Lifestyle session at home. Catie is more than just an amazing photographer; she’s an amazing human being. I was so excited and nervous about having an in-home lifestyle session. I ran through the laundry list of insecurities I had about our home, about our kids, about my body, about everyone’s ability to not act like wild animals in front of everyone. I finally decided to just embrace the way we are, since that’s what I really wanted. When the day of our session rolled around, Catie came over and did exactly the same. She just embraced us. She cherished my kids, engaged my daughter in conversation, was gentle and easy to approach and just be around. My husband, who hates being photographed, even said our session was “totally painless.” Thats huge. HUGE. When it was time to wrap things up, my daughter asked whether Catie could come back for a sleepover. I probably don’t even have to tell you that the photos were spectacular, but they really, really were. I love having this time in our lives, when the kids are little, when we’re still figuring out what it means to be a family of four, to have it trapped in amber to revisit as we change and grow. The images Catie made for us will be a treasure to our family for generations.
Thank you! ~Chris
Baby Esequiel, born at home on June 16th, 2014 Catie, you are amazing. Thank you so much for being an amazing part of our team. You were so spectacular, and your photos truly are pieces of art that I will cherish the rest of my days. ~Love, Josh S.
We are so insanely grateful for Catie and her gift of capturing the beauty of birth. We had our first child at home two days ago and she was a part of our birth team, not just someone present to take photos. Her vision is to capture the whole birth story through the end of her lens and she does just that and so much more. We are blessed to have these images!
Thank you Catie!! ~Christina S.
Baby Stella, born at home on October 29th, 2013 Catie has photographed two of my birth stories, and there is no one in San Diego that I trust more to document these precious moments than Catie. As a birth doula, when my clients are looking to have someone do the photography, I explain that if they leave it to me, I’m likely to take blurry pictures with the baby’s head out of the picture or something. I strongly encourage people to hire a birth photographer! Catie is familiar with birth and really captures the whole experience from labor through birth to those first moments where you fall in love with your baby. She is 6 feet tall, yet somehow, you forget that she is there, silently documenting. She is an ARTIST, a gentle soul, as well as a wickedly funny lady with a cool Australian accent! Over the years, we have become friends, and it brings me great joy to see her craft evolve to pictures that are frequently featured in national birth photography competitions and the ‘Birth Without Fear’ blog. You need to book her early in your pregnancy…she is the best in the SOCAL area, so she books up quick! In fact, for my third baby, I texted her the picture of the positive pregnancy test before my husband found out (to be fair, he was deployed 9000 miles away 😉 ~Annie L.
Baby Juliet, born at home on September 17th, 2013 Catie is amazing. She captured our birth beyond words. We now have an incredible documentary to share with our girls to inspire them to have the courage to birth naturally. Catie was so professional, yet fun and I felt comfortable having her in my birthing environment. She was always communicative, always checking in and has become a friend of the family. We couldn’t have chosen a better photographer for us and she actually makes me want to have more children just for more of her photography!!! ~Jamie
Baby Zachary, born at home on February 11th, 2013 There is no person more meant to photograph births than Catie Stephens of Vuefinder Photography. The photos that Catie captures are love in the purest form, and that is evidenced by the tears that are brought to my eyes every time I revisit the photos she took at my son Zachary’s birth. I did not get a chance to meet Catie beforehand because Zachary decided to arrive earlier than anticipated, but when I had met Catie, I was immediately reminded of an angel–this sounds like an exaggeration, and perhaps it was the Hypnobirthing hallucination, but I remember her light. She immediately became part of the sacred birthing space while I gently labored. Her presence is known but undetected, and she blends in with the energies, making you feel at peace. Catie’s doula heart guides her work. I feel as if it were her heart taking the pictures, and not her Nikon camera. Catie Stephens is a gift, and we are very fortunate to have been able to have her at our son’s birth to capture the most perfect, precious moments that made us parents…moments that were love in the purest form. ~ Heatherly H.
Baby Çınar born at Scripps La Jolla on October 22nd, 2013 As you know, we did a lot of research to find the right birth photographer. We have e-mailed a few people and checked out various websites. My wife had her favorites and so did I! My favorite website was yours. I was secretly praying that you got back to us the fastest so that I can use that to convince my wife. You have, indeed, got back to us the fastest and when we met you in person for the introductory interview, I didn’t need to do anything convincing. Your warm and straightforward attitude, the way you showed how passionate you are towards the miracle of birth was enough for us to not even bother reconsidering other candidates.
You checking up on us as days went by and as the big day neared, made us even more comfortable, and we never thought that we would face any issues during the shoot. As you have promised, when the day came, you were at the hospital bedside 10 minutes after we have arrived and stayed there until we all felt that you had enough shots which was for a “mere” 8 hours! During all that time, again, as you have promised, you were invisible to us, doing your job, but shared all your knowledge when called upon. Our preview gallery was up in 48 hours and it helped us share the first pictures of our little one to our family abroad. And when we got the CDs in less than a week with all the retouched photos and a beautiful slide show , we were really happy with not only the speed but how you paid attention to detail and spelled our son’s name in our native language on that gorgeous CD case.
