Community Health Wanaka Wellbeing

LABOUR OF LOVE

Written by Penny Simpson

Wanaka photographer Wendy van der Linde is transforming the way parents remember their birth experience by documenting the entire birthing experience through photography.

“ My business WanaBirth officially began when I advertised a portfolio model call for birth photography. I am a family photographer and mum of one and wished I had known about birth photography when I gave birth.”

“Some women have incredible birth stories but mine was tough and looking back I can’t remember all the details,” she says. “Having a photographer there can help women process things better and it’s such a joy to document those first special moments like the first feed or a baby’s yawn.”

Wendy studied visual arts at university in South Africa specifically to learn photography.

“ I am dedicated to delivering the best to my clients and am currently working on a certification in birth photography. My photographic gear is designed to handle low-light conditions, ideal for this type of photography, and allows me to give my full attention to connecting with the families.”

Wendy is on call 24/7 for her clients from their 37th week stage of pregnancy.

“When a mum to be contacts me, I schedule a free consultation to discuss their expectations around the baby’s birth. Together we explore ideas and images and once the booking is confirmed I am locked into their schedule.”

“There is a lot of good communication between myself, a client and their midwife and I travel to wherever they are birthing. Being on call requires that I am fully prepared to go at any time regardless of how far the travel is to the hospital, birthing unit or homebirth location.”

Bookings can be made online and examples of Wendy’s work are available on her Instagram and Facebook pages.

“ The ideal time to book is sooner rather than later because it’s an on-call service and there are only limited bookings available each month.”

“ I like to meet clients a couple of times in the lead up and sometimes they also want maternity and lifestyle photography sessions factored in,” says Wendy. “Typically my clients are from the greater Central Otago region and it’s such an honour to be invited into their birth space – I treasure the trust and experience we have together.”

About the author

Penny Simpson