Our Beautiful Life | Lucie’s Birth | Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt, Cape Town

I met Christelle, Tron and their two lively boys at Elandsbaai for their maternity shoot. We (my three kids, hubby and I) were at a family wedding at Muisbosskerm the day before and made a small detour to the sleepy seaside village on our way back where we met the Van Wyks.

Although the the weather was not playing along, I had so much fun with this vibrant and energetic family of four (soon to be five) on the quiet beach. No one took themselves too seriously and the boys were so excited about their new baby sister’s eminent arrival.  They were delighted that they could share her name (a secret at that stage) with me by writing it with chalk on the road! And so capturing their journey to meeting Lucie, the first princess to the family, began!

Please note:  All content shared with family’s permission, but copyright protected.  So feel free to share the love but note that you are not allowed to reproduce or publish without the photographer and parents’ permission.

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New Vincent Pallotti Labour Ward proudly displays Love Alda Birth Photography

The very first hospital birth that I photographed was at Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Life Healthcare in Pinelands, Cape Town. I have photographed many beautiful birth stories (both natural and c-section) there since and two of my own three children were born there.  It is therefore a huge honor for me to have some of my birth photography permanently and prominently featured in the newly renovated Magnolia Ward!

Love-Alda-at-VP-1All of the photo’s feature birth stories that actually unfolded at Vincent Pallotti Hospital under the care of its wonderful maternal care staff, gynaecologists and private midwives & doulas.  The newly renovated ward recently opened its doors again to much excitement after a long interim stay in the Acacia Ward downstairs.

Love-Alda-at-VP-2I want to thank the parents featured in these birth stories for the privilege of being part of their birth experience and also for allowing me to share some of their precious memories with other mommies and daddies!

Love Alda Framed Birth Photo Boxes can be ordered as part of all Love Alda Birth Packages.  For bookings contact me at [email protected]

Love Alda Birth Photography is also featured in doctors’ rooms across the Western Cape.  The one below is from Dr. Jacky Searle’s rooms.

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Healthcare & the Arts: Humanising Birth

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Finally the postman had an A4 envelope with DO NOT BEND on the front in his hand. My Medicine & the Arts Certificate from UCT! I recently completed a course on the subject matter and as birth photographer am so excited about the possibilities this new field holds for future healthcare students, but also students of the humanities (including artists, writers etc.)

For me Medicine and the Humanities is about integration. It encourages an integrated observation, interpretation and response to the health and wellbeing of people.

An integrated observation meaning that the body, mind and soul are observed through various disciplines, using various tools (including but not limited to technology and science).

An integrated interpretation meaning that we gain knowledge or insight into a patient or person by interpreting and in some instances ‘humanising’ raw information /data presented by that patient within an integrated context (this is where other factors like socio-economics, culture, religion, age, demographics etc. all play a role).

An integrated response meaning that we express our insight in an integrated manner using once again various disciplines – focusing on perhaps on the most relevant.

Here is my practical example as birth photographer: When a mother requests me to photograph her birth there are various things I have to observe: how she feels about birth & her body, what her health care provider says about her physical abilities to give birth, what her partner feels, cultural beliefs in terms of the process. As birth photographer I should understand how to interpret this information in a manner that will allow me to capture the parents’ unique journey whilst holding the birth space with empathy, understanding and respect for both the healthcare but also human aspects of birth and what it means for those particular parents.

I think Dr. Bernard Lown summarises it well in “The lost art of Healing” when he says: “…caring without science is a well-intentioned kindness, but not medicine. …Science without caring empties medicine of healing…”

Opposition between Science and Humanities in Medicine is dangerous. As a mother I know how traumatic medical intervention during birth can be and the scarring that can occur when there is a complete disregard for the emotional journey birth holds.  At the same time I have often been incredibly grateful for the option in risky and life-threatening situations.  Collaboration is needed without minimising the importance of both knowledges.  It should never become an ‘either or’ situation.

