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Cake Smash in the Jungle

Cake Smash in the Jungle!

I've been so excited to share these pictures with you. I met this family about a year ago and was hired to take their maternity and newborn photos. We have become great friends since, and I've been blessed to watch this baby girl grow up into her sweet sweet one year old self. I love her! She steals my heart everytime I see her! It was so special for me to be able to photograph her one year photos and cake smash.  Here are just a few of my favs to share:

A Sunrise, Rain and a Rainbow | Lifestyle Family Session

Okay, I have photographed quite a few sessions with meteorologists in the family.

Once, right before a tornado rolled into our neck of the woods! Ten minutes later, we had the best clouds EVER! Check it out here . The weather can be pretty unpredictable, but as a photographer I've learned to roll with the punches. Sometimes it works out wonderfully, sometimes we reschedule ;). It just comes with the job. 

This time I got to photograph my friends Lindsay and David, an amazing family we are blessed to know!

 During this session, we had an absolutely GORGEOUS sunrise, followed by (not so fun) RAIN. In typical Hawaiian style, it came, it went, and left us sopping. But then we got a beautiful rainBOW out of it! Did I mention David is a meteorologist? I think I'm seeing a pattern...;)

Here are some of my favs from the session. Leave this family some love in the comments below!

A sweet in-home newborn session fit for for a Princess | Adaline

This session in particular is very special to me because Adaline's parents have been great friends to us here in Hawaii, and we are beyond thrilled for them through their journey into parenthood!

I absolutely love coming into people's homes to document the first days of a new born baby. Everything is so new and special, and watching the mothers (and in this case, grandmothers and fathers!) cooing over their baby, being entranced over every little movement and facial expression. It truly is just so sweet. And I—must say—don't you just love the pink and princess nursery decorations? Swoon worthy. I love the dark woods paired with the bright light, soft pink and gold accents for the nursery. And the tutu! Oh my heart <3 I just love how the mother styled this photoshoot. Watch the video above and take a look at the photos below to see what I mean!

To give you an idea of what it was like to be a "fly on the wall" at this session, as a photographer I did very little directing. I may've asked the mother to turn toward the window or adjust Adaline's bow, but for the most part I allowed the events to unfold organically, in order to capture real expressions and emotions. Newborn session tend to go very slowly because the baby has so many needs—Adaline needed to be changed and eat several times in the 1.5 hours that I was at their house, and those things cannot be rushed, so we all just went with the flow and I spend quite a bit of time just hanging out, chatting and observing!

If you are worried about having a fussy baby or what to do if your baby needs to be changed during a session, just let that go. I expect all of those things to happen during a newborn session and always plan plenty of time in my schedule in order for nobody to feel rushed. Trust me :) I know what I'm doing! 


take a look at Adaline's stunning maternity session!

It is such an honor for me when client's love my work so much that they come back . This family also hired me to photograph their maternity session! Click on the image above to see more images from their session!


Hello! Amber here! Are you looking for a proposal, engagement or wedding photographer? You've come to the right place! Take a look around my site, and contact me with any questions, I'd love connect with you and answer any questions you may have.

Amber DeCicco Photography  Birth  •  Family  •  Wedding 
Documentary  •  Film

From Real Moms: "Why Should YOU Hire A Birth Photographer?"

Take it from Real Moms. About a week after a mom delivers her baby I send her a series of questions to answer, talking about her birth experience from her perspective. I think it is the perfect way to draw together the video and photos together with the story of what happened, and is a perfect keepsake to print out and share someday with their child. The very last question I ask is: WHY hire a birth photographer?

And I think their answers speak for themselves, so with no further ado:

"BECAUSE! Perspective."

BECAUSE! Perspective. You’ll never have that perspective with the absolute artistic quality of a birth photographer. There is something to be said about quality and having Amber stealthily move around the room and capture life altering moments is just something special.
—Nellie

 
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To "remember the beauty in their BIRTHdays."

