The moment 
you become a mother...

...everything changes.

These are the most important days of your life. The moments fly by - pregnancy, birth, having a wrinkly little newborn to snuggle. When the moments are over...

HOW WILL YOU REMEMBER THEM?

"Heidi was so inconspicuous as she worked that I hardly knew she was in the room,
 

 I could sense her positive energy, believing in me and my body’s ability to deliver my baby."

yet she was such an integral part of my birth team and support system;

MEET
Heidi

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one of my "moments" :: when my daughter Fiona was born
photo: Simply by Suzy

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I became a photographer because I hated my wedding photos. I didn't know until that fateful day that a photo can be a snapshot, technically perfect but devoid of emotion...OR it can actually make you feel something, it can take you right back to that moment in time, in that spot, with that emotion. A timeless photograph can make the moment feel like yesterday, rather than 5 years ago, or 50.


I am compelled to make photographs because there are some moments you never get back.

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I'd fallen in love with the birth photography work of Lynsey Stone and Pinkletoes Photography out of Texas, so when my son Tristan was born in 2011, I couldn't find a photographer in this area who specialized in births and mothers. I will be forever thankful for my friend Kelly, an insanely talented wedding and editorial photographer, for flying up from Charleston on the morning I went into labor to capture Tristan's birth story.

In 2012 I decided it was time that this area had a proper birth and motherhood photographer and I launched "the DC birth photographer". Since then I've photographed nearly 30 births and told the stories of many mothers and their babies.

I make my home base in Gainesville with my beloved husband Mike, and our two littles - Tristan (5) and Fiona (almost 2.) Our days are a crazy mixture of homeschooling, violin teaching and practicing (I was a music major in my former life!), photography work, trying to stay on top of the housework, and especially trying to find time to make dinner! I love to read, I'm a total introvert, I love interior design, being outdoors, and coffee. Always coffee.

who am I apart from photography?

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Professional

Connections

I support all mothers and all different kinds of births. I  have shot hospital births, c-section births, home births, and birth center births. About 75% of the births I have photographed are out-of-hospital.

I frequently work with:

The NOVA Natural Birth Center
BirthCare and Women's Health
Bay Area Midwives
Tammi McKinley, NOVA Midwife
Ten Moons Midwifery
Marilee Pinkleton, midwife
Kim Pekin, midwife

Doulas of Capitol Hill
Lindsey Vick, doula
Tara Lussier, doula
Birth You Desire Doula Services
NOVA Birth Services


Heidi radiated confidence, support and encouragement.

Her palpable respect for the birthing mother and the birth process made her a welcome part of my team. 

Our birth photos still make me cry to look at.

"

"

I've also photographed at most of the area hospitals including:

Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital
Fairfax Hospital
Fair Oaks Hospital
Anne Arundel Medical Center
GW University Hospital
Sibley Hospital
Shady Grove Hospital
Virginia Hospital Center
Potomac Sentara Hospital

proud member of

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I became a photographer because I hated my wedding photos. I didn't know until that fateful day that a photo can be a snapshot, technically perfect but devoid of emotion...OR it can actually make you feel something, it can take you right back to that moment in time, in that spot, with that emotion. A timeless photograph can make the moment feel like yesterday, rather than 5 years ago, or 50.


I am compelled to make photographs because there are some moments you never get back.

book now

If you are a girl who cherishes her story of becoming a mother...

If you are not just looking for someone who is good with a camera, but are looking for someone who understands and reveres birth...

If you are someone who finds beauty in the hard, and recognizes that while you can be frugal about buying all the things, it is never a good idea to be frugal about memories...

If you are thoughtful about your birth story and think of it as something to experience fully, not something to survive... 

If you love to display your images as art on their walls and books to share with friends and family...

If you pour over your photos, saying "Remember when...." and drying a tear or two from your eyes...

Let's talk. 

what are heirloom sessions

and how do I choose?

