Q&A with Photo: Art by Jessica
As parents in Denver, we have been lucky with a thriving birth photography scene. Our birthing locations are all accustomed to these professionals being on the birth team, quietly capturing everything that is happening in the room. And all over social media, we are inspired by the beauty, strength and love that emanates from these images.
I say we are lucky because I learned from Denver newcomer Jessica Mielke that not all cities are like this! She came from Tucson, AZ; where very few photographers were capturing birth and even fewer were specializing in birth.
She’s jumped right in since her arrival to Denver, networking in the birth community and working with families here. What sets Jessica apart is her specialty in natural birth.
When parents try for an unmedicated birth, they get educated and they have a support system that’s educated. That means opportunities to capture encouraging partners, doulas, and midwives.
Anyone who has experienced birth knows the range of emotions that arise in the process. Pain. Joy. Connection. These are the moments that Jessica wants to help families remember forever.
Q: What are some misconceptions around birth photography?
A: One, that birth photography has to be super graphic. If you want me to get crowning shots, I’m more than comfortable but if you don’t, then I’m going to stay by your head and get shots of your birth from your point of view.
Another misconception is that birth photographers get in the way or make you feel uncomfortable. One thing I’ve talked to past clients about is that they either didn’t know I was there because they were so in tune with what their bodies were doing. Or they’ve said that I was a great support system. If I’m there, and they need something, I’m on it. If her partner rubs her lower back and she needs her shoulders rubbed, I’ll stop what I’m doing to rub her shoulders. If I’m there, I’m going to help support where and when you need it.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Raw, organic, authentic.
Q: Any advice for parents considering birth photography?
A: I know that this is an investment, and it can be hard to get over the price tag. Even if the price scares you, still reach out to a photographer or multiple photographers and see what you can do. I offer payment plans and I know others do too. Photos also help you process your birth and I think a lot of birth photographers feel the same way that we are willing to work with you.
Q: What’s different about what you offer your clients?
A: I offer a maternity session with every one of my birth packages. It’s a great way to meet face to face before anyone is in labor and usually a great time to get to know partners and other children.
Jessica loves everything about birth and motherhood, especially feeding. Her Milk Stories are a way to document a baby being nourished by their parent, a process Jessica calls “beautiful and amazing.” In fact, she wishes she would have had photos like these feeding her first daughter. She hears this often from other parents that they wish they would have celebrated this time with pictures.
You’ll get to see much more of Jessica’s work as she will be photographing our upcoming birth!