Cape Town Birth Photographer »

Gwen & her family were expecting their second child. I joined up with them on Glen Beach in Cape Town, a little beach area I had never discovered before. Everyone is always a little unsure of how a session with a toddler will go especially around dinner time. But this is the best light and I pride myself in working quickly. I appreciated they trusted me to do with this time of day. The photos are never the same in the middle of the day. Their daughter was a dream to work with! As she played, we worked on some of mom’s portraits and candid moments. Then we worked her in with lots of play, movement, and keeping it light. Then my assistant watched her play a bit more while we got couple portraits. I’m a big believer in breaking it up for kids. The authentic, light in their eyes type moments are best achieved if you give them lots of little run off and play time. It may seem as wasted “photoshoot time” but its the exact opposite. The result were beautiful and relaxed family moments.

Mini-maternity sessions are offered complimentary with all my birth packages. Its 30 minutes, quick for the men or the kids (like ripping off a plaster…), one location, and 15 gorgeous high quality images for you to treasure long after you are done being pregnant. Or if I’m fully booked for births, I do offer a select number of maternity/newborn combo packages. Inquire here.

Here’s their beautiful family of 3, soon to be 4, on one of their favourite Cape Town beaches.

You can tell already, they will be fantastic parents of children, plural.

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When Ilze, a respected and talented professional photographer herself, hired me for her birth team, I was delighted to hear she was planning a home birth. I support births of all kinds where women are empowered, respected, and supported be it a natural birth or an elective c-section. Home births are a safe option for many South African women but many think they must be crazy or the minority for considering one. Ilze and I are teaming up to help dispel that notion. With no agenda of pushing a home birth on a woman who wouldn’t want one, but simply to help inform further those who are considering it. We both believe imagery is powerful, so the ability to hear directly from her and see her birth unfold was important.

I asked her 8 of the questions I hear most from women when they first hear about home births and she graciously took the time as new mom to talk us through them.

1) Why did you choose a home birth over a hospital birth?

I chose a home birth because I’ve never viewed giving birth as medical, but rather as something totally natural and normal and something we were born to do.  I also chose a home birth with midwife led care, because I knew I would then be more in control of and respected in how I would like to birth.  And most importantly, I chose a home birth because then I would birth in an environment I know, love and feel safe in, and it would be a place most peaceful to us and our baby.

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There are few moments in life this fast paced, that take you this much by surprise. Where after the adrenaline high, you can’t believe it just happened to you. This is their story. Be sure to watch the video as well as browse through the photos as mom tells what happened from her perspective.

Ben’s parents were already at the hospital for an induction. Last checked, she was 2 cm dilated and not in active labour at all. The induction medication hadn’t even begun. I normally come when a client is in active labour as this early period could be slowed down by my presence. I texted with dad who told me we would touch base in an hour. I texted to see how things were going. Heard nothing for about 10 minutes and just had this gut feeling. I threw on my scrubs. My gear was already at the house and my childcare had been called in. I knew it would be today just not sure when.

Dad texted back something like, “Doctor says complete.”

Utter disbelief. What was he talking about? She wasn’t even in labour. This was a first baby. Complete as in completely dilated and at a 10? Maybe dad wasn’t familiar with the terms.

I put my keys in my pocket.

He wrote back something like, “He says ready to push.”

I screamed at my childcare “I gotta go, bye, I’m walking out, you are on duty, bye” and walked right to the car. I was driving away a minute later.

The drive had my heart pumping like never before. I knew this could go either way, some first time moms push for one to two hours so I might have time. Some deliver with in a couple pushes. I parked in exactly 20 minutes from when I walked out my door (went back and checked all my text time stamps).

I ran up to maternity and heard a baby crying from a delivery room. My heart sank. I knew.

He was laying on her chest and it was the first natural birth that ever beat me to it!

This was a precipitous labor, which is defined as a labor that lasts no more than three hours from onset of regular contractions to delivery. Maybe you could call hers ultra-precipitous?

The room no less, was full of peace, and with in the first minute of being there I began shooting. The looks of disbelief and utter joy were plastered all over their faces.

I knew just because the moment of delivery was missed doesn’t mean there isn’t an incredible story unfolding right before my eyes that I was hired to capture. I really pride myself in being a storyteller not just a photographer who gets a few good shots. The story was there to be woven, to help the parents process, and for Ben to be celebrated… and I’m so glad they are delighted with the result. Mom wrote a bit about how she felt when I missed her birth here. An excerpt from that:

Watching the video and looking through the photos absolutely “restored” (for lack of a better word) that for me – even though you didn’t actually catch the before part on camera, it is woven into the story so well. I have also been thinking about what the whole process was like for my husband (poor guys – the focus is really mostly on us), and your photos have such a special way of showing things from his perspective as well. Continue reading here…

Ben’s parents have graciously allowed me to share their birth in part to glorify God publicly for his miraculous life. The images chosen, many that are not in the video, I selected almost all black and white because in this case, its just so visually stunning when laid together. In case you are wondering, my clients receive all of their images in colour and black & white for every session.


To Ben’s parents, the joy and graciousness you carry exudes from a deep place of knowing truth. What a gift your son has in having you both to raise him. Thank you for hiring me. I’m slightly terrified if you hire me again that I might just camp outside your house for a week.

To the hospital staff and Dr. Brandt at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, my sincerest thank you’s for letting me run in all out of breath and document their day. 

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Recently, I ran “cord theme series” only for you IG fans (you can follow me there) where I showed my best or most interesting cord images and explain a bit about the uniqueness of that cord or the challenges of getting the shot.

The umbilical cord is incredible. It supplies the fetus with oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta. Conversely, the fetal heart pumps deoxygenated, nutrient-depleted blood through the umbilical arteries back to the placenta. (Disclaimer: I’m a professional birth photographer but not a medical professional, sources include Wikipedia and

In this image we see a umbilical cord with a rare “true knot”. I have actually only seen two of these in my career. True knots arise from fetal movements and are more likely to develop during early pregnancy, when relatively more amniotic fluid is present and greater fetal movement occurs.

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Oh the nerves I see parents go through as they bring their older child(ren) to meet the new baby. Understandably so!

Will it be a meltdown? It could be.

Will it be tears and jealousy? That might happen.

Will it be disinterest? Maybe!

But sometimes your heart just stops when THIS is their reaction.

She didn’t want the gift her new brother brought her… notice it laying off to the side, she wanted to see HIM. Meet the Family sessions like these are available as an add on to any birth package.