The Birth of Baby Mila

Originally posted September 26th 2016

This birth was something completely different to the rest I have captured.  And I would not be surprised if I never get to photograph another one like it.  It’s unusual enough to be allowed to photograph a c-section in Adelaide, as none of the public hospitals allow it.  And even then in the private system, it’s up to the obstetrician and anaesthetist.  It’s unheard of to be allowed to photograph a c-section, when mum is under general anaesthetic.  I guess this is due to the fact that usually if a baby is being delivered in those circumstances, it’s typically a very urgent emergency scenario.  With this particular situation however, mum knew long before she even fell pregnant that her delivery would be this way.  So, the doctors were more than happy for me to be there.  And I couldn’t have been more nervous and excited!

I arrived at the hospital bright and early, as Lisa was on the morning surgery list.  She and hubby Shaun were understandably both very nervous, while they waited for her turn.  There was a moment of “this is really happening!” as the midwife wheeled in the crib for the baby.  After a seemingly very long journey, all of a sudden things were going quite quickly.  Baby was nearly here!  We walked around to the waiting area for the theatre, and the nerves definitely kicked into top gear for Lisa and Shaun.  Before we knew it, the time had come!  And we made our way into the theatre.

I have a nursing background, and have also had two c-sections myself, so I have been in the operating theatre before.  But it was a very different experience being an observer, there to capture everything that was going on.  Shaun and I stepped out as Lisa was put under, and we got to watch the obstetrician scrub up as we waited.  Within ten minutes of us being back in the operating room, the anaesthetic nurse was telling me that bubs was about to be brought out.  It was all so quick!  And sure enough, there she was – a beautiful healthy baby girl, with a decent cry right from the moment she was born.

With this birth, the next most important images after the birth itself, were those of mother and daughter meeting for the very first time.  Lisa was very groggy when she came out of her anaesthetic, and she has confessed to me that she doesn’t remember those first moments.  But she has the next best thing – beautiful images of that first meeting, which she can cherish forever.  And that she can share with her gorgeous baby girl as she grows.  So precious, and completely priceless.  After that I captured lots of cuddles with dad, once bub was taken to the nursery.  And the three of them back together again, before I left them to rest and recover!

Welcome, baby Mila!

Birth Photographer, Adelaide



I was very excited to find out today that two of my entries into The RISE International Photography Awards – Birth Category – won bronze awards!  AND, even more exciting, one of my entries has made it through to the semi-finals!

The finalists are being announced at an awards dinner in Brisbane on Sunday night, and I’m now going to try very hard to get there!

We’re just figuring out logistics, and hoping that a birth I am waiting for happens beforehand!

I want to thank the three families in the award winning images, and all of the clients I photograph.  Without all of you, things like these awards just wouldn’t be possible.  So thank you!

Look out for the follow up post about how the awards go, and I will share the semi-finals image then :-).

Beck – Birth Photographer Adelaide

Originally posted September 12th 2016

The call came at 7am.  Wendy-Lynne was fairly sure that she was going into labour, and she wanted me to be on stand-by to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  So, I got up and had a shower, and started to organise my gear.  Then a message followed at 8:30, saying to make my way there when I wanted to.  I packed the car and was on my way!  I was heading to capture my first home birth, and I couldn’t have been more excited!

Eight weeks earlier, I had met Wendy-Lynne and Matt for the first time.  A good friend introduced us at church, and the first thing I noticed was how big Wendy-Lynne’s belly was, when she still had eight weeks to go (this made a lot of sense once bubs arrived!).  I told her straight away that I was portfolio building with my birth photography, and asked if she was interested.  After meeting up about it a few weeks later, and hitting it off and talking so much that I missed another appointment, it was decided that we would go ahead!

The day of the birth I arrived at their home just after 9am, and it was a hive of activity.  Something else that was quite different about this labour & delivery was that Wendy-Lynne and Matt’s four older children were present.  And they were going about their morning routine, excited about the impending arrival of their little brother or sister.  The eldest, Jude, was writing down what was happening, similar to Wendy-Lynne’s notes that she keeps for each child about their birth.  Myla-Hope was supervising the filling of the birthing pool.  Eben was being read to and entertained by a family friend.  And Nate was playing, doing his own thing.

The two midwives, and a midwifery student, gradually arrived.  And things started to move along.  Wendy-Lynne hopped into the birth pool, and settled in for what was her longest labour of her five children.  I was blown away by how composed and quiet she was, and by Matt’s strength in supporting her.  Wendy-Lynne wavered between wanting the children near, and wanting them occupied elsewhere, but soon the time came when she wanted everyone in the room.  The baby was close.  What followed was one of the most amazing things I have had the privilege of witnessing – the natural water birth of a beautiful BIG baby girl.  Selah-Rose!

RJN Photography – Birth Photography Adelaide


***This post was originally posted on April 20th 2016***

Yesterday was the most amazing day of my photography journey to date.  I photographed my first birth.  I met the mama – Ashley – through a regular client, and we only met in person just over a month ago at their family/maternity session (although we’ve been in contact through Facebook since May last year).  Despite being virtual strangers, she and her partner Toby took a leap – and invited me into the very personal space of their birthing room.  Aside from my own four babies being born, I’ve only been present for two births – one natural delivery, and one c-section (although I didn’t go into theatre).  So I knew that the invitation to capture this extremely personal experience for this couple was a huge privilege!  And I seriously could not be more humbled and grateful.

