"Making the decision to have a home birth meant every element and person involved needed to be hand picked. When looking for birth photographers, I was pretty overwhelmed with the options, but there are four main reasons why we went with Carley:
She’s a fantastic communicator! When I reached out initially, she responded quickly and addressed all my questions (all 48 of them ) and wrote as though she was writing to a friend. I love how warm and personable she is.
She’s a doula. Since I was having a home birth, I figured she would know how to respect the space and understand the process.
Her packages seemed highly valuable and competitively priced. While it’s a big investment, I knew I wanted photos to share my birth since COVID was already keeping my loved ones at a distance.
She’s talented. I only saw a few examples of her work, but I saw/felt the emotion and wanted those same moments captured for me.
Here's what I received that I never expected:
Emails checking in on me during my pregnancy. Thoughtful texts when I flew by my due date. They weren’t pushy. I really felt like she cared about how I was doing.
Her presence as a doula was immediately felt. While she didn’t provide any doula services, her choice words and energy truly made me feel like she was a part of our birth team.
Having the most intimate moments (and body parts) photographed may be uncomfortable, but I didn’t even notice her bouncing around the room to get all the beautiful shots.
A cheerleader. After our sweet baby girl came earthside, Carley was beaming! She sang her praises and was so encouraging. I couldn't wait to have her back in our home for our newborn shoot!
Our birth photos are my most cherished photos (more than my own wedding!). When I felt like the world slipped away in between surges, Carley was there, capturing that transcendental moment for me to hold on to forever."
-- Taylor C., first time mama
“Carley brings a great energy to a birth. She is positive, cheerful, and quickly adjusts to the environment. She carries a Mary poppins style birth bag with her with essential oils, massage ointments, face wipes and a handheld fan (the fan was a life saver). She made sure the room was relaxing with candles, a diffuser and dim lights.
For me, facing my birth alone and uneducated would have left me feeling defeated. Due to complications very little went as planned but Carley helped me to adapt and have the confidence to stick to the plan as best we could. She helped me advocate for myself when needed. My delivery quickly could have changed to a c-section but with position recommendations and her confidence boosts, I was able to have a healthy vaginal delivery.
My husband was not originally a fan of hiring a doula, but in the end he was so thankful she was there. Carley frequently gave him recommendations on how to support me which we both loved.
One of my favorite parts of hiring a doula was the post birth check in. Carley gave me the opportunity to process my birth and ask questions, something I realized I never stopped to do, and it was such a healthy way to move onto the next chapter caring for my newborn. Carley will add so much to any birth and I cannot recommend her more!”
-- Rachael K., first time mom
“My VBAC with my second, baby girl, was fought for since the day my son was born. 9 months of trying to conceive her. 9 months of carrying her. Breech since day 1, an external flip procedure that caused a seizure, burning crazy crunchy herbs, standing on my head — the works. 24 hours of labor and the hardest 2 hours of my life pushing out a sunny side up baby who didn’t want to engage. But we did it sister, we did it. ⠀
Now let me tell you what you need to know about VBAC-ing:⠀
1. You’ve got to want to do it. You have to be all on board. 100%. Because you will want to change your mind. ⠀
2. Get. Yourself. A. Doula. Let me say it again for the people in the back — GET YOURSELF A DOULA! ⠀
I’ll save you the google search trouble, get yourself Carley. (@carleyephotography) This sweet sister friend — what a GIFT from the Lord! I knew I wanted a doula to coach me through a VBAC with my 2nd but when COVID hit and hospitals started changing policies, I was even more thankful for her!! She was by my side for the ECV (and me losing consciousness and vomiting and generally being a hot freaking mess), she was there for every moment, push, groan, and sigh of elation of birth. Bonus — Carley is a gifted photographer and the pure artwork that she captured during our birth is stunning. ⠀
So while I haven’t fully processed my VAGINAL (huzzah!) birth, I do know that I could NOT have done it without (my husband) and Carley by my side… she captured monumental moments for our family.”
