Business, Personal

2017 + a NEW Milk & Hannah Photo | Columbus, OH Birth Photography | Milk & Hannah Photo


On September 25th, 2014, I watched Asher take his first breath pressed against his mother's skin.


On March 5, 2015, I witnessed the birth of Paxton.


Luke, on June 21, 2015.


Then Finley, on July 12, 2015.


Stacey, on the 11th of October,


and Penelope, on the 20th of December the same year.


Izabel started off 2016- I watched as she was welcomed into her Mama's tender and loving arms on January 7th.


Followed by Ethney, the first baby at home, on June 28th.


July 28th, brought Hazel,


and Jackson on August the 3rd.


On September 28th, 2016, there was Arbor-


and Elliot stared into the depths of his Mama on October the 25th.


Charlie was welcomed on the 23rd of November,


And Giovanni rounded out 2016, at home, on the 11th of December.


I started this photography journey a wanderer. A dabbler.

Attempting to find my place in a sea of specialties.

I went on photographing families, children, bellies. Life. But something was missing.

I remember thinking about birth photographers Sarah Shambaugh and Lindsey Scholz's work and feeling a pang in my gut. Like "DAMN. That's mind blowing." But never having the guts to try it on for size.


When Drew's sister told us she was expecting, a rainbow baby so desired, so loved already- I mentioned the desire to photograph her birth. They live in Michigan, we live in Ohio, but I threw out the idea. Just "to see" maybe "add it to the list of work experience". She wasn't planning on hiring a photographer, we just so happened to be going in town near the due date. If it happened, it happened.

And we crossed our fingers.

Our trip date was already set for my husband's birthday- September the 25th.

At 9am on the 25th of September, Amy entered the hospital doors-preparing to birth a baby . We were in town. I was at the hospital. It was happening, and on my husband's birthday, nonetheless. It felt like---something far more than coincidence.

And then--she labored.

For once in my life--I felt like I couldn't stop clicking the shutter.

I couldn't miss even a second. Every piece of every moment was part of the story. Personal. Crucial. The layout of the room. The stork painting on the wall. The t-shirt her husband, Zac wore, and the way her hands clasped around a styrofoam cup of ice water. She looked so beautiful and yet- so vulnerable-and yet-so amazingly strong.  I was in awe. High. Shaken.

And then-- Asher was born.

I sobbed. I sobbed so intensely that I couldn't see my camera. The tears were hot on my cheeks and I was attempting with all my might to gain some ounce of control and yet I could not. The second my breathing was slowed, I looked at this woman, this sweet child, and lost it all over again.

That moment- that day?

Changed my entire life.

I knew right then what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to tell stories of Birth.
The Welcoming of Sweet Children.
Tales of the strength of Women.
The MIRACLE that is New Life.

I wanted to be the one that held a hand, that put hair in a top bun, that photographed your journey to Motherhood at it's peak. Conquering pregnancy's mighty summit. Becoming all at once a delicate and warring goddess of life-bringing force. That's what I wanted. That's what I want.


Since that September day, I've photographed 13 more birth stories.

Pax, Finley, Luke, Penny, Izy, Stacey Caroline, Ethney, Hazel, Jackson, Arbor Jane, Eliiot, Charlie, and Giovanni.

I've serviced Columbus, Lancaster, Reynoldsburg, Pickerington, Chillicothe, Ohio and Rochester Hills, Michigan.

And I've fallen deeply in love with my work.

I've continued to dabble, to wander.

But with the end of 2016 came the end of three pieces of what Milk & Hannah Photo was:

This year and beyond, I am focusing on the true passion and drive behind my business.

 Bellies. Babies. Birth. Motherhood. Life.


I'm focusing on telling authentic stories.

With the exception of my milk baths, I no longer offer any posed photography session. Everything is photo-journalistic and documentary based. Your story, exactly as it is.


I'm cutting out vows.

I am no longer accepting wedding or engagement clients. The 2017 weddings on my books are my last. I am honored and excited to be ending my season of wedding photography with such wonderful people.



I knew what I wanted to do 2 years ago, but I was afraid.
Afraid to fail, afraid of regret, afraid of change...

It took me awhile, but I listened to the calling on my life. I stopped doubting and starting trusting. There is a journey set for every single one of us. A journey far greater than we can imagine if we have the gull to work hard, the ambition to keep moving, and the guts to fail and then get up to fly.

