Emily Goodstein Birthographer and Birth Photographer

Emily Goodstein

Interview: How to Shoot Babies with Emily Goodstein

Emily Goodstein is a birth photographer, also known as a “birthographer.”  She walked away from a job with a steady paycheck that gave great benefits to pursue her passion. Read the summary, but listen to her podcast. It’s definitely a fulfilling one.

Below is a summary of our interview:


“You have a choice between safety and freedom. And it’s up to us which path we take.”

Her Journey

Emily was always a creative person. And every 5 years, she’d have a different creative outlet.  One summer, she worked as a cake decorator, at Baskin Robbins. When she went away to college, she worked at a bakery. Then she kind of discovered photography and invested in a camera. The year after she graduate college, she was figuring out where her photographer and activist sides of her would meet up. When you buy a nice camera, your friends will automatically ask you to take photos – be warned. So she got this crash course in event photography and she began photographing weddings. Even though she loved weddings and dancing at wedding and eating wedding cake, it is not the same as the photographer. She was documenting a series of photo opportunities and missing the really  unscripted moments as a photographer. So she put wedding photography on the back burner, and went back to her full-time job. And perusing a photography blog, she found a man who photographed a woman delivering her baby. And she thought it was fascinating and kind of weird. Kind of gross, right? But Emily thought it was interesting. There’s a unique story about her friends who led Emily to her first baby photography client, which gives us her “A-ha” moment.

A Low Point

Emily didn’t know if she should stay in the safe full-time job or pursue her creativity. She was worried about not having health insurance and not being financially safe. But she has a few people who’ve been supportive during the low moments.

Aha Moment

One weekend, when her friends were at a baby shower, the expectant mother there was looking to hire a person to photograph her birth. And her friends gave Emily’s email address to the mother.

She found her purpose. She had felt like time had almost stopped when she was leaving the hospital and felt like she had found a place where authentic emotion met the need to make something gross into a beautiful thing.  She left the hospital knowing what she had to do – she quit the job to pursue her purpose full time.

Emily’s work now  

Emily is a photographer who specializes in birth. But then she says she photographs birth in the delivery room. And sometimes there are vaginas present. She gets that out of the way, but she keeps about 10 birth photos on her phone.

What’s challenging

She’s in a place now where she’s educating people about birth photography. When women are pregnant, they don’t think about hiring a photographer, so the challenge is creating the need for her as the photographer to be there.

What’s exciting Emily now

Back when she took the leap to specialize in birth photography, she received four new inquiries and two new clients last month. She really believes in the work.

Lightning Round

Book Emily Recommends:

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”0307951529″ cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”purposerockst-20″]

Great buy for the hurried entrepreneur, who doesn’t have time to take a nap.

Helpful Habit:

Working at home, she makes time for an hour nap daily.

Helpful Person:

The woman who owns Emily’s yoga studio, Pleasance Silicki. She paved the way for Emily’s business now.

Internet Resource:

International Association of Professional Birth Photographers

What’s Your Purpose:

Be radically affirming of herself and others.

Tired of waking up, going to work, and sleeping with no sense of progress? I am offering a free 30 minute one on one career coaching session just for you. In the session, I will help you create a career plan to make more progress in the next 3 months than this past year. Click here to schedule your session

Where to follow Emily and Parting Words

Emily’s Website or her Twitter

Big ups to Joe Grossberg for this recommendation!

Emily enjoys being able to nap, sleep, and drink lots of water, then she challenges you to think on what those ideas mean to them.

An awesome way to spread the word

Follow @PurposeRockstar and tweet at us.

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Jackie Abrams

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