As birth photographer I often find myself within the birth space, observing the delicate balancing act between the safety and physical wellbeing of a mother and her baby on the one side and their spiritual or emotional wellbeing on the other. Unfortunately it often boils down to an either or situation, but imagine if the two could be integrated effectively? Progress has been made in this regard: “gentle C-sections”; alternative pain management; allowing SABPA accredited birth photographers to capture birth memories; encouraging skin to skin; allowing doulas into the labour wards AND theatre and delayed cord-clamping; empowering parents with information and allowing them to make choices and encouraging and respecting (as far as possible) parents’ birth plans are but a couple examples where medicine and the humanities are being integrated effectively, but more can be done to move away from the view that birth is always just a ‘medical condition or procedure’ and embrace the emotional and very natural aspects of the birth journey.

It’s only the beginning! I can’t wait to see what this field will look like in 5 years’ time!

 

No planned lighting. No flashes. No Styling. | Good thing I chose Birth Photography

As a photographer I’ve always preferred natural or unplanned lighting photography with minimal styling. There’s just something about the raw beauty of a moment or memory that (to me) can disappear with the use of too much artificial help. Good thing I’m a birth photographer then, as both (flashes and styling) are a no-no if you are capturing a birth story whilst honoring and respecting the birth space.
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Although I’ve done many styled, studio newborn shoots because clients have asked for it, I’ve always been drawn to natural light or unplanned lighting (even artificial as in theatre), like a mosquito to an open flame. Flame, because although in my opinion natural or unplanned lighting often delivers some of the most incredible, honest images, it is by far not the easiest road to take.

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It was at this recent ‘Welcome Home’ newborn lifestyle shoot (part of my Magnolia Birth Package) that I decided to permanently move away from studio newborn work. The room in which it was taken was fairly dark and this little princess whose birth I had captured a couple of days ago, was fast asleep on a cushion. I did not want to wake her for styling or by using a flash so I simply put her with her cushion in front of the bedroom sliding door. Perfection. All I really needed was one beautiful, happy baby with some natural light falling on her. The rest took care of itself.

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Although we could not be there | Cape Town Grandfather shares appreciation for Birth Photography

This letter from Cape Town Grandfather, Joep Joubert, to his first grandchild was so heartwarming to receive.  His gratitude for being able to share in those first moments, even though he could not be there himself meant so much.  This is why I do this.  What an incredible gift to fathers, mothers, grandparents, but ultimately the child who will one day see how much he or she was loved from those very first moments.

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Love Alda | Master Birth Photographer | Cape Town

Birth photography is slowly capturing the imagination of South African parents.  As a mother of three & a master birth photographer in Cape Town, my goal is to provide you with breathtaking maternity, birth & newborn imagery to kindle & share memories of a life-changing time that goes by too quickly.

I am a Co-Founder & the Chair Person of the South African Birth Photographers Association, which means I specialise in on-call birth photogpraphy & that I work towards the highest standards & level of integrity.

Although based in Cape Town, I am available for destination births throughout South Africa.

With a heart for the birth environment & a deep respect for the privacy of my clients, I capture those precious first moments at home or at the hospital in a discreet & caring manner. I am also available for maternity, newborn & family sessions.

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My Natural & C-Section Birth Packages include:

  • a birth plan
  • a mini nursery shoot
  • on call service
  • recording of labour / moment leading up to birth, the actual birth, as well as first bonding moments via photography & some videography
  • a birth announcement package (custom-designed same-day MMS birth announcement, as well as 20 printed birth announcement postcards)
  • birth story slide production with licensed music

Due to the on-call nature of birth photography I only take on a limited amount of clients a month, so early booking is recommended.

To capture the day you meet your baby for the first time contact me at [email protected]

 

 

It’s Love Alda Maternal & Family Photography’s Birthday!

Today I celebrate the ‘birth’ of Love Alda Maternal & Family Photography.  A big, big thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my friends, family and parent clients who support me every day of the year.  You are as priceless as the memories I share with and have the honor of capturing for you.  A big thank you also to all the amazing birth & maternal professionals out there who works very hard to help South African moms to give birth beautifully and safely.  You are my heroes.

My gift to you this year:  a 15% discount on any birth package booking confirmed before or on 5 September 2015.  I can only take on 4 births a months so subject to availability.

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Happy Birthday Beth!

Beth was born at home on the 31st of August.  It was a much colder and rainier day than today, but inside the house was warm as the steam from the hot water in the birth pool mixed with the scent of the aroma oils midwife Marianne was using on Michi as she laboured bravely.

Today Beth turns one.  I will never forget the moment her parents met her and I will forever be grateful to them for allowing me to share some of their memories from that incredibly precious event.  Happy, happy birthday little Beth.  My your life be blessed and filled with love and happiness.

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Meeting-Beth-Spread-by-Love-Alda-Birth-Photography-Cape-TownTo watch ‘Meeting Beth’ click here.

RSG Radio Interview | Capturing the Birth of Your Child

I had a blast at RSG Radio’s studio this morning.  I was interviewed by Martlize Brink and Johan Rademan on capturing the birth of your child – something I am very passionate about.  To be able to inspire memories of such a precious time for parents is a privilege. I had so much more to tell, but I guess in the end a picture says a thousand words.

Diegene wat dit misgeloop het kan hier gaan luister en sommer terselfde tyd in ‘n paar ongelooflike foto-oomblikke deel.

Those of you who missed it can click here and share in some extraordinary birth photo moments.

Although based in Cape Town, I do travel for destination births across South Africa.  For booking please contact me on [email protected]

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Kind Words | Client Endorsements

What I do, is truly a labour of love. Birth photography is hard work.  It’s not glamorous, but it is priceless. What a privilege to capture fleetings moments that will be treasured for a lifetime and beyond. And when I receive heart-warming letters and references from happy parents who invested in breathtaking maternity, birth and newborn imagery to kindle & share memories, it makes it all worth while.

I wish I can share all the messages, but with this blog I will attempt to give through as many of them as possible (will update as and when I have time).

I am also very proud to now offer potential clients with the option to talk to some of my existing parent clients who where so happy with my services that they have offered to give personal, one-to-one references upon request.  So when you contact me at [email protected] to find out more, get a quotation or make a booking, remember to ask about this service should it be of interest.

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For written referrals visit here.  Or scroll down for more – I will add with time.

From Grandparents:

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From Parents:

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“We would like to thank Alda from LoveAlda for the professional yet personal manner in which she captured the journey of our baby boy into this world, from the whimsical maternity shoot to the wonder of his first breaths. She captured moments so fleeting that they may have been forgotten had it not been for her keen attention to detail and love for her profession. Mere words cannot thank her enough for the gift of eternal memories!” Rouvay & Martin, Somerset West

“Het geen woorde om aan jou te beskryf hoe ongelooflik {special} ons foto’s is nie! Ek sal vir ewig dankbaar wees dat jy oor ons pad gekom het, want wat jy vir ons beteken is van onskatbare waarde en die klein foto skatte wat jy vir ons gegee het is elke traantjie (van geluk) werd! Jy het ‘n {special touch} wanneer dit by geboorte fotografie kom en ek sal altyd die oomblikkies onthou wat jy my bygestaan het al was dit net ‘n drukkie om my kalm te hou! Ons gesin is bevoorreg om ‘n engelmens soos jy te kan ken!” ♡ Thinus, Melanie & klein Pieter, Worcester

“It was such a pleasure to have Alda photograph Abby’s birth. My partner and I were very skeptical at first as a birth is a very intimate and emotional time for a couple. Alda was great, she came over to meet with us and discuss the day and what we expect from her, she often called in to see how I was keeping which I enjoyed. She really made you feel like you were her only client. On the day she was such a pleasure, not only did I hardly notice that she was there, she really made me feel so comfortable. I was so overwhelmed by her unbelievable and the absolutely beautiful and breath taking images she captured on that day. I would highly recommend Alda. I never had the privilege of having a professional photographer at my first born’s birth and with all the emotions and chaos on the day we never took half the photos I would have loved to have captured on that day. Thank you Alda for capturing my daughters birth, these are images we will cherish forever and generations to come xx” Sherri Geleijnse, Table View

From Medical / Birth Professionals:

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