Love at First Breath: Live Birthing Photos

I know what you must be thinking…who wants to see pictures of a woman giving birth? The blood, sweat, and tears of a woman looking her worst?

Live Birth Photos |

Well, there’s a new trend sweeping the nation – thanks to Pinterest, Facebook, and other photo-sharing sites – that shows how beautiful the actual birth can be.

I have had the pleasure of photographing some of the most intimate moments of live birth; pictures that make women say, “I’m glad I captured that memory.”

Why consider live birth photography?

For many women, giving birth happens only a couple of times during our lives. During the birthing process, it’s hard to stay in the moment and remember the support you felt as your partner clutched your hand during every push and kissed your forehead, wishing he could take away your pain.

Live Birth Photos |

Because of the pain, excitement, and drama of it all, it’s hard to recall the moment your child takes his or her first breath.

How I photograph a baby’s arrival

When I photograph a birth, I capture the images in black-and-white (see photo gallery at the end of this article). Black-and-white images give the viewer a different perspective. Instead of having a “photoshoot” feel, the viewer feels as if the photographer isn’t even present, which allows the viewer to focus on the beauty of the experience.

Live Birth Photos |

My images don’t show blood or inappropriate body parts, just breath-taking moments – from pushing to pain to first breath; from love at first sight to cuddles, kisses, and tears of joy.

Live Birth Photos |

It’s the most beautiful thing ever for me to witness these births from the lens of my camera, and then to give the photos to the mamma. She will always hold the memory of the wonderful day when she saw her precious child’s face for the first time.

Are you or someone you know expecting the gift of life? Would you like to remember the beauty of the experience?

Contact Angela to book your birthing photo shoot.

To see more maternity and family shoots, see Life Unexpected (blog post), Bumps are in Bloom (slideshow) or the Babies & Families page.

Life Unexpected

I have a strong passion for natural childbirth, having birthed both my girls naturally, with midwives and doulas for support through those amazing experiences.

My passion for natural birth grew when I was pregnant with my first daughter. During that time, I researched and studied what natural birth would take and why women would go this route.

After my first daughter was born, I read all the books on how to become a doula. What with raising young children, buying and remodeling a home, and being super busy with photography, I barely have time to write this blog post, noless become a doula. But’s it’s still a dream of mine.

I’ve had the amazing experience of being at friends’ natural home births and hospital births, as well as helping my sister birth both her girls naturally.

Jenn’s Natural Birth Adventure

My girlfriend, Jenn, gave me permission to blog about her experience, which really takes the cake and deepens my passion for natural birthing. (Although, after reading this story, some women might not want to have their babies this way.)

Maternity and Childbirth Photography |

Jenn is a dear friend who has been super-interested in how I birthed my girls. She got pregnant with her third child nine weeks after I did, and she asked for my support in trying the natural route this time.

She kept me posted every step of the way during the early stages of labor, and I gave her tips and assured her that what she was experiencing was completely normal.

In Labor

One Saturday in August, Jenn called and texted me about the extreme back labor she was having. I assured her that when it kicks in to real labor, she would know. That it did, but not until Sunday night.

Her husband had been offered a job and had left Sunday morning to go to Alaska. Knowing he would miss the birth, Jenn needed my support more than ever. I told her I would stay with her so she would have someone to drive her to hospital when the time came.

All day her contractions were not super-consistent, so I felt confident that she’d give birth during that night or early the next morning. I came prepared with my essential oils that I’d used myself, and had a very fast second labor: 1 hour, 15 minutes. I generously applied Clary Sage on her ankles and abdomen, and within in an hour she was clearing to the point of saying, “Get me to the hospital.”

Our plan had been that I would take some beautiful photos at the birth for Jenn and her husband to enjoy… this is a new trend (watch for my next blog post, where I’ll share birthing photos).

Maternity and Childbirth Photography |

We literally jumped into my car and raced to the hospital with my 6-week-old baby in tow, and my camera, ready to photograph the birth. I knew she would have her beautiful girl very soon after arriving at the hospital.

I just didn’t know HOW soon!

We pulled up to emergency entrance. I parked the car and got Jenn out. She said she couldn’t walk because she was having a contraction that very moment.

I ran inside to grab a wheelchair and assistance, which took less than a minute.

As I sprinted back through the sliding doors, I saw Jenn, standing next to my car, holding her baby.

I have never had such a heart-wrenching feeling of fright. “Oh my gosh; my friend delivered her own baby while standing next to my car!”

Thankfully, everything was great and Jenn was so happy to have achieved her goal of doing a birth natural (although I’m sure this scenario was not exactly what she had planned).

Obviously, I wasn’t able to take birthing photos, but here are some I took during Jenn’s pregnancy, the day after she gave birth, and one month later.