There are so many moments in birth that we cannot concentrate on, or that are beautiful when seen from a different perspective.  Hiring a birth photographer allowed me to concentrate on what my body and baby were doing, and not if a moment was being documented, because I trusted that it was.  It allowed my husband to be fully present with me, knowing that we would be able to re-experience these moments together without him having to capture them himself.  I so look forward to getting to watch these videos and pore over these pictures with all my children as they grow and as they get ready to bear their own children one day, reflecting and remembering the beauty in each of their BIRTHdays.  
—Desiree

 

"...an absolute MUST"

Having a birth photographer is an absolute MUST. It's so crazy that I was recalling my birth to some friends and realizing once I saw the video it was quite different than my actual memory. HAHA There's so many details that I missed out on because I was in the moment of my own birth that a birth photographer can capture and you can share with friends and family for a lifetime!!  A lot of the birth and labor my eyes were closed and I was in the zone. But being able to watch my partner and even our dog share in the birth process with us through photos and video has been priceless for me to see and relive the amazing experience.
—Sarah

 

"I did not want myself or my husband to miss a moment..."

I chose to hire a photographer because I did not want myself or my husband to miss a moment trying to snap pictures ourselves. I also know how everything can be overwhelming, and so easy to forget. I do not regret having a photographer at my birth.
—Ashley


Amber DeCicco is a birth photographer and family documentary photographer. 

I believe documenting life is important. My goal in every photo session is to document precious memories you won't want to forget. 

Have questions for me? Contact me today for more information. 

Hawai'i Birth Collective Launch Party Recap!

Launch Party Recap

Noelle and I—ready and with a moment to spare before people began to arrive!

Noelle and I—ready and with a moment to spare before people began to arrive!

Thank you so much to everybody who came out to support us during or Hawaii Birth Collective launch party and First Friday birth photography exhibit! Noelle (with videographer Sweet Rain Media) and I are beyond blessed to have you all as friends, clients, and future birth professionals and collaborators...too many beautiful people to mention but hopefully we got a chance to give you a hug and thank you for your support!

 

After the event ended and we cleaned up, we immediately kicked off our heels and sat back and reminisced about the amazing evening. We were grinning from ear to ear at the wonderful response we received and the awesome feeling of accomplishment for "putting ourselves out there". We gave each other a high five and called it a night. 

We are excited now to move forward in our collective by beginning to collect quality blog content from our amazing birth professionals and vendors across the 'aina because we think what they are doing is amazing, and because we want YOU to know about them. 

My 4 favorite things about the event:
1. Hands down, my favorite part, was seeing and being able to hold two of the babies who's birth I photographed, seeing how much they'd grown and being able to share their amazing and beautiful births with the community!

2. Secondly, doing this together with my dear friend and incredibly talented Noelle. We've had a fun and fast friendship. Having feeling discouraged in running my business by myself and feeling burnt-out, Noelle's friendship has reignited my passion. We work together now on a regular basis, and we both are firm believers in Community over Competition, life is so much better together and I am so grateful for her presence in my life! 

3. The Food. Chef Affron brought down the house with his soul food! SOOOO GOOOOD! Seriously, if you need some amazing food for an event----> www.affronssoulfood.com/

4. The overwhelming feeling of support and love. I have some truly amazing friends here on island, and it was so amazing to have them come out and support us—I am quite an introvert and their presence was encouraging and helped calm my nerves! And, as a transplant to Hawaii, nothing feels better than being given a lei in celebration, especially when you are not expecting it (THANKS JENN & SARAH!). 

#allthefeels #sappyandiknowit 

Check out the Hawaii Birth Collective website for more information on our collective. And stay tuned—while I'll be keeping most of my birth related blog topics to that website I'm sure I'll post about it now and again here on my photography page :) 

<3 Love,

Amber

 

Check out some photos from the event!

Photo cred: Drena Spatharos, Amber DeCicco, and various iPhones :) Thanks friends!

Hawai'i Birth Collective

she-believed-she-could-so-she-did

I am so excited to share with you about my newest endeavor. 

You all know I adore documenting births! Being present at a birth is so momentous, sacred and beautiful. I love watching parents become families and hearing that babies first wail into life. I even love getting that 3am call because of the rush of excitement I feel about being a part of such a special event. My job is incredibly rewarding.

My friend Noelle, of Sweet Rain Media, feels the same way. We met in 2016 and began working together in the fall. Through co-working, we realized we both shared the same feelings about documenting births. Many of our conversations were centered around how much we loved documenting births, longing to photograph and film more of them, joking that we should just show up at a hospital and ask who was in labor, and if they'd let us photograph their birth! Haha!

Oahu Hawaii Birth Collective

Through our working together, we slowly hatched a plan to form a collective together. It was formed originally as a way for us to work together as a team of birth documenters, and a way to give our birth families the assurance of knowing who their backup photographer was, but it evolved into something greater. Our hope for our collective is to bring together some of our favorite birth workers on the island to provide an excellent resource for expecting families. A community of Hawai'i birth professionals embracing the beauty of birth through photography, connection, resources, inspiration and community support. We are in the beginning stages of this, but are so excited to see where it goes. 