"So wait," people say when I tell them I'm a birth photographer. "Did you say bird photographer?" I laugh. "No, BIRTH photographer. Like when babies are born." They get a look on their face. Then they whisper, half-horrified - "Do you....do you photograph...." They look around. "Do you photograph DOWN THERE?!"

The answer is...yes. And no. It depends on the client, and her preferences, but even when the answer is "yes" - that's not the point of birth photography. The birth of your child is about emotion - the feelings you experience as you journey through labor to that first moment of meeting. It's about relationship - the way you see your partner as if for the first time, no matter how many years you've been together. It's about strength, and bravery, and love. I photograph moments that will become the heirlooms of your life as a family. 

For that reason, I call my sessions "heirloom sessions." Some clients choose to tell the whole story, from the anticipation of pregnancy to the first breath of the new baby, to the first day together and then settling in as a new family. Others choose the session(s) that are of the highest priority for them. There is no wrong answer here - only you can decide, "How do I want to remember this?"

view heirloom session portfolios

 portfolios

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the pregnancy session

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please be patient ::
site under construction

full galleries will be up soon

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the birth story session

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site under construction

full galleries will be up soon

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the justborn session

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full galleries will be up soon

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the newborn session

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please be patient ::
site under construction

full galleries will be up soon

the pregnancy session

the birth story
SESSION



Documentary. 
Story and dance. Labor and birth. Relationship and support. The birth story session is about the strength, determination, and joy of your birthing day. 


Getting to know this new little one; settling into a new normal. 7-14 days after birth, we meet again. This time for a fine art session. Colors and outfits chosen, art created for your home and albums. Still lifestyle, real life moments captured. A mixture of organic newborn images and snuggly family shots. Primarily focused on the mother and the relationship with her little one.

the justborn session


Snuggles and pajamas. First day new. Meeting an older sibling or grandpa and grandma. Nursing, rocking, sleeping, and kissing. The justBORN session takes place within 24-48 hours after birth either at the hospital or at home. It is documentary in nature. It's a more gentle session than a birth story - you've had some sleep and a shower - but it is still raw and new. 

the newborn session


Fine art + real life.
Baby bumps, anticipation, relationship. The life you have and the life you're about to have. 

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THE PREGNANCY SESSION
Fine art + real life.
Baby bumps, anticipation, relationship. The life you have and the life you're about to have. 

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THE BIRTH SESSION
Documentary. 
Story and dance. Labor and birth. Relationship and support. The birth story session is about the strength, determination, and joy of your birthing day. 

>>

<<

THE justBORN SESSION
Snuggles and pajamas. First day new. Meeting an older sibling or grandpa and grandma. Nursing, rocking, sleeping, and kissing.

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THE NEWBORN SESSION
Getting to know this new little one; settling into a new normal. Art created for your home and albums. Still lifestyle, real life moments captured. 

heirloom 
sessions portfolio


please be patient ::
site under construction

full galleries will be up soon


please be patient ::
site under construction

full galleries will be up soon


please be patient ::
site under construction

full galleries will be up soon


please be patient ::
site under construction

full galleries will be up soon

I am not just in the business of taking photos. I am in the business of creating timeless works of art that will be in your family for generations to come.

Do you remember floppy discs? Do you have a computer that can still read one? Can you imagine if all of your family photos were saved to a floppy disc rather than mounted in albums, stored in photo boxes, hung on the wall? Our own modern hard drives, DVD's, and USB drives will also one day be a thing of the past. Will we have printed photos to pass on to our grandchildren? I am passionate not just about handing you a disc of images but of giving you at least one tangible work of art, a way to hold your photos in your hands. So for this reason all of my sessions come
with BOTH the digital images and at least one piece of tangible
heirloom art. 

