About My Photography
Growing up, I used to look through old photographs that my mother kept in a big box up in her closet. Most photos were black and white, few had color. I enjoyed looking at old relatives, that I had never met, and asking who they were. Looking at the photos made me feel like I somehow knew these people. I saw photos of my mother and father when they were much younger. I saw photos of my older sister and brother when they were born. I saw photos of me when I was a little girl. Looking at photos was always an adventure for me.
Later on, I enjoyed playing with my 110-camera. I used to take photos of the beach, Oyster Bay, Long Island, and my little nephews. I was always interested in capturing special moments, funny faces, unique things. I would run to 60-Minute Photo and get my film developed as quickly as possible. I couldn't wait to see if that vision that I saw would be reflected in my photo.
As a nurse, working in labor and delivery, my fascination with photos continued. I was privileged to be witness to many unforgettable, very private, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and felt compelled to try to capture these moments for my patients as well.
"I saw the laboring couple arrive on the Labor & Delivery floor with the look of excitement in their eyes.
I saw the laboring woman work through her labor---knowing each uncomfortable contraction was bringing her baby closer to being born.
I saw her loved one feel helpless yet try to comfort her. They would hold her hand, rub her back, let her lean on them, wipe her tears, kiss her gently, feel her pain. Rejoice with her when the contraction was gone and praise her for her hard work and progress.
I saw the excitement in their eyes as the moment was drawing near.
I saw their excitement build as each push brought the baby's birth one minute closer.
I saw the look on the dad's face when the doctor/midwife said "and here comes the baby's head". The looks of amazement, disbelief, awe.
I saw a couple turn into a family with one last push.
I saw the look on mom's face as the doctor/midwife placed her bundle of joy on top of her belly.
I saw the look on mom's face as she touched the baby she has been waiting 9 months to see for the very first time. As she told this little being how much she has longed to see, touch, hold it. How much she loved it. I saw this.
I saw the look on dad's face as he saw his baby being held by this amazing woman whom he will forever adore.
I saw the look of relief, joy, adoration, infatuation, and accomplishment as this woman cried with her baby and her loved one.
I saw dad give mom a kiss and say "I love you" and mean it with all his heart.
I saw dad give this new little person a kiss and say "I love you" and mean it with all his heart.
I saw an obstrician congratulate the new parents and be the first to welcome this new little person into this world.
I saw mom try and nourish her new baby despite the fact that neither had ever done this before.
I saw a big strong man soften instantly as he awkwardly craddled this little defenseless creature in his arms for the first time.
When this tiny baby grabbed onto his big finger, as if to say "don't leave me", I saw this.
When the rest of the family came in the room and saw the baby for the first time, I was there.
I saw parents realize that "their baby just had a baby"...when parents instantly became Grandparents, I saw this.
When brother or sister saw this new baby and instantly became a Big Brother or Big Sister, I saw this."
~ Diane Ellen, RN
Whenever I saw these moments, I would think "these moment should be captured forever". Early in my nursing career, I began to realize that although my nursing skills were important during childbirth, so were these photography skills. During early labor, I demanded a lesson from the laboring couple in regards to their camera. I soon realized that one can either take photos of the delivery or actually watch the delivery but cannot do both at once. I would highly recommend to the dads to be the one to watch the birth of their baby and allow me to be the photographer.
So, very often, during birth, the doctor/midwife would ask me to get all kinds of medical items and ask me medical questions. I would always get them what they needed and answer their questions in a timely fashion...just right after one more click! Yup, I was always taking these pictures. Sometimes the doctor would lose patience with me and say something like "Come on Diane" and I would say something like "coming!"...right after one more picture! Say "cheese"!
Since 1989, when I began my career in nursing, I have received many letters from moms and dads thanking me for taking these once-in-a-lifetime photographs for them. Especially during a cesarean section, mom misses out on the first few moments of her new baby's life. By having me photograph her newborn, she has the chance to see what she could not see.
In addition to my photographs with your camera, some of my moms and dads want even more. As of 2006, I am now able to offer these clients even more. I began collaborating with an amazing photographer, Michael Lloyd, at Lloyd's Studio in Boca Raton, Florida. Lloyd's Studio offers a professional complete package including pregnancy, birth, and newborn photographs. These heart-warming photographs can be individually framed or placed in a unique Birth Day Book all about your baby. The options are many and choices are unlimited!
I cannot encourage you enough to take photographs of your baby's birth. After taking the photographs, if you change your mind, you can always discard the film or "delete" the photo. But if you do not take the photographs, you cannot recreate those amazing minutes. Photographing your baby's birth should be as important as photographing your wedding day! The two biggest days of your life deserve to be preserved forever!