We've scheduled a LAUNCH PARTY for our Hawaii Birth Collective!

We're excited to celebrate with our supporters and would love for you to come out and enjoy an evening with like-minded individuals. We'll have birth photography and birth films being displayed and shown, pupus, wine and a giveaway! So grab a friend and come on out! Our location is in Chinatown, within walking distance of lots of other First Friday art exhibits so you can wander from gallery to gallery after you come and say Hello :)  We are so excited to share the beauty of birth with you, and sincerely hope you can make it out! Here are the details:

Hawai'i Birth Collective
Launch Party + First Friday Art Exhibit

April 7, 5–9 PM

1110 Nu’uanu Ave, Honolulu 

Art . Pupus . Wine . Giveaways 

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Check out our website for more information: www.hawaiibirthcollective.com

Chef Affron will be providing pupus: www.affronssoulfood.com

and our sponsor, Real Office Centers, will be providing the alcohol.

A special thanks to you both!


amber-decicco-photographer

Hey there! Are you looking for a proposal, engagement or wedding photographer? You've come to the right place! Take a look around my site, and contact me with any questions, I'd love connect with you and answer any questions you may have.

 

Amber DeCicco Photography  •  Birth  •  Family  •  Wedding  •  Documentary  •  Film

A Beautiful Valentine's Day Proposal on Oahu! | Ivana + Justin | Maili Pillbox

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! This morning I hiked to the Maili pink pillbox to photograph a proposal!! Of course, I had to wear my special Valentine's Day socks 😂  It was such a perfect day 💕💕💕

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! This morning I hiked to the Maili pink pillbox to photograph a proposal!! Of course, I had to wear my special Valentine's Day socks 😂 
It was such a perfect day 💕💕💕

A PROPOSAL!! <3 What a beautiful, loving and vibrant couple! I met Ivana before the proposal, while discussing wedding photography, and Ivana just could not stop glowing when she talked about Justin! When Justin was telling me over the phone about his proposal plan he was so excited, you could just hear it in his voice. He kept having to catch his breath, it was so so so so sweet! He is so full of aloha spirit too, so refreshing. Ivana and Justin, I am so incredibly happy for you!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I am so excited for these two. This was SUCH a perfect way to spend my Valentine's Day, and I cannot WAIT to celebrate this happy couple's wedding day with them this year at Kualoa Ranch! <3

Justin proposed at the Pink Pillbox, otherwise known as Maili pillbox. Pink is Ivana's favorite color :) He didn't think Ivana would suspect a proposal early in the morning on a hike, and he was absolutely right. She had no idea! 

Here's a little slideshow I put together. It's a mixture of film, audio and photos. Be sure to turn your volume up, and make it full screen! So much better that way! <3


Hey there! Are you looking for a proposal, engagement or wedding photographer? You've come to the right place! Take a look around my site, and contact me with any questions, I'd love connect with you and answer any questions you may have.

 

Amber DeCicco Photography  •  Birth  •  Family  •  Wedding  •  Documentary  •  Film

Stylizing your Session + the Importance of your Questionnaire | A Glamorous Maternity Session at Lanai Lookout on Oahu

My Process and the Importance of Filling out your Questionnaire

I wanted to share with you a little bit of my process, and how important the questionnaire's are in helping me know more about you and your desires for what you want out of a session.

I send questionnaire's to every client who books with me to help me know more about them and what is important to them so I can create images they love. I have different questionnaires for each type of session (portrait, lifestyle, intentional documentary). Logan was interested in a portrait maternity session, and here were some of her questionnaire answers:

 

How would you characterize your style?: Glamorous

What words would you use to describe the "feel" that you want your session to have?: Fun, glitzy, magical!

Are there any particular shots or sessions that resonate with you? (If yes, please link or describe.): We are completely open to your ideas!!