family heirlooms

view collections

birth story collections

heirloom

nostalgia

keepsake

mini-maternity session 

all final digital files 
on a crystal USB drive

4x6 prints of all final images 

slideshow DVD 

10x10 heirloom album

presented in a custom, hand-made heirloom box

all final digital files 
on a crystal USB drive

4x6 prints of all final images presented in a silk keepsake box

10x10 heirloom album

all final digital files 
on a crystal USB drive

4x6 prints of all final images presented in a silk keepsake box

all birth story sessions include ::

time on-call from 38 weeks until delivery
coverage at your birth from active labor until 2 hours after delivery
birth story slideshow presented online within 14 days after delivery

additional products and prints will be available a la carte 
via your online gallery after your session

please inquire for full collection pricing

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The Pregnancy Sesssion

all of my lifestyle sessions are all-inclusive


:: complimentary style consultation via Skype or at my office








:: 1-2 hour session on location at your home or outdoor location

:: 4x6 prints of all final images

:: high-resolution digital images on crystal USB

:: prints and USB presented in a beautiful keepsake box



additional products and prints will be available a la carte 
via your online gallery after your session

please inquire for full collection pricing

A lot of moms wonder why they would want a pregnancy session to remember their "beautiful baby belly" - many of us feel anything but beautiful while we're pregnant! The style consultation is designed to set you at ease - while you might *feel* like a hippo while you're pregnant, I guarantee you won't look like one in your photos! We'll discuss location, wardrobe, and hair and makeup.  

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THE justBORN
SESSION

all of my lifestyle sessions are all-inclusive



additional products and prints will be available a la carte 
via your online gallery after your session

please inquire for full collection pricing

As much as I adore photographing births, I know a lot of moms are uncertain about having a photographer in the delivery room. At the same time, they are drawn to the idea of capturing those first snuggles - just after a bit of sleep and a shower. Other moms who want birth photography ALSO want a justBORN session - the moments are so different than the drama and exhaustion of labor and delivery. Tiny fingers and toes, pink wrinkled skin, nursings and swaddlings and first meetings. There is nothing quite as precious as those first few days with your new little.

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:: justBORN sessions happen within 24-48 hours after delivery








:: 1-2 hour session on location at your home or outdoor location

:: 4x6 prints of all final images

:: high-resolution digital images on crystal USB

:: prints and USB presented in a beautiful keepsake box

The newborn session

all of my lifestyle sessions are all-inclusive



additional products and prints will be available a la carte 
via your online gallery after your session

please inquire for full collection pricing

The big question a lot of moms ask me is to clarify the difference between a justBORN session and a newborn session - especially if the justBORN session takes place at your home. The primary difference is that the justBORN session is mostly documentary and less formal - you can be in your pajamas if you want - it's all about snuggling and getting to know each other. By the time we do the newborn session 7-14 days later, baby is already filling out a bit, you're settling in as a family, and you're ready to get dressed up a little bit and create some fine art images for your home and album. It's a little more thoughtfully planned, with a mixture of organic newborn portraits and lifestyle family images. 

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:: newborn sessions take place 1-2 weeks after delivery








:: 1-2 hour session on location at your home or outdoor location

:: 4x6 prints of all final images

:: high-resolution digital images on crystal USB

:: prints and USB presented in a beautiful keepsake box

book a session

NAME

EMAIL

estimated due date

INTERESTED IN...

SUBMIT

I can't wait to hear from you!

xoxo,
heidi

planned birth location

approximate budget

referred by

favorite cupcake flavor

I proudly serve the Washington DC and Northern Virginia area from my base in Gainesville, Virginia.

thank you!
I'll be in touch as soon as I can, typically within 24 hours.

xoxo,
heidi

She was fierce, she was strong,
she wasn't simple. She was crazy and
sometimes she barely slept. She always
had something to say. She had flaws
and that was ok. And when she was down, 
she got right back up. She was a beast
in her own way, but one idea
described her best.

She was unstoppable and she took
anything she wanted with a smile.


~ R.M. Drake