As a young child I desired to be an OBGYN- "teaching" to invisible students out of old medical journals found at garage sales and constantly addressing mine and everyone else's real or pretend "boo boos". I was so enamored with the birthing process--both mother and baby. Similarly, I found film inspiring. My mom could always find me laying on the floor surrounded by family photos. I even became, "that friend" in middle school, the one who always had her HandyCam ready to capture a party, silly skit, or the county fair.
Somewhere along my journey, I lost touch with those desires, maybe after realizing the monstrous loans associated with medical school or buying into the lie that being a jock is cooler than making art.
I went on to pursue & obtain my degree & license in social work but as babies began to enter my life, one nephew at a time, my love for mother + baby was ravished once again. I had already begun pursuing photography in 2014 when I had the pleasure of photographing my nephew's, fresh48. From that moment on I was unable to stay away from birth- from reading about it, talking about it, from photographing it!
I see photography as a medium not only to tug on the hearts for decades but a platform to humanize birth, especially- aiding people in understanding that birth is a profound and intrinsically beautiful part of the human experience. I hope my work induces respect, value, and celebration in the face of birth- real, raw birth.
However, my hope is two-fold- to create stunning artwork that chronicles the motherhood journey and to become a versatile resource to the Greater Springfield, Ohio area, carrying on the hopes and desires of VOICE's founder, Aly. I hope that VOICE Birth Services evolves into a hub for all things birth- midwives, doulas, birth/motherhood photographers, prenatal education, maternity consignment clothing, etc. If you are a birth worker or someone interested in supporting in this effort- please send me a message via the contact tab.
Both images were entered in & recognized by the Birth Becomes Her 2017 "Moment of Birth Contest".
"Welcome Home" made it through the first round, into the top 75% (out of 220 images).
"First Touch" made it through the second round, into the top 50% (out of 220 images).
History of Voice
To be heard is to be humanized--without a voice, we are stripped of dignity and respect.
In 2014, Springfield native and doula, Aly Level saw that their was a need in local birth culture--the need for Voice(s). She founded Voice Birth Services with a passion to ensure that the voices of mothers and families were heard. Although her desire was to help mothers navigate the often overwhelming process of decision making during pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood, she felt that the most essential support during this time was found in ensuring that families felt validated, respected, and supported as they created their own experience. It was Aly's mission to be the Voice that gently reminded her clients, "This is your story. You can do this."
After partnering with Liz to bring photography to VOICE in 2016, and as her work expanded into postpartum and placenta services, Aly's specific passion for supported breastfeeding and lactation education began to reveal itself. She then made the decision to completely invest herself into becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In doing so, she proudly and confidently allowed Liz to continue the essential work of VOICE.