By OMC Vendor Julia Kinnunen, Seattle Birth Photographer
I first met Erika and Nick over four years ago when they hired me to photograph their wedding. I remember sitting in our first meeting and thinking “holy moly these people are so stinking cool why on earth would they want to hire me?!” but little did I know we’d be fast friends! Their wedding remains one of my absolute favorites to this day, and I count it among one of many intimate and incredible experiences they’ve shared with me. Sometimes those getting-to-know-you chats over cups of coffee in a cafe on Capitol Hill open more doors than we could ever imagine possible.
When I started the journey towards my certification as a birth doula in 2018, Erika was one of the very first expecting parents I knew that reached out to me for support. I had the amazing opportunity to hold her hand, squeeze her hips, and cheer her on as she and Nick welcomed their first son earthside. And now, not even a full two years later, I had the chance to offer her support again as she roared their second son into life in the same amazing and powerful way she had once before.
This woman is a warrior, and is one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. She’s grown two amazing little boys and brought them into our world with immense power and grace. The amount of trust it takes to hire a photographer to document the biggest moments of our lives is not a small measure, and it’s been such a treat getting to see her family grow through the lens of my camera – as well as through my role as Auntie J to her beautiful babies!