That seems a little ridiculous to write but it feels like we have been waiting forever and working so hard to get to this point where we can actually say it. So, one more time…
The Collective may be new to the Atlanta birth scene, but I can assure you, the women behind it are anything but. We have all be active birth workers and advocates for birthing rights for years now (21 total between us) as well as friends, colleagues and neighbors. (We all live within 2 streets of one another in Kirkwood and wouldn't have it any other way!)
We met because of our passion for birth and came together, initially to back each other up for clients and ultimately to form this collective and build a supportive community for ourselves, our clients and our city. Our goal is to help guide and document your birth story honestly and beautifully and to show how powerful it can be when women feel supported during childbirth.
To continue on with our introduction, here's a little more about each of our kick ass members!
Chanda was born and raised in Lake Claire. She has been photographing people since she was 5, and started her own photography business in 2009. She now lives in Kirkwood with her husband, Stephen, two sons, Che (11) and Isaiah (5), and their sweet pup, Stella Batman.
"The birth of my first son was so incredible and empowering, and I felt like that was a huge secret that it could be that way. I had learned about Doulas in a college class, and years later I realized that I could help women have amazing birth experiences as a doula. At my first birth, I was in awe of the beauty of birth--the intimacy, vulnerability and strength, which also seemed like a secret that nobody was talking about. That's when I decided to photograph the births I was supporting."
Claire is originally from Buffalo, New York but has been in the south for a while now. She fell in love with photography in high school when she chose it as one of her elective classes. It was a high school love that stuck. She and her boyfriend, Bryan, live in Kirkwood with their fur babies, Linus the pup and Fatz the cat.
"A couple of years in to my portrait photography business I came across work from a birth photographer who's images I thought were incredible. I was so intrigued I decided I needed to photograph a birth myself, and was quickly hooked up with a friend's sister who was expecting soon. That was pretty much it, I was hooked following that birth! My journey to supporting woman as a doula was a natural progression from there, especially as a nurturer by nature. Attending so many births as a photographer really informed me of the childbirth process and after some time, having seen the same situations over and over again in the delivery room I found that I could use my knowledge and experience to serve families in an additional way."
Brittany was born in Houston, Texas and raised pretty much all over the place. She settled in Atlanta back in 2008 and hasn't looked back. She was a latecomer to photography, starting in 2011 when she received her first DSLR camera as a gift for Christmas. She too, lives in Kirkwood with her husband, Chris, their two sons, Coulter (3) and Lowry (18 months) and their 2 very big and hairy dogs, Fen and Odie.
"As someone who typically shot anything and everything that came across my plate, not wanting to pass on any opportunity to grow as a photographer, it took the birth of my first son for me to realize what I truly wanted to focus on. The photos from his birth were so incredible, I was in awe of the entire process and I knew that I had to be a part of it in every way I could. So after photographing births for a few years and wanting to do more, I made the decision to begin working towards my doula certification, something I had been wanting to do ever since experiencing the incredible love and support of my own doulas during my births."
This Collective is something we have wanted for a long time, a place to come together, work together and help support women and families in Atlanta while they are building their families. We are just getting started and are so happy you've decided to join us on our journey.
To stay in the loop on everything we are doing like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @TheBirthStoryCollective