Showing posts from June, 2012

Baking Someone Else's Baby

One of the things "they" tell you to do when you're launching a photography business is to maintain a blog. But not just any blog. This blog should be 2 parts recent work and 1 part YOU (or some other magic combination, I guess). I've always kept blogs, but this is a little different for me, so bear with me! Here's something cool about me you probably didn't know (unless you're reading because you already love me, in which case, HI MOM), and a big part of my love of all things birth: I'm a surrogate. I have a blog that's solely dedicated to my surrogacy experiences so far, and I'll keep the details there. But surrogacy and why I do it are a big part of who I am. I carry babies that aren't genetically related to me for gay men (who are obviously without uteri). I've never had a lot of money to donate to causes that are meaningful to me, but I do have a lot of heart. And, well, a uterus. So, as my friend Kelly says, My Uterus is an

Self, Fear, Inspiration, a leap of faith

One of my favorite things about the photographers I admire is their ability to blog in their own voice. Maybe it's my background in journalism or my very Hermione-like desire to do everything just. so., but I always seem to sound a little pompous, a little forced, or just plain NOT ME when I write. So forgive me, and don't believe a word of the tone. Just look over there at my pink hair. That's who I am. Fun, funky, silly, Mandie. I spent a good part of today checking out photography web sites. I realized that a good number of the photographers I get most inspiration from are wedding photographers. I don't know if it's because wedding photography is The Place To Be, and so their voices are the loudest, or if it's some hidden part of my "I don't do weddings" photographic psyche that secretly longs to tell love stories along with  birth stories , but is afraid. A few of the inspirational sites I added to my facebook "likes" today.

The Birth of Dylan Gray | Chicago birth photographer

On an early morning in May, I was fortunate enough to witness the birth of a beautiful baby girl. It's the first birth (other than my own) I've been present for, and it was awe-inspiring. I'm so grateful to Heather and Demian for asking me to be present for the birth of their daughter. If you're just here for the visual birth story, you can watch this slideshow and view more pictures here . Otherwise you can continue on first, and read the story of Dylan's birth as experienced by the photographer (with a few extra photos) before watching the video. If you want to watch in fullscreen, click over to YouTube and select the HD format. On Saturday night, Demian texted me around 6:00 to let me know Heather was having regular contractions and the doctor had asked them to come in to the hospital. Since she was planning to birth in the city, and since this was her fifth labor and delivery, I thought I should probably move quickly. I ran around gathering my things whi

I *like* being unusual

I'm attending an intensive, week-long leadership conference next month, and as part of the training, we'll be studying up on the Meyers-Briggs personality typing system. The folks running the conference have sent out an official Meyers-Briggs test to all attendees, so that we can talk about our own types during the conference. I'll admit it, I'm a little nervous. I've never taken the official test before, but I have taken several adapted versions online, and though I've changed a lot over the past 10 years, my type according to these non-official tests has not. I'm INFJ , also known (in the Keirsey system) as a Counselor-Idealist . INFJ is the rarest of the 16 possible personality types, and that's just the way I like it. On average,  1.5% of the population contains this unusual mix of introversion, intuition, feeling, and judgment. So when you tell me that no, I'm not special , I can say, "Screw you, I so totally am." My conc