incorporate siblings (as well as your home)! <3 If it's something you've been on the fence about, now is now. 

Enjoy baby Owen & his sweet family!

Rowe {2 days new} | Watertown, SD Fresh 48 Newborn & Family Photographer & Filmmaker

Rowe | Hospital Film + Photo Session

Just a few weeks ago, this beautiful family welcomed a sweet baby boy into their family. (With quite possibly the proudest big brother and big sister, ever). <3

These sessions are always so special to me. To see the joy and love radiating from parents, family, siblings...it's like no other... That beautiful baby they have been awaiting, growing, and loving for the nine months, is here. And so loved.

Welcome to the family, little Rowe! <3

 

Rowe's Film

Clara {10 days new} | Watertown, SD Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Clara | Lifestyle Newborn Session

4 1/2 years ago I booked a newborn session - my very FIRST paid session as Amber Walder Photography. I was ecstatic! I hadn't intended to specialize in newborns (I actually had no clue what I wanted to photograph at the time), but I was excited and willing to try anything and everything.

I went into that newborn session not knowing what to expect. I grabbed a couple small props, some backdrop blankets, a little Pinterest inspiration and headed out to their house. Now, I'm not going to go into how the details about how that went, lol (about as good as you can expect for your first newborn session ever, I suppose - I'll let you picture the rest). ;) But nonetheless, it launched a love for newborn photography I never expected to have. 

Throughout the years since that very first day, I have grown and changed as an artist. I have found a style and niche I absolutely love. Newborns & families will forever have my heart. And bringing those two things together are what really make my heart sing.

A couple weeks ago the Wight family invited me into their home to capture their new, beautiful baby girl - Clara. I was able to capture their family as a brand new party of five. The adorable dynamic of a newborn with two big brothers. The adoring love of parents admiring their first baby girl. Her beautiful nursery. Those big blue eyes and tiny little toes.

THIS is how I want to capture you and your loved ones. 

Together, in the comfort of your home, with the ones you love most. 

Natural, honest, real moments.

 

Enjoy miss Clara & her family! <3

Cainen {2 days} | Watertown, SD Newborn & Hospital Photographer

Cainen | Fresh 48 Session

 

I know I've said it every single time, but I'll say it again... these are my absolute favorite sessions. There is something about a brand new baby that just warms your heart. Their fresh smell, their wrinkled or peely feet, their little squirms and funny noises. Everything about it is new, exciting and beautiful. And nothing makes my photographer heart happier than getting to capture all those joys (and so much more) for a growing family. Because we all know these moments are fleeting...you blink and they will be just a faint memory. As parents to a brand new baby, you are tired (ok, exhausted!), and the last thing you think about is capturing photos of your new baby to document all those sweet details. I was there, too...4 times. And because of said exhaustion and just plain feeling overwhelmed, only once did I pull out my camera to document any of that. Because I made myself. Because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't.

So this my friends, I urge you. Document these details. These moments. Even if it isn't by a professional photographer, ask a family member or friend. Get in the frame yourself. Don't say "I'll do it later". You may not. They will never be this small again. You will never have those first couple days back. But you can have images capturing that time. You can look back and remember that fine dark hair, that paci that was nearly as big as his face, the fuzz on his cheeks or body, the wrinkled, creased, or peely feet, the way daddy swaddled him, and the way you looked at him in awe and thought to yourself "I can't believe he's here. I can't believe he's mine. He's perfect". 
<3

This was mom & dad's third little blessing. They got to spend the couple days in the hospital alone with their beautiful little man, quietly soaking him in. <3

It was such an absolute honor to capture this for them.