I am honored that you're here with me. That you're reading this.
I'm thankful that you're along for the ride as 2017 shapes into what I've wanted since that stork-painting-styrofoam-cup-of-ice wonderful, life-changing, breath-taking day of photographing my first birth.

Ready for all the babies, all the bellies, all the Mama's, and all the births--



Copyright, Print Release, & Digital Images : What you need to know

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine reached out to me with this message:

It was an innocent question, that there isn't a whole lot of information on out there in the world-especially when different photographers have different policies. I'm here to break down some of the communication into easily indigestible facts regarding Milk & Hannah Photo 's stance.

1. What is Copyright?

Copyright, by definition is the exclusive legal right given to a creator. In this instance, we're talking about Photographers and the works they create, photographs.

When taking a photograph, the person looking through the viewfinder, and clicking the shutter button and therein capturing a photograph, legally owns the image captured in it's entirety. It is their intellectual property and they are Copyright Owners.

 Being a "Copyright Owner" entitles you to ownership rights that are exclusive to you.

These include (and are not limited to) :

  • Reproducing the Photograph
  • Distributing Copies of the Photograph
  • Displaying the Photograph

These rights are given to all Photographer's and their copyrighted property through the US Copyright Act at 17 U.S.C 106. It is a legally given and upheld right.


Let's break down those bullet points, yes? Here's where it gets a little real and what you could be doing that is illegal activity.


"Reproducing the Photograph "

A Copyright Owner is the ONLY individual allowed to reproduce photographs unless express permission is granted stating otherwise.

Saving photographs you have not taken, whether to your desktop or smartphone, and printing them is illegal. There are no exceptions. Artists and individuals alike are protected from this activity and you can be held financially liable for breaking the law and infringing upon a photographer's property.


"Distributing Copies of the Photograph"

A Copyright Owner is the ONLY individual allowed to create copies of their work. You many not scan a photograph you've ordered to make more copies. You may not print copies for family or friends without express permission. This is illegal. You can be held financially liable for breaking the law and infringing upon the financial gain of an artist.


"Displaying the Photograph"

A Copyright Owner is the ONLY individual allowed to show or display a digital or printed image. You may not right-click and save an image and upload it to Instagram. You may not right-click and Save As at all. That infringes upon the rights of an Artist and you could be held financially liable.


2. Print Release VS. Copyright.

Having a print release from your photographer is different from transferring copyrights from your photographer.

A Print Release allows you the specific right to create printed works from digital images supplied by a photographer. That's all.

A Copyright release from your photographer allows you to obtain FULL OWNERSHIP of the images from your photographer. The photographer releases all legal rights and you then hold full rights to the images.

A Copyright Release from a photographer is RARE and even when offered, the price range is in the hundreds to thousands of dollars PER DIGITAL IMAGE.

Be sure to clarify with your photographer which they offer-and which you are seeking.


3.) Instagram Filters / Editing Apps

Without express permission to do so, sharing an artists work on social media is illegal.

However, many photographers supply images low-resolution images specifically for use online-so that you're able to share with family and friends. Usually, they require a written credit statement (Photo by: Blah Blah), and business tagging when applicable.

When uploading photographs to Instagram and any other social platform, it is illegal to alter it with an editing filter. It is also illegal to resize or crop an image. You may NOT alter an image in which a Photographer or otherwise holds Copyright Ownership.

Adding text, warmth, cropping, sharpening, etc. is all prohibited and infringes upon an artist's rights.

Just because a Photographer doesn't send you a Cease and Desist (DMCA) letter every time you infringe upon them, doesn't mean they CAN'T. It's best to be respectful of their work!


4.) What if there's no Watermark?

Luckily for photographers, we don't have to watermark our images to make them our images. And because of that, even if you've come across images without a watermark, you aren't entitled to use them just because they aren't protected.

Think of it this way:

You're walking down the street on a sunny day and you realize you're thirsty. REALLY thirsty. You glance to your right, and notice that the house next to you has a hose out front! Do you walk onto the property to use their hose?



Be smart about online image use.

I'm guilty, too and will be working on this more, and scouring my social media for times now and in the past in which I've been guilty of the very things I'm speaking of.

People work hard on their creative pursuits.
It isn't okay to take advantage of them with advancements in technology. Get permission to print images. Get permission for social media use. At the end of the day, it's breaking the law. And beyond that, it's hurting the hard work of a business owner.