Birth Becomes Her - Photographing The Mother and The Space Inbetween
The photographs Rebecca Coursey took of my birth are, without a doubt my most treasured images. They are the only photographs of my adult self that I truly love. The only pictures where I don't see flaws, focus on my insecurities or wish I looked just a little bit differently. I prefer them to the photographs of my wedding, to the pictures of my graduation - I love them even more than our travel photos from India. They remind me of the most magical moment of my life but the main reason I love them is they are the only pictures where the real me TRULY exists. There isn't any posing or posturing, even the candid pictures I've had taken before - I'm still aware of something, I'm posing in life, expressing myself in a way society deems acceptable but in these pictures of my birth I am unavoidably real, lost in the world in between, engulfed in my wildness.
Good birth photographers do something magical, they are present in a time where the layers of self are peeled right back and the most wondrous use their tools, light and dark, shape and form to expose what it means to be authentically human. In Rebecca's pictures of my birth I see the beauty that really exists, I see the beauty of life itself. In her images she carves out such an exquisite reality, a better than life, a portrait of authenticity, blessed by the hand of a true artist.
Throughout pregnancy and early motherhood women glow. They are goddesses, the bearers of life, soft yet strong, so full of light and in these pictures of mothers in their stages you see the divine, the unspoken, the wisdom of the woman. The beautiful photographs entered into The Birth Becomes Her Contest are mind blowing, creator of life working with creator of light. Scrolling through the gallery of entries every image fills me with joy. You see womanhood as it really is, sometimes terrifying, sometimes so ecstatically filled with joy, sometimes harsh, grueling but so full of love. I am filled with delight knowing that every mother who's life has been touched by one of these photographers might see what I do - the wonder of their own existence.