The Heart of a Birth Photographer :: A Spotlight on The Nesting Tree Photography

When I was pregnant with my first child, never once did I consider hiring a birth photographer. We bought a decent camera and I showed my husband how to use it real quick and then it was Game Time. I labored and battled for more than 12 hours, being moved into every position imaginable and that baby just. wouldn’t. budge. With no energy left but no choice but to continue on, we finally reached the point of no return and I pushed and pushed for more than 3 long hours to bring our son into the world. 

Bless his heart, my husband did his very best with that camera. Yes, we have pictures of our son being born. But what’s missing is the STORY. The battle. The heartache. The exhaustion. The moment when I had nothing left to give, but we rallied. The beauty in his birth that I was too tired to see.

We are thrilled to be spotlighting one of our phenomenal MkeMB photography partners today — Sara Stiller of The Nesting Tree Photography and Family Films. Sara’s heart is for capturing the beauty in every birth and she is one of only a small number of dedicated Birth Photographers in the Milwaukee area. It is our distinct pleasure to introduce you to her. 

The Nesting Tree Photography and Family Films

Meet Sara. 

HELLO.  I’M SARA.  I LOVE COFFEE.  I REALLY LOVE COFFEE.  I LOVE BEING A MAMA BEAR, AND WIFEY.  BAREFOOT DAYS ARE MY JAM AND FRESH AIR IS MY HAPPY. MOTHERHOOD IS AMAZING, AND HARD, AND BEAUTIFUL.  MOSTLY, IT MOVES WAY TOO FAST FOR ME. SO I TAKE PHOTOS TO HELP ME REMEMBER. 

What is Birth Photography?

I think to explain birth photography, there must be an understanding of story, I think to explain birth photography, there must be an understanding of story. We are constantly living stories that deserve to be told or remembered. There is a reason we pay to document our wedding day — it holds incredible sentimental value. Becoming a Mother is an extraordinary moment, for the first time or the fifteenth and there is such a beautiful story that unfolds as a Mother brings her baby into this world. It is the culmination of a long journey, even longer and more hard fought for some. There are moments of struggle, doubt, encouragement and love between partners that you rarely get to see. And frankly, as a laboring Mama, you don’t even remember. Birth photography can show a Mother what her journey looked like and can even bring healing when outcomes haven’t been smooth or favorable in the past. Birth photography is often looked at as vulgar, or disgusting but we aren’t talking about an anatomy lesson here. It is the story of new life. Of the first moments as parents with this little person. And the firsts are always special with children.   

the nesting tree birth photography

What made you jump into it?

I have a background in medicine, and now as a photographer and more importantly, a Mother, I’ve come to realize how special this story is. I had the opportunity to photograph a birth and it lit a spark in me that is impossible to extinguish. I have developed a deep passion for birth and motherhood that is only getting stronger. I think sometimes your calling just chooses you, and I feel strongly that this is the case for me.  It just picked me, and I happen to agree. 
 

Why hire a professional birth photographer?

I elaborate a little more on my website about this, but in short, a laboring Mama does so much better with (and very much deserves) a support team. I feel strongly that this support team should be focused on her and not with a camera, particularly during important moments. And an important component of a birth story is the support team! It’s also a little unfair to give your support team a job that can take away from their own experience of the moment too. I want partners to fully experience the first moment they meet their sons and daughters and not worry about camera settings or Facebook posts. I must say though, it is important to understand that all professional photographers are not created equal. Runners may not be great swimmers just because they are athletes, and it is important to find a photographer that is experienced or even devoted to this type of photography to get the outcome you desire.   
 

What has been your favorite experience so far?

Impossible! Haha! I really cannot even come close to selecting a favorite experience but I will say this.  I find such tremendous joy in watching women realize their strength. And watching partners realize their strength too! I honestly have the most amazing clients and just admire them so so much. Each story is so completely unique, it’s like Christmas morning every time. I am so blessed that families allow me into these sacred spaces and to be a witness or even a participant in their story. I truly think I have the greatest job there is.
  

Sara will be an event sponsor at our upcoming Bloom Event for New and Expecting Moms on May 20th at the Authentic Birth Center and Wellness Collective in Wauwatosa. We invite you to come and enjoy a fabulous day of pampering and learning plus leave with a bag full of swag and the chance to win some pretty incredible giveaways. Take time to visit Sara and see examples of her work, plus ask any questions you may have about birth photography!

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