Birth Photography Mentoring

LS6A9218_1Working as an exclusive birth photographer for the past 6 years has allowed me to be privy to every type of birth imaginable. Normal hospital and Birth Centre births, caesarean birth in theatre, home water birth, planned breech birth in hospital, unplanned breech at home, even an unplanned and unassisted home birth! It’s been a wild, unbelievable and incredibly rewarding career thus far and one that I can’t ever imagine giving up.

I’ve been doing this work since the very early days of birth photography in Australia and have seen it grow into an industry acknowledged and high demand genre. I’ve felt the frustration of building a business whilst battling a lack of understanding from the photographic and wider community and I’ve also experienced the elation of winning prestigious awards and being recognised as a professional documentary photographer! The challenges of those early days are behind us now and with demand for birth photography growing every year, it’s becoming difficult for current birth photographers to meet the need. It’s vitally important to me and to all the dedicated photographers who work in this genre, to see high quality and professional photographers stepping into this work, hence my decision to share my knowledge with you.

I discovered my love of teaching through running my annual birth photography workshop over the past 3 years. I’ve guided and inspired more than 20 women to venture into this work and have created an active private group on FaceBook for previous workshop attendees and mentorees. This is a safe space where members are welcome to share their questions, successes and challenges. Some have tentatively tested the waters in birth photography to see how the on call lifestyle fits with their life, whilst others have leapt with their whole heart into the work and have already accomplished so much. Regardless of where each photographer is situated on their birth photography journey, we are all hugely supportive of one another and we celebrate (and occasionally commiserate) together. As a private mentoree, you will be welcome to join this group as a way of meeting other photographers (who may just be a back up for you some day!) and also to ask questions for myself and other members to answer.

Private mentoring sessions are designed to run with a simple format where we will cover a variety of topics, but essentially you will lead the session through your questions. This means we can spend more time on areas where you might be feeling particularly unskilled and need more clarification. I will have a Keynote presentation to work through, covering topics such as birth space ettiquette, living life on call, equipment, building relationships with birth professionals, the technicalities of shooting in low and unpredictable light, shooting in manual in the birth setting, emergency births, shooting in theatre, post production and online presence. I use examples of my own work throughout to demonstrate not only my successes but also my mistakes. I’m extremely generous with my knowledge and hold nothing back, which means any question is acceptable. I have a ‘Community Over Competition’ philosophy and welcome new photographers to this genre with open arms.

A private mentoring session runs for approximately 6 hours (not including breaks) and has a cost of $750 plus travel. If you are located within the Newcastle and Hunter region the travel is free. I will bring along everything we need for the session and am happy to work at your home, studio or at another location convenient to you. Alternatively, you are welcome to travel to me and I will host you in my own home, located in Newcastle. This is a great option for busy mums who might not have a quiet space to focus.

To book a mentoring session with me, simply email me at katekennedybirthphotography@gmail.com to organise a date (when I’m not on call). Payment must be made by direct deposit to secure the date.

Some testimonials from previous workshop attendees…

“Earlier this year I attended Kate’s Birth Photography Workshop and it’s honestly been life changing. Kate addresses so much more than technical skill and photographers of all skill levels would benefit from her workshop. She has the utmost respect for her clients and their birth space, they are her number one priority and her lessons on birth etiquette are invaluable. Thank you Kate!”

Alex Warden Photography

“I attended Kate’s Birth Photography Workshop last August 2017 and it was THE best decision I made before launching my own photography business. To be honest, Ive always had a love for photography, people and stories and I absolutely love birth (and everything it stands for) – although I wasn’t ever sure if Birth Photography was the right fit for me. Kates’ workshop was everything I imagined and more! It honestly was one of the best days soaking in her knowledge, wisdom and many years of experience. Kate is extremely talented, thoughtful, intuitive and generous in her work. You can’t walk away from Kate and not feel inspired! Birth Photography is so much more than the art of beautiful birth photos – its about the women, the partners, the families you serve and thats exactly what Kate teaches and does on a daily basis.
On a personal note, Kate is so warm and friendly – so if you need a day away from the world to sit and be inspired creatively – this day is for you. Its nourishing on so many levels. If the idea of Birth Photography is calling you, you must attend this! I am forever grateful to you Kate for your encouragement and for introducing me to the worlds best job! x”

Ashleigh Jane Birth Photography

“Last year I travelled from Western Australia to attend this workshop with Kate. On the way there I was wondering what on earth I was doing traveling all that way. But I had been following Kate’s photography for ages, and my heart said to go and I am SO, SO glad I did. Kate was the best host I could have hoped for. The love and joy you see in Kate’s photos is what you see in her teaching and she generously shared so much of herself and the profession of birthing photography. I came home enthused and full of knowledge. It was such a delight to spend this time with Kate. I have now started photographing some amazing births. Thanks Kate xx”

Jilly Rogers Photography

“Thank you Kate for such an inspiring and informative workshop. Your insight is invaluable. I learnt how to negotiate and navigate hospital staff, what to shoot and not to shoot. When to be invisible and when to be a strong support. I would love to do another workshop with you just to spend more time with you. You make me want to be a better person. Thank you.”

Sarah Lufe -Starshots Photography

“Doing this workshop last year was amazing Kate’s ability to teach so passionately and graciously is like no one else I have learnt from. I have done other birth photography courses but this was the most informative and sensitive to the birth space. Kate’s approach is respectful, and I believe that is essential to convey to anyone wanting to learn more about birth photography. Birth photography is such a special and personal genre and to learn from someone who emulates that so effectively is truly special. Any photographer wanting to explore the wonder that is this genre should absolutely come and learn from Kate!”

Salena Brown

“I don’t even know where to start. When I signed up for Kate’s birth workshop I had never captured a birth before, not because I hadn’t been asked but because I didn’t want to go into a birth without the knowledge of what to expect, camera setting wise but also how to capture a birth in a way to be respectful of the birth space and the family in one of the most intimate times of their lives. Kate armed me with the knowledge of when to shoot, when to take a step back and also the way to shoot in those dark surroundings without the use of flash, something I am so passionate about -not being seen. Kate answered every single question with ease. She is one of the most captivating women, I was in awe. Thankyou so much Kate.”

Belinda Wells -Little Blessings Photography