We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Van Hoven and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Photography has always interested me. When I was ten, I would set up “scenes” with sheets/props and take pictures of my siblings with disposable cameras. *Apologies to whoever developed all those pictures at Walmart* I took a photography course in college and fell in love, but ended up getting married and having my first child young. I didn’t pursue photography professionally, but was definitely known as the one who takes all the pictures (still am). Fast forward 10+ years: I become pregnant with my second child and decide I want my birth story photographed. I had a traumatizing first birth experience, and the only thing I have to help me remember some moments of my daughter’s birth are old digital camera pics and grainy cell phone pictures that my younger sisters snapped. I knew with my next birth, I wanted beautifully-captured photos of the entire experience because after the moment is over, it’s so easy to forget everything that happened. My husband and I hired a birth photographer, and after seeing our birth photos, my heart felt like it could burst. I was transported back to oxytocin land, and I cried looking through all the moments that were captured. There were photos that helped me to see myself from a different perspective and helped me remember the details of my labor and birth. Now, I can relive those moments for the rest of my life, and I get to show my daughter the story of her birth! I knew immediately that this what was I wanted to do; give women and families this amazing feeling. I knew I wanted to document their labor and births so that they could look back, remember details, and see themselves for what they are- amazing, strong, powerful, and capable women. I spent hours and hours researching equipment, learning lighting, taking photography/birth photography courses, editing courses, etc., and jumped in, eyes first. I’ll be forever learning, but here I am, doing the thing. I couldn’t feel more at peace, knowing I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do, getting to support and document these most sacred moments for families.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a journalistic photographer who specializes in birth, motherhood, and families. I document your stories, unposed, real, and raw, through my lens. As a mother myself, I live for capturing the candid moments in my sessions. I also document maternity, newborn lifestyle, and more. I’m most proud of how my work has evolved over time and will continue to evolve as I learn and grow as an artist, mother, and human. I’m a part of a huge international birth photographer community, and DFW has one of the largest pools of birth photographers, if not THE largest in our group. It can be very easy to feel lost in a sea of women who all do the same thing, but community over competition is so important in this field. There are times when a backup photographer needs to be called, so it’s very important to establish relationships with other birth photographers. Women supporting women, birth photographers supporting other birth photographers. We can do more for families together! I was a single mom for a very long time with my first child, and I know how hard it is. I don’t advertise this, as it’s usually through word of mouth, but I offer birth photography packages, at no cost, to women in need- especially single mothers. I didn’t get into this job for the money; I got into it because this is truly where my heart is. Every woman deserves to have their birth documented if they desire. If you’re a struggling single mom, reading this and wishing you could have pictures, reach out!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was in town, and I wanted to show her a good time, I would take her to Frisco Star! There are so many great restaurants with entertainment, like The Glen. I love Truck Yard in The Colony, and would probably go for drinks and outdoor games, and then Grandscapes for concerts on the green, good eats, and walking.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have made it possible for me to be where I am today. My husband, first and foremost; he is so supportive and encouraging. This job is truly not possible, without a supportive partner. Being a birth photographer is not an easy job. I am on call 24/7 for up to a month, per client, and that can be taxing on me and my family. I have to keep my ringer on and turned up all day and all night, ready to drop whatever I’m doing and head to a birth at a moment’s notice. I have to be ready to miss birthdays, holidays, and anything else in-between. Births are unpredictable and can take four hours or 24 hours+, and I’m there for it all. Having a family who supports you and understands that your job can take you away from important events, is so important. I have a 15 year old who is homeschooled, and offers to keep her younger siblings, so that I can leave if a birth happens, during work hours for my husband. I would not be able to do this work, without her and my husband’s constant support and selflessness. They are the real MVP’s and it is not lost on me at all. I’m also extremely thankful for the community of birth workers who recommend me to their clients- it makes all the difference in my success. You guys truly rock!

Website: katievanhovenphoto.com

Instagram: @katievanhovenbirth

Facebook: facebook.com/katievanhovenphoto

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