We had a set date, due to a planned induction, so there was no middle-of-the-night phone call!  I was able to get up in my own time, and arrive at the hospital at around 9am.  Things got moving very quickly, as they do with an induction, and by 11am labour was established.  The main thing that struck me about this couple was their strength and love for each other.  Ashley had chosen to attempt a VBAC, because she wanted to experience everything that labour is, and she shone through the whole experience.  And Toby supported her in such a beautiful, unwavering way.  I was in complete awe of both of them.

As often happens in these stories, bubs had a different plan to mum, and it was decided an emergency caesarean was required.  The room suddenly filled with what seemed like a cast of thousands, and Ashley was whisked away with Toby close behind (dressed in scrubs, of course!).  Due to hospital policy, I wasn’t allowed into theatre – but I sent my back-up camera in for those shots to be taken by hospital staff.  And they did a pretty good job too ?.  I waited with the family, and captured some shots of Michael, the soon-to-be big brother.

After what seemed like a really long time (but was only an hour or so!), the happy second-time parents emerged with their precious little bundle.  Ashley was a bit spaced-out from surgery, and very tired.  Toby was proud as could be, and his expressions were priceless.  The family all had cuddles, and baby Eric was weighed and measured.  The brothers were introduced, and Michael was not sure at all!  Eric settled in for a feed and cuddle with mum, and I took that as my cue to depart.  The last shots I took, on my way out, were of Toby and Michael having a much-needed catch-up and play.

Best. Day. Ever.

Now I want to do it again!!!

Beck – RJN Photography – Birth Photographer Adelaide


One of the first things I read on Facebook this morning, was that this little man turned ONE today!  I thought what a perfect time to re-share his birth story, on our new website…but I soon realised that I had never blogged it in the first place!  And now a whole YEAR has gone by, and it’s his first birthday.  Oops!!!

So, with what I remember from a year ago (which is patchy, but of course the photographs help!), I thought I would post about it today :-).

Holly initially enquired with me back in September 2016, and I met her and her partner Jamie in November.  They booked in for maternity, birth, and newborn sessions, which I was very excited about.  I love to tell stories through my images, and of course the story of a growing family is the ultimate one to tell.

The next time we saw each other was in March 2017, for their maternity session at Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens.  Holly initially thought that her two older boys would be too difficult during a session, but I convinced her to bring them along.  I love a challenge!!!  We ended up getting some gorgeous images, and the boys were perfect, so I was very glad that the whole family came along <3.

After a false alarm in late March, and then luckily bubs waiting for me to get back from a cruise (which was well before his due date, but he was well intending to come early!!!), the message finally came a 10:30pm on the 2nd of April that the little man was FINALLY on his way (ten days early lol)!

Holly’s waters broke at home, so they were off to the hospital.  I joined them at around 1am, but things were slow-going.  After pacing the corridors for a few hours, it was decided at almost 4am that I should go and let them rest for a while.  I rejoined them at around eleven, when they had just started the drip to bring on proper labour.

It was a steady pace from that time on – anyone that has been induced will know what I mean!  And when Holly started asking for an epidural, I was pretty sure that meant her little guy would be arriving soon.  Sure enough, as soon as they laid her down after putting it in, she started to push.  And little Noah John was born shortly after!

Then it was time for weighing and measuring, and cuddles all around – including Holly’s mum who arrived soon after the birth.  And before I knew it, it was time to leave them in peace with their new little bundle.

And, I know I say it ALL the time, but I REALLY can’t believe that was a whole YEAR ago!!!

Beck Newell – Birth Photographer, Adelaide

New Website!

We are SO excited!  We have a brand new website!!!

This has been a project in the making for several months, and it’s amazing to see it finally go live!

What’s brilliant about this site, as compared to our old one, is that we have been able to showcase our work in beautiful galleries.  So, you can click on the genre you are interested in, and see a sample of our work.  Not just one image, like our old site, but many.  So that you really get an idea of what we can produce.

We have also extended our genres to include Portraits, Events, and Business Photography.  Along with our usual work in Maternity, Births, Newborn, Milestones and Family Photography.

This website is also fabulous, as far as being able to be navigated by phone, tablet and computer.  The old site only had a skeleton site visible on phones, and that doesn’t really work when 95% of our traffic are phone users!  So on this site you can access the content in its entirety, no matter what device you are using.

Moving forward from here, we are going to be gradually re-posting our birth blogs from the old website.  These were very popular, and are a perfect way of telling the story of the births we have captured.  We even have a few new ones to add, that we hadn’t got around to sharing yet!

We will also be posting a new blog post weekly, whether it be photos from a session, an article, photography tips, upcoming specials, businesses we have been working with, and anything else that may be happening.  We are really excited to be able to share what we have been up to along the way!

We have to say a very big thank you to Matt Day from Adelaide WebDesign & Marketing, for building our new site for us.  He has worked tirelessly to get everything just right, and we honestly can’t recommend his work highly enough.  If you are looking at building a new website, or updating your old one, we can vouch for that fact that it’s an awesome idea to get someone in who knows what they are doing!!!

That’s enough from us!  Please enjoy having a look around.  If you have any questions, or would like to book in for a session, visit our contact page.  And you can also keep up with what we are doing on a day to day basis on our Facebook Page.

Make those memories, and capture them!

Beck and the RJN Photography Team

Adelaide Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer