Birthing photography in North Wales


When Milly contacted me about birthing photography I have to admit I was absolutely thrilled.

Before I go on about that amazing evening in September I would like to run through the entire story that lead up to that moment.

I first met Milly at her sister’s wedding in Plas Maenan in 2014. She was one of her sister’s rainbow coloured bridesmaids, and you can check out that wedding HERE.

After that Milly and Marcus trusted me enough to ask me to be the photographer at their wedding in 2016. They chose the Faenol Fawr country house for their celebrations. A few images from their wedding are below. If you want to see more you can follow THIS LINK to go to their wedding.

Faenol Fawr wedding photography

A couple of years passed and they had their first daughter, Bella. This little beauty had her christening in Llandudno in 2018, and I was honoured again to play a small part in that day’s celebrations. Photographing a christening is such a joy, and it gives everyone an excuse to dress up on a Sunday.

North wales christening photography

An epic maternity session on the Sychnant Pass

Fast forward to 2018, and Milly was pregnant with their second child. Milly wanted to record her bump in some way and I came up with the idea of something truly epic. By now they both trusted me completely, which meant they both went along with my idea of using the Sychnant Pass for her maternity session. We were lucky with the weather (it was March) and we created some awesome images for them.

Marcus came along with Bella for an impromptu family session at the same time. Milly was still nursing Bella at the time and wanted a few beautiful images of this precious time.

We discussed the idea of photographing the birth of their second daughter, Willow. We had it all planned in and ready to go, with my cameras packed. Unfortunately Willow couldn’t wait to meet her family and was born before they even had a chance to call me- Boo!

Then in 2020 we arranged another family session in Rhos on sea, where I met Willow for the first time. What a cutie!!

Again, Milly was nursing, so we created some more beautiful breastfeeding portraits for her.

Now, in the summer of 2021 Milly was pregnant with baby number three. They wanted another family session and maternity shoot. This time we used a super-sunny Westshore beach for the fun. Their girls are intelligent, inquisitive, and ever so cute. Making the most of a trip to the beach with mummy and daddy.

During that session we dedicated some time to making sure Milly looked amazing for her maternity portraits. We were blessed with great light, with just enough breeze to make it interesting. With the beach and lighting the way it was it seemed the logical choice to go for a classic silhouette maternity portrait.

We talked about the impending birth, finalising the plans for her birthing photography and her birthing space.

Birthing photography by candlelight

Here we are in September 2021, a journey of seven years and several shoots later. You know what? I’m going to let Milly tell this part of the journey, and the birthing photography.

In Milly’s own words.

“The decision to birth at home was an easy one for us; as soon as we found out we were expecting again we just knew there would be no place like home!

Another easy decision to make was the one to ask Tony if he would do us the honour of photographing our experience. We actually had a home birth for our second child, which was a magical, calm and beautiful experience, and we had wanted Tony to photograph our birth then. We were so excited when he agreed; the only problem was our birth unfolded a lot more quickly than we expected and Tony just couldn’t get to us in time to do the birthing photography! We wanted to replicate the positive experience for our second home birth and this time have Tony present doing what he does best and capturing the absolute euphoria that was to come.

There is something quite wonderful about birthing in your own environment where you feel comfortable, safe, and everything feels familiar; you have more control over your surroundings and can tailor it to the experience you want. This is something that can help birth to unfold without intervention, and something that most definitely supported me to birth with confidence and (relative!) ease. With this in mind, we knew Tony was the man for the job. We’ve known Tony since 2014; he has photographed numerous family events and non events for us and the beauty of his journalistic style work is, in our opinion, unrivalled. We feel completely at ease with Tony and trust him wholeheartedly; this was a huge factor for why we wanted Tony to be the one present for our birth. We needed someone who would respect the calm environment we worked hard to create, someone who felt like family who we could comfortably share one of the most important and intimate moments of our lives with, and someone who could capture the raw beauty and emotion without us feeling the need to direct or manage (after all – we had enough to think about!). Tony did all that and more. In fact, he slipped in so seamlessly that I didn’t even realise he was there until I had given birth and looked up around the room in awe while holding our son in my arms!

Why document your home birth?

We wanted to document our home birth because it’s such a huge, life changing event; it’s something you don’t get to relive even if you have more than one child as each birth is unique. Quite often, you’re so caught up in the whole experience that you miss things, miss people’s expressions and reactions, and forget little details. I so wish we had managed to get Tony here in time to photograph our first home birth so I could keep looking back at the first time my eyes met my child’s, or reminisce over our first cuddle, and first breastfeed. These memories are cherished in my mind but I can’t fully share them with anyone else. I didn’t see my first child’s reaction to meeting her sister for the first time. Having Tony photograph our home birth this time around has meant I can relive these moments with others. I’ve been able to see the reaction on my children’s faces when they met their brother for the first time, how my husband looked so lovingly at us all, and the very moment we first gathered together as a ‘five’. I’d have missed the opportunity to see all of this if Tony hadn’t have been there. There wasn’t anyone else I’d rather have had there and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. Thank you Tony.”

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What now then, we love your birth photography in North Wales?

There you go then, just a few of the birth photographs from Milly and Marcus’s amazing evening. I hope you like them.

If you like the look of my North Wales birth photography and think you would like to do something similar please contact Tony Fanning photography using the contact form on this site.

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