Sincere Storytelling + Birth Photography Ethics
After Leilani was asked to photograph the birth of her niece over 7 years ago, she knew she had found her calling. She immediately started transitioning her existing portrait business to one that specializes in birth and breastfeeding photography. Since that moment of clarity, her work has gained rapid attention across the world, being described as "emotive, touching, and genuine". Leilani was named Best Birth Photographer in Austin, TX in 2013 and still holds that title. She is the founder of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project (PBAP), an initiative that has attracted the talent of 60 breastfeeding photographers from around the globe. She’s won awards in birthphotographers .com’s International Image Competition, ClickinMoms VOICE competition, Lensculture’s Portrait Competition and Shoot&Share.
Leilani's birth and breastfeeding work has been viewed worldwide via the GETXOPHOTO Int'l Photography Festival, Spain Tbilisi Photo Festival in Georgia, Indian Photo Fest in India, Gazebook: Sicily Phonebook Festival in Italy, Porto Photo
Fest in Portugal, and the Voies Off Festival in Arles, France. She's been interviewed on both on ABC News Nightline and Time Warner News. Press Mentions include The Huffington Post, People, TODAY, National Geographic, Fstoppers, Redbook, SELF, Cosmopolitan, Babble and Hello Giggles. Her work has also appeared in Dear Photographer, Midwifery Today, Where Women Create and CLICK.
In her recent foray into teaching and speaking, Leilani has discovered a love for inspiring other photographers to find and connect with their unique selves, allowing them to find their voice in the photography world. That is how Birthbound was born! She knew there was a need for more unique learning opportunities for birth photographers. Her idea for a class on "Sincere Storytelling" has been brewing since she taught at The Baby Summit in 2015. When we stick to the story and trust the process of documenting real, authentic moments, our work is pure and genuine. If we get distracted by trends however, we deviate from the story, and that sincerity is lost. With many years of experience and births under her belt, Leilani also teaches a class on the ethics of being a birth photographer.
Leilani and her husband Andrew live in Austin, Texas with their four children ages 12 to 19. She credits her own experiences in motherhood for her unique ability to connect with her audience, and tell her clients' stories with dedication and grace.