Over the last two years, birth photography has been in the back of my mind as something I would love to do one day, when I was finished having children and they were a little more grown. The unpredictability of birth means, as a birth photographer, you are required to be on call for weeks waiting for baby to arrive, and be able to drop everything once that call comes through. I didn’t think I would be able to do that just yet, but when Skye contacted me asking if I would photograph her birth, I knew I had to say yes. You see, Skye and I have a bit of a tradition. She has always trusted me to photograph her family, even if haven’t done anything like it before. I shot Skye and Sam’s engagement photos when I’d never photographed a couple’s session. When she was pregnant with her first daughter, I shot her maternity photos; my first in studio. When her second daughter arrived, her newborn session was the very first in the home studio I set up after I decided that I would make the leap to making photography my “real job”, and specialise in posed newborn sessions. So, it was only fitting that this birth, possibly her last, would be my first.

As Skye’s pregnancy progressed, she updated me on every twinge, quietly confident this baby would not be born later than her first two. When this milestone passed we wondered when he or she would decide to make their entrance into the world. On Tuesday morning I messaged Skye to check in, she had no updates to report. Then a message came through early that night saying there may be signs of labour but she wasn’t entirely convinced. As I settled into bed after a long night of editing, another message came through from her husband Sam saying they were off to the birth centre. It was happening!

Surrounded by love and family, Skye laboured to bring her precious baby into the world. Supported by Sam, the midwives who attended her, and the water she had chosen to birth in, their baby arrived in stunning fashion. “En caul”, with waters intact, a 1 in 80 000 chance.

And there he was. Their baby boy. Their little Alby.

While they adjust to being a family of five, I look forward to next week, when I photograph a lifestyle session in their home; which, in typical Skye fashion, is something I haven’t done before <3 I hope you enjoy these images as much I enjoyed being a part of this very special birth.

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