EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 16, 2014

Images of the beginning of life

Local photographer documents the birthing process

By Mike LaBella
Staff Writer

---- — Some expectant parents have asked their doctor or nurse not to tell them the gender of their baby, but instead to write it down on a piece of paper and hand it to Kimberly Finn.

The information is revealed during a “gender reveal” photography session, where the expectant mom and dad open a big gift box and out fly pink or blue helium balloons.

Finn, who is known for taking photo layouts of mothers giving birth and the family moments afterward, is branching out into documenting the entire pregnancy and birth process with her new endeavor, Stork Photography.

Finn recently opened a studio on a farm in Bradford. The Bradford native said she has outgrown her home studio and that having a farm as a backdrop - plus indoor and outdoor space to shoot - opens up new possibilities for her business.

“Things have been going really well and we needed to expand,” Finn said.

Earlier this month, Finn held a grand opening at the new studio at Chris’ Farm Stand. Finn shares the small farm stand building with Marlene Stasinos, who runs the stand along with her husband, Chris Stasinos.

“We’re both family-based businesses,” Marlene Stasinos said. “I feed families and she (Finn) takes their pictures.”

The road to having her own photography studio began last year when Finn, a stay-at-home mom, launched her own photography business specializing in capturing the moments surrounding the birth of a child. She photographs the miracle of birth from announcement to delivery as a lasting memento for her clients.

Finn, 32, has practiced her art at hospitals throughout the area, photographing couples during labor, delivery and the hours after birth. Finn has photographed nearly twenty births, including two twin cesarean sections that she was invited into the operating room to document.

"I had two c-sections, so to be on the other side of that curtain was amazing," Finn said.

Since last year, Finn has expanded into new photographic territory, although her main focus continues to be on expectant families. In addition to her birth clients, she photographed over 300 families last year.

“We’re still doing birth stories and we’ve done a lot of them, as well as pregnancy announcements, such as a recent one about twins,” she said.

‘‘We ... took shots of mom and dad holding them up, with their daughter looking up with a big smile while mom and dad were in the background kissing,” Finn said.

Another new area for Finn is “gender reveals.’’ Expectant parents who want to announce the sex of their baby through photographs come to her and she designs something creative.

One technique she uses is to obtain the gender of the baby from the expectant parents’ nurse, who keeps it secret from the parent. Then she fills a gift box with helium balloons in pink or blue.

“When the surprised parents open the box, I capture that moment of surprise,” Finn said. “I’ve picked up different ideas along the way and have kind of made them my own.”

Her maternity session shoots focus on the end of the pregnancy, where Finn concentrates on the expectant mother.

“It could be belly shots, with hands on it,” Finn said.

She does black and white for the birth stories, and color for everything else.

During the annual Pumpkin Festival weekends last October at Chris’ Farm Stand, Marlene Stasinos invited vendors to participate, including Finn.

“I took family portraits in the pumpkin fields and told Marlene that if any space opened, I’d love to be here,” Finn said. “She called me a few months ago and offered to let me use the space in return for bringing our clients to the farm stand.’’

Stasinos said they struck up a nice relationship and, the more she got to know Finn, the more she realized how nice a person she is.

Stasinos let Finn redecorate the little building where Stasinos was selling farm goods such as honey, eggs and maple syrup.

“She’s really made it cute on the inside,” Marlene Stasinos said.

For more information about Kimberly Finn’s work, visit online at www.storkbirthphotography.com.

How Kimberly Finn documents a birth in photos:

Announcing the child’s gender before the birth by putting either pink or blue balloons into a box and having the parents open it.

Taking pictures of the birthing process.

Taking photos of mother and father and child as they bond during the hours after birth.