Melissa Cate Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to Melissa Cate Photography

    I am Melissa, the photographer of Melissa Cate Photography. I am passionate about documenting birth and the transition into Motherhood. I am blessed to be a birth photographer in lovely Southern Oregon. Documenting the birth journey of women and babies is one of the greatest joys a photographer can have, and we respect the beauty and sanctity of the moments you chose to have us document.

    Feel free to fill out a contact for or contact me through Facebook

    Why Birth Photography?
    by Melissa

    I had my first daughter eight years ago. It is a day that will forever be close to my heart, evoking some of the most powerful emotions of love, triumph, and euphoria I have ever known. At the time I did not know birth photography existed. I wish I had. I was lucky to have a nurse take photos for us as our daughter was entering our world. And I love the photos - I looked at them hundreds of times in the months after she was born. I studied the time stamp to understand exactly when moments happened. I looked carefully at each photo to remember the conversations that took place, what I was feeling in the moment. It was easier to piece together little details by looking at the photos. I still look at them and soak in the amazing moments we experienced meeting our daughter for the first time. But they were shot with a little point and shoot camera, and even though the photos I do have are so precious to me, I wish I had more. So much more.

    As I learned from first hand experience, hiring a birth photographer is usually not the first thought that comes to mind when thinking about birth plans, and the thought of someone photographing such a personal and private moment can be intimidating. But once that amazing little miracle is in your arms, the overwhelming desire to freeze each moment in time takes over.

    Your birth team does not have to worry about fumbling with a camera, or worry about missing out on first moments because they are behind the camera. Let a professional document each moment, tastefully and discreetly. Someone who has years of birth work experience, and will attend your birth calmly and quietly, documenting the first look, the first time you examine tiny baby fingernails, the first moment you smell the perfectly new baby smell.

W Family Maternity

Tanya and I met in the 4th grade. We quickly became fast friends, realizing we both loved all the same things – Ty Beanie Babies (and we had big plans of getting rich off of all the rare find beanie babies!), American Girl dolls (we both had Kirsten) and reading Babysitter’s Club Books. We eventually grew out of the toys (But thank goodness I have two little girls so I can play with toys again), and moved on to first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes us pushing baby carriages!  So here we are, 16 years later (oh wow, how old do I feel being able to say I’ve had a friend for 16 years?!), I’ve had two kiddos of my own and she is about to have her first little boy. I was so honored to do their maternity photos, and I am giddy with excitement to photograph their birth in a few short weeks! She is just glowing, and one of those lucky mamas who looks radiant and beautiful, not an ounce of swelling and her feet still fit into knee-high boots. Although completely unfair (In my 8th month I was sobbing to my husband that my thighs rubbed together with every single step), she was a gorgeous mama to photograph, and they are such a sweet, loving couple. So enjoy these lovely parents-to-be!

You Know You’re a Birth Photographer If…

You Know You’re a Birth Photographer if…

*You lay your scrubs out every night, down to the socks & shoes. Fumbling around in the darkness for clothes can waste precious minutes.

*You can roll out of bed, dress, and be backing down your drive way in 6 minutes flat all hours of the night.

*You keep track of the full moon and new moon schedule

*In social settings you start 80% of your stories with “This one time, at a birth…”

*You can answer your phone before you are even awake. Sometimes you honestly can’t remember the first half of the conversation.

*On nights you know there is a mama in early labor, you sleep restlessly, dreaming only of labors happening and missing births.

*You keep a change of clothes & snacks in your car at all times. You learned that lesson after the first 24 hour marathon birth without a fresh change of clothing.

*You use the words “primip”, “multip”, “earthside”, “transition”, “placenta”, “contractions”, “prodromal labor”, “latent labor”, and other birth related words multiple times a day.

*You know what SS, AF, MF, ISO, WB, RAW, & M stand for and you type them daily on photography forums.

*You warn people you are an unpredictable dinner guest.

*To flash or not to flash, that is the question. (It really is the question you contemplate and discuss constantly.)

*You have had to take pictures in such dark settings not even auto focus will work.

*You feel fairly confident if you ran across a woman delivering her baby unexpectedly in the grocery store you could probably handle it, since you’ve seen it done so many times. (assuming no complications, of course)

*You haven’t gone out of town in over a year.

*Your phone lives in your back pocket

*You double and triple check to make sure your phone is on loud each night before bed

*You can’t remember the last time your phone was on silent.

*Your children discuss childbirth over dinner.

*You have no problem snacking while editing photos full of blood, placentas, and perhaps other situations most other people would wince at.

*You can stay silent for hours, and you think you would probably make a pretty good spy, because you know how to be stealthy.

*You wish your shutter wasn’t so dang loud. It sounds like thunder crashing in a silent birth room. Sometimes it’s almost painful to click that button, even though the result is well worth it.

*You drive to the place of birth with your heart about to pound out of your chest, worried when you rush through the doors you will hear the cries of an infant. Even if mama was at 4cm, you still worry.

*You hit the jackpot one month and photograph a breech delivery, one of your proudest career moments yet!

*Photographing babies born in the caul is like photographers gold

*The shot you captured that was posted on “Birth Without Fear” really was your “crowning moment”

October 11, 2012 - 9:59 pm

Lacie Lacy - Love this! :)

October 11, 2012 - 10:27 pm

Sarah Lewis - Love it, Melissa!

October 13, 2012 - 8:02 pm

Kong Choon Yen - Meaningful and beautiful. Well done Melissa! You inspire me to become a Birth Photographer.

G Family – Welcoming Baby Eli – Southern Oregon Family Photographer

I had the privilege of photographing this family and their brand new baby. Little Eli was only 6 days old, and it was so fun to watch all the members of his family pass him around, begging for their turn to hold him. This is one loved little guy! Mama was radiant, I could not believe she had a baby just 6 days ago. Motherhood clearly looked amazing on her! We did the first half of the shoot in their living room, and headed over to Roxy Ann winery for the second half, and we had a blast. Nobody needed to be told to love on Eli, it just came naturally. Welcoming a new baby is one of my favorite sessions to do, and I am so thankful this family contacted me.

Newborn Eli – Southern Oregon Newborn Photographer

This sweet little guy stole my heart. He smiled through so much of his session, I don’t think I have ever had a newborn smile as much as him. He was just snuggly, content, and all around sweet. His handsome little face was a dream to photograph, and I am so glad his mama brought him in! Enjoy the precious pictures of sweet Eli!