All in all, it was a great experience for us to work with you and if we ever go for another one, we sure will want you to be at our bedside again.
Thanks for everything Catie! With warm regards, ~ Alper
Baby River, born at home on August 28th, 2013 I am a doula and just gave birth to our third baby. I love and value the birth process, however we didn’t consider birth photography with our first two births. But after meeting Catie and seeing her work, we decided to go for it with the third. This was HANDS DOWN one of the best decisions we have made. My husband was on the fence because that meant another person at our home birth. But throughout our birth day, Catie was a quiet, calm and soothing presence, and it was an honor to share this experience with her. The photos she took were not only stunning, but they captured the raw, intimate moments of that day in a creative and memorable way that our family will treasure always. ~Jessica C.
Baby Irene, born at Pomerado Hospital on November 25th, 2012 Catie was the birth photographer at a birth that I witnessed as the mother’s doula. Her presence throughout the entire labor was just what it needed to be, whether it was in cheerful conversation with the mom, quiet patience as the mom drew within herself to manage surges, or lending a helping hand. She knew exactly what needed to be done, and when it was needed. All the while she was doing her job seamlessly. I honestly don’t remember Catie taking pictures at the birth, but her portfolio of the amazing portraits shows that she was indeed working hard to capture each precious moment. She blended so well into the perfectly orchestrated team and never affected the mood of the birth in a negative way. Rather, she completely enhanced the event with her presence. I can’t say enough about the impact of her work; when I first saw the photographs it brought tears to my eyes and brought me right back into the moments of the birth like I was right there again. Absolutely amazing. I wholeheartedly recommend Catie to anyone who is looking for a birth photographer.You will love her kind and friendly presence as well as the impact of the amazing work that she performs. ~ Cinda, Doula
Baby Jay, born at Best Start Birth Center on October 14th, 2011 Catie was the photographer at our son’s birth, which was a natural water birth. From the time we first met Catie, and even after our son’s birth, she has been caring and friendly, making it very easy to feel comfortable sharing such a personal experience with her. We called Catie as my labor progressed and she was there within 15 minutes of us getting to the birth center. I chose to stay in the tub, with my eyes closed while I progressed through by labor, so when I look at the pictures I feel like I was there for the first time, completely speechless.
She offered a supporting hand when perfectly necessary and she quietly stayed in the background as if she wasn’t there, capturing the occasion. My husband was the only other person at my labor, which was very hard for our two families to accept, but as soon as I showed them the pictures they felt the same way I did, mesmerized as if they were there experiencing the live birth. This was our first child and when it comes time for a second one (maybe?!) or anyone I know having a baby; I will highly recommend using Catie’s service. She captured all the perfect moments that we can now hold and share forever. I am ever so grateful that our paths crossed, I could not thank her enough. ~ Stephanie B.
Baby Edith, born at Mary Birch Hospital on August 4th, 2011 I have always been a sucker for birth stories both written and on TV so when I became pregnant for the first time it was only a matter of time before I started imagining my natural med-free birth center birth of my most wonderful and perfect baby. It only only took 10 weeks for those plans to go out the window as I was informed at my first ultrasound that I was carrying not one but TWO babies. The birth of my twins was (to give you the short version) absolutely the opposite of what I envisioned.
Short of needing a cesarean I was subjected to every intervention under the sun and I wasn’t even able to see my babies for over 12 hours after they were born. Needless to say when I found out I was pregnant again (and with one baby this time!) I didn’t waste any time signing myself up for that blissful birth center birth I had envisioned with my first pregnancy. Part of my plan had always been to hire a photographer – being a photographer myself I knew I NEEDED to have those first moments documented. I was overjoyed when I found Catie and fell in love with her work. It’s so apparent from her photos and writing, how much she loves what she does! We knew that we weren’t likely to have any more children after this one and now it was imperative that I captured the birth in photos!
About 7 weeks before my due date my beautiful daughter Edith decided to throw a wrench (yet again!) into my birthing plans. My water broke at 33 weeks and I was sent to the hospital on bed rest with the new best-case scenario being a delivery at 34 weeks. Catie was amazing when I contacted her and told her what was happening. She worked with me to make sure that I was 100% comfortable with the new plan and we both agreed that whatever the outcome (we were worried our new baby might need time in the NICU) that we would rather have her there than not. On August 4th at 34 weeks on the dot, Catie was there first thing in the morning, right from the first drop of pitocin for my induction all the way into the night when Edith made her debut into the world. She was friendly, comfortable, unobtrusive and amazing the whole day through. Just like having a dear friend (who you just happened to have met) along for the journey. I would have been happy just with the way she carried herself all day but seeing the photos just blew me away. They are everything I could have ever hoped for and more. They are absolutely and without a doubt some of my most prized possessions. In just 4 short months our little 34 week miracle baby has grown and thrived and turned into a chubby smiley bundle of joy. It’s hard to remember her ever being smaller than 5 pounds but thanks to Catie we have the memories of her welcome to the world captured for eternity. We absolutely cannot thank her enough.
I would not give a moment’s hesitation in recommending Catie to document your birth. You will be so glad that you did! ~ Katy R.