Erika Ray is a birth photographer and yet her work is not about babies. Her work is about feeling. A woman feeling pain. A mother feeling empowered. A partner feeling desperate. A midwife feeling prepared. A family feeling complete. Her work is raw and honest where others can be syrupy and it is so true to the experience of welcoming a new life in the world that I can’t help but fall in love with every birth she shares.

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While I love them all, every once in a while one stands out as different from the rest. When Erika was called to photograph the arrival of twins being birthed by a surrogate, she too knew that this would be different. But not even she could prepare for the roller coaster of hours of driving, drastic changes in the birth plans, and being quickly evacuated from the operating room. What is a birth photographer to photograph if she can’t capture the birth?

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Feeling. Like when a father who has pined for his own children and finally gets to hold his two perfect miracles in his arms for the first time. This isn’t a story about babies and it never is. It is a story about feeling.

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All photos by Erika Ray