These two beauties are absolutely stunning! Wouldn’t you agree?

To see more maternity and family shoots, see Bumps are in Bloom (slideshow) or Babies & Families page.

Contact Angela to book your maternity or birthing photo shoot.




When starting this website/blog I didn’t really think I’d have a lot to write about. I believe I said to my web designer, “Who’s going to read my blogs and what would I write about?” I wanted to connect with my client base, but didn’t want to bore them with inane details. However, after the first two blog pieces, I realized that this is really a great tool to add a personal touch to my business. Not only is it great for business, but it offers a side of me that I often can’t express while I’m working.

This one is a very personal blog, so bear with me. I’ve laid awake thinking about this for nights so it’s time to share my life with you and just blog it out!


I have been blessed with many sisters in my life! I have a close-knit group of lifelong friends that I call my soul sisters. I have three wonderful sister-in-laws that I love and adore. And, I have been blessed with my beautiful biological sister Samantha. She is 4 1/2 years younger than me, and like most siblings, we fought and terrorized each other pretty much until adulthood. I would describe us as polar opposites on almost everything, and we challenge each other constantly. But it’s all about passion and genuine respect for one another. We love each other deeply and fiercely. I wholeheartedly believe that you don’t love anyone or want the best for anyone more than your sisters.

Sisterhood history

My mom was the only girl in a family with brothers. When she was 10, she met Wendy, her lifelong friend and my aunt. Yes, my mom ended up marrying Wendy’s brother when they reached their twenties. She was lucky to have a best friend and a sister all in one person – how cool is that? And although my parents are no longer together, my mom and aunt are still the best of friends. They shared the joy of pregnancy together, each pregnant with a girl – me and my cousin Courtney. We were born just six weeks apart and grew up thick as thieves. I was so lucky to have such a strong, sisterly bond with my cousin.



We had an unexpected tragedy when we were 18, Courtney was hit by a drunk driver and taken from us far too soon. She was such a shining and beautiful spirit – we feel her absence everyday. But, as life has a way of working out, we have all become closer because of our loss. Life, and our sisterly bonds, are so, so precious.

Scan 10

The next generation

My sister and I have had the incredible pleasure of experiencing motherhood together. A few months after my first daughter was born, Samantha announced that she was pregnant! It was such an exciting time! We both attended each other’s births and nothing could have made us more bonded after that. Before each of us found out the sex of our first children, we each said that we wanted boys. But God had a different idea and gave us what we needed – two beautiful girls came into our lives and they are exactly 1 year and 4 days apart! We knew that having two girls so closely in age, that we wanted to raise them side by side. Cousins and sisters. They are incredibly close and we are continually reminded of our own childhood watching them interact with each other.

Vintage-country children's photoshoot | Angela Welsh Designs

Life takes another turn

Nine months ago I was overjoyed to find out that I was pregnant with my second child! Lo and behold, just six weeks later, my sister discovered that she was also expecting her second child! In true sister form, we are apparently competitive at everything, haha! We each were anxious to see if this time around we would end up with boys – but were thrilled to find out that we were keeping our girl streak. Yes, we’re each having another girl! Sisters upon sisters upon sisters! Life is so funny that way. This time, our pregnancies are even closer – just 6 weeks apart! History is repeating itself in the greatest way. I couldn’t wait for us to both be showing our baby-girl-bumps so we could do a fun sister bump photoshoot together.


Samantha’s pregnancies have been a little more trying than mine. It’s been so hard as her big sister to watch her struggle with health. A month ago our family was hit with the news that Samantha has stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. You can’t imagine what this news does to any family unless you’ve been through it. Finding out that someone you love has cancer is difficult to take, but it hit us especially hard since Sam is pregnant. But, she is so strong and handling this daunting news amazingly well. I’m in awe of her strength and have questioned my own since this happened. We’re all optimistic that she will get through this unscathed and so will the baby. We do know that there may be harder challenges ahead we are yet aware of, but we know we can handle those issues as they come. We have grown even closer, and know that love and support are the most important tools in life and in sisterhood.


In light of Sam’s health, I knew that time was of the essence and we had to get some photos of my sister’s pregnancy. We knew she had a lot of chemo coming up, and that she wouldn’t be feeling up to a photoshoot. As my due date loomed closer, and Sam’s health isn’t the absolute best, we definitely felt the pressure to document our sister-pregnancies. We didn’t go all out as we normally would, but this photoshoot is probably the most important and special sessions I’ve ever done. We got to take pictures together as a family, documenting a bittersweet time. And of course, we kept some humor in there too.

“Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, but it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it” -Unknown

At this point in our lives, we’ve endured some sisterly bumps and bruises and I’m sure there will be more to come. But life has taught me that we can face anything with our sisters by our side. I’m blessed to have all my sisters next to me for the love and support.

Don’t be afraid to photograph the hard times too! Sometimes those are the most important memories and the outcome is surprisingly beautiful. You’ll never regret having a photo to remember who you are, what you’ve gone through, and what you’ve overcome!

To see more maternity and family shoots see Bumps are in Bloom Blog post for a slideshow or Babies and families page.

Contact Angela for your special photo shoot at


Bumps are in Bloom!!!!

Spring flowers aren’t the only thing blooming right now… It has been a busy season for baby bumps!

Maternity photos are a hot new trend for expecting moms. It’s all about accentuating and showing off your beautiful changing body in the most creative and fun way possible.

Celebrate and commemorate your bump

These photos are now being used for announcements with fun tag lines like “Ready to Pop!” while mom holds her belly and blows bubble gum.

Or having other children holding fun signs announcing that they will be a big brother or sister.

There is so much room for ideas and creativity. Whether you use these photos as an announcement, an invitation, or placed in a decorative frame, they become a beautiful memory for you and your family.

Your other children will love looking back on these as they get older! I only wish I had photos of my mom while she was carrying me in her belly.

A dozen babies on the way

In just days now, I will be expecting my second child. But, my bump is not alone! Ten of my dear friends are currently pregnant, and two of my sisters are expecting their second child, too. That’s a dozen babies! Needless to say it’s a special time for all of us.

I have had the distinct pleasure of photographing some of these women and their families during life’s biggest milestones. Engagements, weddings (even boudoir!)… it’s been such an amazing adventure to share. I’m so thankful that I get to take some memorable shots of their baby bumps too.


These recent shoots have been so wonderfully inspiring and I feel so blessed to have been the one to take these photos. Pregnant mothers are amazing and I am so lucky to spend time with these ladies and their growing families. Enjoy!

Visit my Babies & Families page to see more photos like these.

Book a maternity shoot

Contact Angela at 253-224-3448,

Ideas for a Children’s Vintage-Country Photoshoot

Photographing children can be fun – and challenging. As a photographer, I use my own child and my niece as a muse, in hopes of inspiring others to photograph their children in unique ways.

My daughter and niece were born exactly one year apart – this year they turned 2 and 3. Every year for their birthdays, we think of cool and different ways to photograph them. This year, we decided on vintage-country.

Vintage-country children's photoshoot | Angela Welsh Designs

Here’s a piece of history that made this shoot so special:

These dresses are 30-plus years old. My cousin and I wore them when we were this age. My Aunt Wendy, an amazing seamstress, made the dresses for my cousin and she always let me borrow them when I was a little girl.

Vintage-country children's photoshoot | Angela Welsh Designs

I wish we had the photos of us, but photography 30 years ago wasn’t what it is today… and our parents weren’t as good taking pictures as we are today!

Photoshoot Challenge

What part of history can you pull from your own past to use when photographing your children?

Do you have any vintage clothing or accessories they could wear or hold during the photoshoot?

Visit my Babies & Families page for more information about my approach to family photography.

Book a child & family photoshoot

Contact Angela at 253-224-3448,, and we’ll schedule a time to brainstorm fun ideas for your child & family photo session.

Go Glam for Holiday Photo Shoots

Who says red and green, hats and scarves, are the only colors and accessories allowed in family Christmas photos?

Why not go glam?

This fun family took my advice to “go glam” for their Christmas shoot. They gave me full creative input on colors and ideas for what each family member should wear.

Family Photo Shoot | Going Glam | Angela Welsh Designs

Changing up the cookie cutter concept

Instead of the Christmas-cardish “flannel shirts and hiking boots at the tree farm,” we changed up the concept completely. The family wore colors and outfits they wouldn’t normally wear to a tree farm. The result was gorgeous – outdoorsy, timeless portraits that can be given as gifts year-round or framed and permanently displayed in their home.

Visit my Photography page to see additional pictures from this photo shoot.

Family Photo Shoot | Going Glam | Angela Welsh Designs

Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot Ideas

The most romantic day of the year is coming up. How would you stage a romantic couples’ photo shoot, but without the traditional red & white?

Hint: Do a Pinterest search for “Valentine’s Day photo shoot” and you’ll get loads of fun ideas.

I’d love to hear your outside-the-heart-shaped-chocolate-box ideas. Please share in the Comments!

Plan your holiday photo shoot now

Let’s plan your holiday photo shoot. After all, we have lots of holidays coming up. There’s St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Independence Day… you get the idea. Contact me at 253-224-3448,, and we’ll schedule a time to brainstorm together.