When I first saw Tami’s photographs, I was immediately in love with her work! Tami is a lovely birth photographer. She is somehow able to capture incredibly beautiful images while blending into the background so that the laboring family never feels like she’s in the way. She also does fresh 48, newborn, children, and family photos. Everyone I know who has worked with Tami has absolutely treasured her photos. Newborn photography is quite a specialty of hers! I am always so excited when I hear that someone has chosen her to do newborn photography. A little fun fact that both Tami and I have in common…we both got married in Italy! Check out Tami’s website to see more of her work, and enjoy getting to know her a bit below!
Newborn and Birth Photographer
I live in South Minneapolis with my husband Chris and our three little boys.
I grew up in St. Michael, a northwest suburb, when it was still a little farm community.
Favorite weekday dinner:
Homemade Pizza…makes everyone happy!
Favorite downtime activity:
Reading, gardening, camping, anything with my family
Kate: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
Tami: After the birth of my first son, I knew I wanted to be involved with the art of birth. I originally wanted to go back to school to be a midwife. As my children grew, I thought more about what I wanted to do once they were all in school. I had taught 1st grade for 12 years but wasn’t convinced I wanted to teach again. One night I stumbled upon a birth photographer’s website and spent a few hours watching slide shows of births that she had photographed. I was in tears at the beauty and emotion that were captured in her images. I knew that night that I wanted to be a birth photographer. I remember going to bed and waking my husband up to tell him about my new dream.
I have always loved photography. Growing up my dad had a canon AE1 that I enjoyed using, later I bought a film camera and took a few dark room classes. It was always a favorite hobby. Once I decided I wanted to become a professional photographer, I spent many hours online learning how to use photoshop and lightroom. Almost right away I was welcomed into the delivery room to take photos for a friend. It was such an amazing moment. I was hooked!
Kate: Tell me a bit about your business.
Tami: I typically shoot about 4-6 births a year. With 3 young boys I still limit the number of clients I can take due to the difficulty of being on call. As they get older, I am hoping to do double that per year. The main part of my business is newborns and first year photography. Last year I photographed 42 newborns! All newborn photography takes place in the family’s home when the baby is about 5 days old. I try to make the session as relaxed as possible. It is a wonderful time to get to know new families and especially new moms. Many are struggling with nursing and it’s nice to be able listen and offer support.
Kate: What is the best part of your job?
Tami: I enjoy seeing the love and excitement in new parents. Spending a few hours with a new family to capture pictures of their miracle is an truly an honor and joy.
Kate: Some people (kids and adults alike) are pretty camera shy? How do you help them be more comfortable so that you can get better photos?
Tami: I think my elementary background helps. I think getting down to a kids level always helps, talking about things they might be interested in always gets a smile. Playing games can help everyone relax. For families I really want to make it fun and capture interactions and emotion or even simple moments between parent and child. For new parents, I love to capture quiet, peaceful moments when they are in awe of their new baby.
Kate: I feel like there is a myth that photos taken by a birth photographer will be really private (or “messy”), and the mom won’t want anyone else to see them. I’ve seen that this isn’t the case at all! What sorts of things do you try to capture at a birth?
Tami: The first breath is the image I always want to capture. The first emotions that the parents share with each other is another magical moment to capture. The excitement expressed when you first see and hold your child is amazing to witness and photograph. I enjoy getting lots of little detail shots of the new baby and the birthing room to help the parents remember the moment. I try to tell a story with my pictures.
Kate: In terms of birth photography, some moms feel like they will feel like there are too many people in the room. What has been your experience with this?
Tami: My goal is to be off to the side capturing the story as it unfolds before me. I do sneak in a bit closer right when the baby arrives, and then step back again to let everyone enjoy their first moments meeting their baby. I stay long enough after the birth to capture plenty of the baby in all of it’s newness when the midwife weighs and measures. From my experience in labor, I always got pretty focused on the moment and didn’t really notice everyone and what they were doing around me. I am very respectful and leave the birthing area from time to time to give the family some private moments as well.
Kate: How would you say that you are unique from other photographers and birth photographers in the community?
Tami: I really focus on birth and newborn photography. I don’t try to do everything. I have been asked many times to do weddings, seniors, and engagements and have always said no. I think having a specialty has really allowed me to grow quickly as a photographer. I think I am very good at making people, especially children, feel comfortable. This allows them to be themselves and that is what I want to capture.
Kate: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with our pregnant readers?
Tami: Every birth is so different, be open minded. Know that your body is amazing and the baby at the end of the day is the most amazing gift. I would do it all again right now to have the chance to meet another little human being that was mine to watch grow. There isn’t anything in your life that compares to meeting each of your children.
Kate: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with our post birth, new mom and new dad readers?
Tami: Relax, sleep, try not to worry. Take your baby for lots of walks and do nothing but enjoy being outside (or inside if it’s too cold out!). Don’t think that you have to do everything perfectly. Your baby will grow, smile, and then walk one day way too soon to spend too much time worrying. Also, try as hard as you can to support your partner and be a team. Find other new parents to share everything with, and share it often. The support of friends is so important.
Enjoy a few of Tami’s images of TCM babies and families below!