Lauren Guilford Photography » Blog

When I was first getting into birth photography I had no idea what I was doing.

I remember seeing a birth article with gorgeous birth images in it and knew that it was something I had to try. I would research birth photography on the internet from time to time only to find blog posts of birth stories. Which, was great since it kept that little spark of interest lit…but it didn’t help provide me with any information on what to do or how to get into birth photography. There was no book, or guide. No workshop to take. Birth photography was still such a new niche at the time and, for the most part, all of us birth photographers were left figuring it out on our own.

Over the next couple of years I began to learn from experience and good old trial & error.

As I gained experience as a birth photographer, not only did my passion for birth stories grow, but my love and dedication for mothers and the overall birth experience flourished. The two quickly became one in my eyes. Being there to document mom’s journey meant (and continue to means) so much more than the beautiful images I am able to capture as a photographer. While understanding all of the details and how to shoot a birth is necessary to being a birth photographer, being compassionate for mom and adding to her over all birth experience is just as important.

At the beginning of this year, Erin and Lisa (the fabulous women behind The Milky Way) had the idea to create a Birth Photography Guide to help photographers who are looking to get into birth photography. Excited about the idea, I teamed up with them and began brainstorming about how I could help photographers on their journey to documenting births.

After months of hard work I am THRILLED to say that the Birth Photography Guide is ready!

In this e-guide I open up about everything I know as a birth photographer.

Here’s a look at what’s included:

  • The Why
  • The Process of Birth
  • My complete “A-Z” of birth stories
    – from booking a session to final delivery of images
  • Challenges of Birth Photography
    • Being on Call
    • Working with a Back-up Photographer
    • Tough Lighting Situations
    • Caesarean Births
    • When the Unplanned Happens
  • Recommended Gear
  • Shooting Tips
  • My Editing Workflow (Lightroom) + Slideshow Tips
  • Contract Considerations
  • Pricing tips (+ Mistakes to Avoid!)


  • an interactive “Birth Story Inspiration Guide”
  • My shot list ‘cheat sheet’
  • Client Questionnaire (what you should ask during your consult)
  • a customizable Client Welcome guide (.psd files supplied so you can tailor to your branding and session options)

    To celebrate the two newest arrivals at The Milk Way – Erin’s sweet baby boy Kye & the Birth Photography Guide – the e-guide has been on sale! There are only two days left to get it at it’s sale price (sale ends October 24th 11:59 pm – PST).

    Birth Photography Guide -“Birthday” Sale: $129
    (use discount code: Kye2014 at check-out)


    Get your Birth Photography e-guide before midnight October 24th and you’ll also get access to TWO great bonuses!


    I will be sharing a bit more on how I got into birth photography, Lisa will be talking about her experience shooting her ‘first birth’, and Erin will weigh in with her perspective as a mama having a birth photographed (how she felt, before, during and after the experience)

    (If you can’t make it live, we’ll be sure to send you a recording!  *note: scheduled for October 28th at 6PM PST*)


    Get feedback, ask questions as well as connect with other photographers on this journey in our private Facebook group hosted by myself  :) (group will be open Oct 27th – Nov 9th)

    Have more questions about this e-guide? Head on over to The Milk Way to review the FAQs!

    Los Angeles Birth Photographer -


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When I first heard from Chelsea it was over voicemail saying that they were interested in birth photography and she over 40 weeks. I quickly called her back knowing that at that point baby could decide to come whenever. It just so happened that I wasn’t on-call for a birth, so it worked out perfectly for me to be there for the birth of her first little one. Chelsea did such a great job and had the help of her awesome hubby and sweet mom. Not to forget the wonderful team at Del Mar Birth Center, too!

Here’s the birth story of baby Veda!

Los Angeles Birth Photographer -

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When I first met Carla and her daughter, Carolina, I knew I had to photograph them. There is this sweet light that extends from their interactions and I wanted to show Carla just how beautiful their mother/daughter relationship is. I’m so happy I got the chance to do that.

We spent a day reading, laughing, sipping pretend tea, and having a dance party in the living room. Here are some of my favorites from our day together…


I have limited availability for family sessions for the remaining 2014 year, if you are interested in having your family’s love captured don’t hesitate to send me an email!

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  • Kel Ward - Oh my gosh, I love this session! Your shots are so creative and artistic, with so much variety. Beautiful mother and daughter.ReplyCancel

  • jody savage - These are just precious!! I love how you captured the special bond they share! So beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa O'Dwyer - What a sweet session! So effortless and natural!ReplyCancel

  • Krystle Akin - Oh my word! I love so many of these and I so want this same style for my family. Girl you are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsy McCartney - SO in love with this sweet session!! What a joyful mother and daughter connection! I feel like you captured them absolutely perfectly, they must love these images to the moon and back!ReplyCancel

I remember standing outside the children’s ministry hallway chatting with Tyler about the benefits of having a doula and how he and his wife should really look into having one for their second baby’s birth. Not long after that conversation I began the training & certification process to become a birth doula…and a handful of months later I got to help Helayna and Tyler bring baby Roland into this world!

A few months before he was born I was talking to Tyler at church one Sunday and asked if he and Helayna had picked out a name yet and he told me yes – Roland. My arms were immediately covered in goosebumps. I think I may have responded with something like “are you serious?” or “no way!” And then went onto say that Rowland was my dad’s name (mind you, it’s not a very common name…so it definitely took me by surprise to hear that’s what they were naming him).

Being there for Roland’s birth was a healing experience of sorts. While I had lost my dad, Rowland, I got to help Helayna bring her Roland into this world (and she did such an amazing job). It also gave me this deep sense of affirmation that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life.

I’m so grateful that Tyler and Helayna trusted me to be their birth doula…I can’t quite express what it felt like to be there as baby Roland was born and I’m so happy to have had that experience!

Here are some images from their newborn session when Roland was about a week old! Big sister Eleanor was as cute as ever loving on her baby brother  :)


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  • jody savage - oh I got chills reading your story! So excited for you in your next adventure! Wish you had been around when I had my children!!! And the pictures are just lovely as usual!!ReplyCancel

  • Kel ward - I love each and every one of these! Beautiful photography of an adorable family, Lauren!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa O'Dwyer - Love them! You’ve captured a beautiful mood and time in this family’s life!ReplyCancel

  • wendy laurel - oh so good! lovely photos of the family.ReplyCancel

  • Krystle Akin - Oh Lauren these are just precious! I am in love!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsy McCartney - What a sweet family and set of images!! These will be such a treasure for them! Beautiful job, Lauren :)ReplyCancel