 

As a photographer and resident on Oahu, I know about lots of amazing locations and can tailor a session towards peoples desires. As soon I read the words "Glamorous" and "Glitzy" I thought of the Lanai Lookout, with the beautiful glittery rocks. I knew Logan loves glitter and was open to a sunrise session (not everyone is a morning person!), so I approached her with this idea of photographing at the Lanai Lookout in a glittery gown at sunrise. She LOVED the idea, it totally fit her personality. She found a dress, we set a date, and when we showed up to an amazing sunrise I knew the session was going to be a smashing success.

oahu-maternity-photographer

With every client, I work hard to know what they want out of a session. I ask lots of questions. I never go in with a plan already formed in my mind, I wait to talk to my clients and hear what they want out of a session. I send questionnaires, and then ask follow up questions. I consider how they plan on using the photos. For example, if my client wants an album, I focus on storytelling and variety in my photos. If they tell me they have lots of artwork hanging around their house, I aim to take very artistic looking photos. If they tell me they want a huge portrait of their family smiling at the camera to hang on their mantle, you can bet I'll be trying lots of different poses to take the one perfect photo to hang above your mantle. If my client is interested in a more photojournalistic/documentary approach I have a different shooting style and talk to my clients and coach them ahead of time about how this session will be different than they're used to. 

I really try to listen—because I want you to absolutely love your final images. 

 

Thanks, Logan, for taking the time to write this sweet review:

Amber is absolutely amazing and has a true gift in capturing important moments. She makes you feel as though the season she is capturing is just as important to her as it is to your own family. Not only does she photograph beautifully, but she is SO fun to work with! My husband is usually not one for pictures, and not only did he love the pictures, but he had SO much fun taking them. We laughed, joked, and watched the sun come up as if we weren’t there for a photo shoot. Amber can work with anyone and everyone, because as genuine as her love is for her art, she has an even deeper love for people! We wouldn’t use anyone else!!
— Logan Dupree

I offer Maternity sessions to my birth clients!

Want more information on birth photography? Check out my birth page, it's loaded with birth stories, F.A.Q, and information on how it works.

Amber DeCicco Photography  •  Birth  •  Family  •  Wedding  •  Documentary  •  Film

 

Why I am a Birth Photographer

Instagram post: "Yay! I get to photograph a birth today!"

Instagram post: "Yay! I get to photograph a birth today!"

I came home from that first birth, and before I even starting editing, I added a "Birth" tab to my website because I knew in my heart I wanted to continue doing this. I launched myself into learning more about birth. I connected with other birth photographers, and asked lots of questions. I ran a model call to get more experience. I watch documentaries and read books about births. 

On-Call life has lots of challenges. Just a few of these include: always having your camera gear prepped and ready to go, taking your camera gear with you everywhere (including the grocery store) and needing to be able to drop everything on a last minute notice. Once, I left a marriage retreat to photograph a birth! Thankfully, my husband is incredibly supportive of my business and we have a strong marriage and it really wasn't a big deal, I made it back the next day and didn't miss out on much but it still makes me chuckle every time I think about my husband attending a marriage retreat by himself. #he'sthebest

Birth is unpredictable. You never really know when the baby will arrive. The baby could be born 15 minutes OR 15 hours after you arrive. So you have to have a flexible and willing schedule to just drop everything.

Birth work is hard, and it takes a special person. So why in the world would any photographer want to commit to something so unpredictable? For me, the answer is easy. I just want to be there. I am passionate about it! I want to cheer you on from the sidelines and celebrate with you! I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING BIRTHS. I joke with my photographer friends about showing up at the labor + delivery ward just to see if any stranger would let me photograph their births!

There is something special about being present the moment a baby enters the world, and I can't get enough of it. I see the new family addition and I recognize that the family just changed in a drastic way. As a photographer, a historian at heart, I have an innate need to help preserve the memories for people. I see so much love and transition happening at a birth, and truly have a desire to document it.  


Birth Stories

How I Became a Birth Photographer

How I Became a Birth Photographer

My Journey from being a Wedding Photographer to a Birth Photographer
 

First: the back story

I grew up with parents who are professional photographers. This fed my creative soul and groomed me to be the photographer and graphic designer that I am today. I went to an amazing school for graphic design. My parents showed me the ropes of wedding photography and I began photographing weddings professionally to pay back my student loans on the side in 2009 while working other graphic design jobs. I never looked back. All of my wedding clients hold a special place in my heart and I think of them all fondly. 

While we were dating, Brian became one of my backup photographers and assistants. Here's one silly photo we had taken of us at the photobooth of a wedding we were photographing together. It makes me laugh every time I see it!

While we were dating, Brian became one of my backup photographers and assistants. Here's one silly photo we had taken of us at the photobooth of a wedding we were photographing together. It makes me laugh every time I see it!

