Cape Town Birth Photographer »

In an effort to spotlight exceptional birth professionals for expectant parents researching their options, I’ll be interviewing some of the best I work with (see the complete on-going series here).

We have incredible midwives in Cape Town, but not nearly enough. Every woman should have access to a midwife if she desires one. So as a general rule, if you are hoping to hire an independent private midwife, you should contact them early. They tend to book up quickly because they support fewer births a month than an obstetrician would. This is because they support a woman side by side throughout her whole labour, delivery, and just after birth, which requires more hours than just being present for the delivery. Independent midwives are specialised in low-risk natural births.

Meet Susan Lees. She is a 3rd generation midwife. I’ll let her share more about that. She has a wealth of experience and constantly educates her patients through the process of childbirth.

I’ve watched her at work. She doesn’t steal the show or make it about her. She’s like a pillar of strength, guidance, and reassurance upholding a woman who sometimes might not feel she can do it. She often infuses confidence to her client. Watching her work makes your heart ache, it’s so beautiful. 

If you are interested in Susan (with Birth Options Midwifery) being a part of your birth team, here’s how to contact them.

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  • Shanaaz Tito

    Hi, I have 3 children,
    My first, a girl was a normal vaginal delivery at 40weeks weighing 3.12kg,at the age of 20,
    2 years and four months later i had my second, a boy at 39weeks 6days via emergency c section weighing 3.7kg, doctors said he was to big to come out normally.
    My third, another girl also via c section, born at 37weeks weighing 3.070kg, reason for this c section doctor thought she was going to be bigger.
    My question, i would really really like to experience another normal birth, i know no doctor will accommodate me because i have had two c sections already. What advise do you have for me? Do you think it is possible to have another normal birth?ReplyCancel

Lina & Eduardo came to Cape Town from Angola to get married and now have their baby and wanted their maternity & newborn sessions at some iconic locations. Who says you can’t have an outdoor newborn session as long as the weather permits?

We start at Llandudno Beach and continue on to Kirstenbosch gardens. Here’s just a small selection from their beautiful sessions.

My speciality is capturing the journey to parenthood. So if I’m fully booked for births or birth photography isn’t quite your thing, you can always book a maternity/newborn session with me. Inquire here.

Since this post, I have captured the births of both of their children and walked a long road with them. My thanks to them for hiring me again & again to chronicle these special gifts that are given in Cape Town.


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Tiphaine hired me for her son’s maternity & newborn session and now… he’s the big brother! They await their next child this winter. So we met up in Tokai Forest as the sun was setting for not just a maternity session but really a full family session. When a baby is born, a whole family awaits them.

This one is complete with all the things that make having a toddler special, the cuddles, the wild chaos, the character that they are.

Enjoy their beautiful family of three, soon to be four.

Maternity and newborn packages are available even if you don’t hire me for your birth. I focus on classic, clean, timeless images of all the relationships and dynamics of your family. Drop me a contact today if you are interested in this for your journey to parenthood.

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9:02 pm. The responsibility sank into my bones within seconds like a dead weight. Almost 10 years of photographing births and I was facing a first I had never envisioned with only one minute to mentally adjust. I was about to capture the birth of not just one child, but children, whom neither of their parents were {consciously} present to witness for themselves. Mom needed to be fully anesthetized and dad was unable to be in the room. Yes you read that right, if ever birth story images are precious to parents…. they are ever more so to these. Thank you to this beautiful family for deciding the daughters’ birth should be shared with the world. They do so with great vulnerability, so as always your affirming words are appreciated.

I came hours earlier thinking we had time while mom laboured. I was even sent home and got dinner started. Then suddenly, as birth goes, things changed and I got the call to rush back. I walked into the operating theater at 9:01 pm, graciously allowed in by some of the gentlest staff, who after years of working with me, understood how important this would be for the parents to have.

At 9:05 pm, Anine was born. And now I was seeing something that my mind wasn’t registering. They weren’t handing her over to pediatric staff to make way for twin B, as is generally standard in all the multiple births I have witnessed. Instead, they gently laid her on her mother’s abdomen and let her umbilical cord continue to pulse.

9:06 pm, Karli joined her earthside. And again to my surprise, she was also laid on her mother and next to her sister.

The room was peaceful and respectful, full of their tiny cries.

They laid together right on top of the very womb they were just created in. Both of their chords pulsing. It was unbelievably serene for an operating room. It felt as if everyone in the room was acknowledging their birth in lou of their parents. It still makes me teary to think about.

The emotions in this story are palpable. Dad waits in the hallway with his wife on one side in recovery and his daughters on the other in NICU. Grandmothers embrace and shatter your heart. Mom saw her babies for the first time in a cell phone photo, only meeting them the following morning. Those images and footage I captured through a window battling glass reflections.

I went home and wept for them. I felt I had stepped onto sacred ground with them. Their story is one of my career honors to have documented. May your heart soar seeing their film and some of their images. May you be empowered to find care providers who will offer gentle c-section births.

My thanks as well to Dr. Van Wyk and the staff at Mediclinic Panorama for their professional care.

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  • Lalannie

    This is beautiful. I cry everytime I see the photos.
    You gift is phenomenal. Keep on the excellent work you produce with gentleness and love!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy

    This just made me ball my eyes out. What a beautifully captured birth story! I am 7 weeks pregnant with twins. After 5 years of fertility treatments, I fell pregnant naturally with a double blessing. These photos and especially the video is so special. Marysol you have a rare talent. Absolutely amazing. Congratulations to the proud parents.ReplyCancel

In Africa we have a proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Years ago, we chose collaboration over competition. We fought hard for friendship and respect instead of insecurity. By doing so we were able to grow the art of birth photography in South Africa from non-existent to thriving. It is now a booming industry creating businesses all throughout the nation. Our hope is that birth photographers in this land will be ones known for professionalism, excellence, and a generous serving culture.

Today I announced formally stepping down from my operational leadership contributions at SABPA (South African Birth Photographers Association) of which I am a co-founder, in order to spend more time on my family and business. Here is an excerpt from SABPA:

The entire SAPBA team is grateful for her years of voluntary service in the pioneering and spearheading of this industry as SABPA’s co-founder. Her and Alda’s vision was always one where collaboration won over competition and that is the spirit in which Marysol served –  opening doors for more families and birth photographers throughout our nation to be able to have professional birth photography. We are indebted to her contribution to the formalization of birth photography with hospitals and care providers by upholding a high standard of integrity and excellence and we sincerely thank her. Marysol will now serve on SABPA’s independent advisory board (which is responsible for SABPA policy, procedure, and ethical practise development) and still remain a registered member of SABPA so it is definitely not goodbye.  Alda will remain the Chair of SABPA with Lourens de Jager as Administrative Manager and Johann as Technical Manager.  The team will also be joined by Kristen van Staden who has been approved as the new Member & Stakeholder Relationship Manager for SABPA.

I am in the continual process of making very brave and intentional choices for the short season I have with my young children. This decision was a taxing one for me personally but one I am deeply at peace with. One can only do a few things well at a time and be laser focused on that excellence, which means ending some other very worthwhile endeavors. I know its right. And furthermore, I am confident that SABPA’s leadership is in good hands moving forward.

With this announcement, I felt this was the perfect time to chronicle our story as featured in Your Pregnancy Magazine. 

Photo Credit: Veronique Photography

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