24. The Importance of Birth Photography – with Jana Smolenski

On today’s episode, Elle is joined by Jana Smolenski, a birth photographer and doula to talk all about birth photography. They talk about what birth photography is (and what it isn’t), the benefits of having photos taken during labor, the different styles of birth photography, and how to balance being a doula and birth photographer simultaneously (doulatog).

“Looking back, those are such precious photos of us meeting her and bonding with her for the first time!” – Elle Kennedy

“If I had more pictures, maybe I would have processed the birth a little bit better. I would have just remembered more.” – Jana Smolenski

“There’s so much love and power and… it’s just amazing!” – Elle Kennedy

“It’s not about the crowning shots… It’s about really capturing the experience.” – Jana Smolenski

“What I love about it is you are capturing a story.” – Elle Kennedy

“I love jumping in and not knowing what’s going to happen, and going with the flow.” – Elle Kennedy

“You capture the emotion more than the perfection of the moment.” – Jana Smolenski

“A lot of people love telling their birth stories… and with images to go along with that story, it’s just a whole different dimension that gets put on top of that.” – Jana Smolenski

“By sharing those birth pictures and videos, we get to normalize birth.” – Jana Smolenski

“Birth is just so powerful, beautiful, and normal.” – Jana Smolenski

“That’s how every single one of us came into the world!” – Elle Kennedy

Listen to the episode here.

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Today’s guest: Jana Smolenski

Jana (pronouns she/her) is a birth doula and photographer focusing on birth and motherhood photography. She lives in Claremont, CA, with her husband, 3 kids 5 and under, 2 dogs, and 2 chickens. Born and raised in Germany, she brings many stereotypically German values to her work ethic, such as straightforwardness, sincerity, efficiency, and a lack of humor. She also doesn’t like beer, sausages, or sauerkraut, so there’s that. Her vision for birth work is a world where birth is seen as a natural and beautiful event and birthing people claim their power.

You can find her on Instagram @birthinstincts and Facebook at Birth Instincts Doula and on her website birthinstincts.com

Resources related to today’s episode:

Elle’s Birth Story

Who are Elle and Taylor?

Elle Kennedy is a maternity, birth, and family photographer and doula based in Orange County, California. She’s a mother of two, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an advocate for consent and respect for personal preferences during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. She homeschools, is polyamorous, loves tea and scones, and loves using her free time to create and bake.

Dr. Taylor Garcia is a Webster Certified Chiropractor located in the Orange County, California area, with a family practice that focuses on pregnant persons and babies. She is currently going through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s certification program and plans to have that completes by 2021. While not a mama yet, she is the consummate “mom friend,” and hopes to adopt with her partners in about 5 years. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and polyamorous. She believes in focusing on health and wellness from before birth, and using that as a firm foundation for health and wellness throughout life. She believes in the importance of connection and consent in all aspects of life. She is a dancer, a writer, a bookworm, and a fan of music and musicals.

Contact Elle:

Instagram: @elle.kennedy.photography

Website: ellekennedyphotography.com

Facebook: Elle Kennedy Photography

Contact Taylor:

Website: birthandbeyondchiro.com

Email: taylorjgarcia@att.net

Facebook: Dr. Taylor Garcia, DC

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