-- Aly S., 2nd Time Mom
“As a scared father-to-be, I'd heard of a doula but I really didn't understand the expertise and value they bring to the birth process. Carley put me at ease and met me on my level of comfort at every stage. We endured through a long labor, and I can't imagine that night without Carley there. Carley was an expert, an advocate, a supporter in any way I needed, even when I didn't know I needed it. For us Carley was a necessity, not a nice to have.”
-- Ben, first time dad
“When Carley and I first met she made a genuine effort to get to know me. She listened to all of my wants/needs and answered any questions I had. She quickly calmed all fears that crossed my mind and was a huge part of my very smooth birthing experience. Carley kept me calm and informed the whole time! She did whatever she saw fit to make sure that I was comfortable. I honestly didn’t even realize that she was also taking photos during my delivery! She managed to stay focused as our Doula while capturing some of the most beautiful moments. If you’re looking for a doula or a photographer Carley is your girl!!!”
-- Nikole D.
“I absolutely HATE having my picture taken so I'd put off taking headshots for a really long time. When I finally had to get them done for work, I called Carley E. Photography. Working with Carley is unlike working with any other photographer. She puts you at ease and makes you feel like you're just hanging out with a friend vs. stiffly moving for a stranger with a camera. Not only do I love my headshots that she did, I've had compliments from so many people! Who gets compliments on their headshots?!”
-- Beth M.
“If you're looking for a talented, warm-hearted photographer to join you in celebrating a special life moment, look no further than Carley E. Photography. From scouting the perfect photo site to making you feel calm and confident during the session, Carley is a true professional.”
-- Jessica J.
“In my experience of using her as our family photographer I have never been disappointed in the slightest. She is a breeze to work with and she is genuinely invested in our sessions each time. I do not dread family pictures, rather I look forward to it so we can visit with Carley. She will feel more like a member of your family rather than a stranger behind the lens. Carley is 100% the only person I want to photograph my family and I "almost" want another baby to hire her as my Doula!”
-- Allison H.
“Carley is worth her weight in GOLD! As a first time mom I was pretty intimidated by labor and was eager to do what I could to help it go as well as possible. The single best thing I did for my labor and delivery was hire Carley as my doula! Being induced early for a high risk pregnancy was anxiety-inducing but Carley helped me stay calm and feel prepared which helped us have the birth I envisioned. I feel zero regrets when I think about my birth experience and I have Carley to thank for that!
Prior to labor, Carley met with us to work through a birth plan. I had read some pregnancy books but having access to Carley's expertise, experience, and knowledge about each hospital's procedures helped me feel prepared for all possibilities. Making a plan with Carley helped me feel less afraid and intimidated! The birth plan Carley made for us was laminated and organized- the nurses at the hospital were very impressed and it helped ensure our requests were met.
In labor, Carley was a dream. She knew exactly what I might need at each moment (sometimes before I did) and had it ready for me - from chapstick and cold towels to inspirational quotes and a snack! Having Carley there with us at the hospital was so much more valuable than the birthing class we attended through our hospital
Carley was able to check in with me and remind me of available birthing positions and options that I forgot about or would be intimidated to try out without support. Carley helped us feel right at home at the hospital from helping to decorate the room to showing us where everything was and how to use it. The nurses and doctor's said we had the most calming room on the floor thanks to the great essential oils Carley provided! Beyond the physical support, Carley provided emotional support when I really needed it. Carley helped me stay patient and grounded for three days in Labor and Delivery!
Even without photography, Carley's services are well worth it! Add in pictures of your precious little bundle and their birth and you have everything you need to create and capture the new best day of your life!
I feel the birth of my son was the very best it could be. I felt strong and empowered, in very large part due to Carley's support. The pictures she took are incredible and I will treasure them forever. Give yourself the best gift and hire Carley for your birth! You won't regret it!”
-- Tess P., first time mama