In 2013 I met the love of my life and we got married in 2015, moving to Hawaii that year. My last wedding of the year was about 3 months before Brian proposed. I photographed the wedding and as I drove home, (with the suspicion that the proposal was just around the corner) the realization hit me that THIS wedding was most likely going to be my last Nebraska wedding. Just like that, it was...over. Without ceremony or even acknowledgement and it was just a really sad moment for me.

Fast forward, once married and in Hawaii, I found myself navigating a whole new world of business, along with all of the challenges of starting up again (and the nagging discouraging feeling in knowing with our military life we would have to move again soon). I marketed myself as a wedding photographer but had a really hard time getting my name out there. Hawaii has a really saturated wedding market! And, all of the people we knew on island were already married. I knew I needed to make a change. 
 

Maybe birth Photography?

Then, I found myself surrounded by pregnant women! This was a new thing for me. At that time in my life, I was afraid of all things childbirth. I was terrified of having a baby, afraid of the pain and mostly afraid of being a mother. Being surrounded by all these amazing pregnant women was a blessing for me, they showed me that birth and babies and growing families and motherhood is beautiful. I can honestly say, after having met and spent time with them, and photographing a handful of births, I seriously have baby fever—real bad. Haha. For me, this is a drastic change. 

One soon-to-be mother in my bible study asked me if I would photograph her birth. Unfortunately, I was going to be on the mainland when her baby was born and declined, but it peaked my interest and I tucked that into the back of my mind. I had never heard of birth photography, and had no idea what to expect, had never been in a labor + delivery room, or even ever seen any video of actual birth (I'm not talking about the crazy movie versions of birth, but actual real-life birth). It was all new to me.

A few months later, I had two good friends who were giving birth around the same time. That "birth photographer" thought was still in the back of my mind and I just wanted to try. I loved the idea of capturing the new life of a fresh baby entering the world, even if I was a little nervous. I had heard of people fainting in the labor + delivery room, and I didn't know how I would react or what would happen to me. I told myself, photographing these two births will (if anything) (hopefully haha!) bless my friends, and if I don't enjoy the work then, that's fine and I'll just do something else. 
 

Photographing My first 2 births

The first birth I photographed ended up being a cesarean. I didn't know very much about that at the time, but what really stood out to me during this birth was how amazingly kind the mother was toward her nurses and doctor's. She absolutely was glowing, all the while having extremely painful contractions. She would have a contraction, pain written all over her face, and then be laughing just moments later, her gleaming smile filling the room. It was incredible. Her husband showed so much support. He was soft spoken and loving. He would rub her back and say things like, "you can do this, I'm so proud of you, I love you" so quietly it was hard for me to hear. It was so sweet, and a perfect first birth for me to witness.

My first birth photography experience. The images I chose to share here showed her amazing strength in dealing with her pain, followed by and her incredible smile and apparent joy. <3 

My first birth photography experience. The images I chose to share here showed her amazing strength in dealing with her pain, followed by and her incredible smile and apparent joy. <3 

"Auntie Amber" holding baby Jacob at approximately 3 months old—my second birth photography experience. I cherish this photo! 

"Auntie Amber" holding baby Jacob at approximately 3 months old—my second birth photography experience. I cherish this photo! 

I will never forget the first time I saw a baby entering the world. It was at my second birth. During a birth, I like to stand behind the mother while her baby is born because it is a great angle for photographing dad's expression and baby's face as soon as he or she is born. I wish someone had photographed my expression because I was just in complete and total awe. My insides were leaping with joy and wonder and amazement and happiness for the growing family, and my camera was shooting rounds—I did not want to miss a second! Birth truly is miraculous.

I came home from that first birth, and before I even started editing, I added a "Birth" tab to my website because I knew in my heart I wanted to continue doing this. I launched myself into learning more about birth. I connected with other birth photographers, and asked lots of questions. I ran a model call to get more experience. I watched documentaries and read books about births. 
 

To sum it all up

There is something special about being present the moment a baby enters the world, and I can't get enough of it. I see the new family addition and I recognize that the family just changed in a drastic way. As a photographer, a historian at heart, I have an innate need to help preserve the memories for people, especially when life is about to change and things will be different from here on out. At a birth, I see so much love and transition happening, and truly feel honored document it. And that, my friends is HOW I became a birth photographer!

Thanks for reading my story. I appreciate each and every one of you! <3 Want to see some amazing birth stories I've documented? Check out the links below:

 


Amber DeCicco Photography is an Oahu birth photographer.