CAT FANCOTE | PERTH BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

I'm a mother of two and a Maternity, Birth and Motherhood Photographer servicing the Perth metro area. Honouring the journey to Motherhood is where my heart is at. I believe our bodies are amazing, and I truly enjoy capturing the authentic beauty of women during pregnancy, birth and those early motherhood years.

As a member of your birth team, my aim is always to be respectful of your birth space and the birth process. Usually this means working quietly in the background, capturing your photos without disturbing your labour. I take documentary-style birth photographs, working with what is happening in your space to capture real moments, rather than posing or staging photographs. 

We will meet before your due date to chat about your wishes and discuss my role so that you feel comfortable with my presence at your birth. I will always respect your choices, and equally, with your permission, I am willing to go beyond my role as a photographer to support you if the moment arises. Some women wish to be left to birth undisturbed, and some appreciate extra support – perhaps a whispered suggestion in your partner’s ear or an extra set of hands to help you change positions. I will work with your care providers to ensure my role as a photographer compliments your birth experience and honours your wishes.

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WHO AM I?

  • Whilst most people know me as Cat, my real name is actually Catherine. I have also been known as Cate.
  • I believe that magic happens when women support women.
  • I love avocado and vegemite on toast.
  • In 2011 I became a mother for the first time. I had no pre-conceived ideals about pregnancy and birth. We ended up planning a home birth!
  • My hubby and I have two beautiful little people whom I affectionately refer to as 'wildlings'. Said wildlings are homeschooled/unschooled.
  • I'm a breastfeeding, baby wearing, gentle parenting kinda mumma.
  • I trust the universe will support me. Often.
  • I'm a people person and I love connecting with likeminded souls.
  • Laughing 'til my face hurts and I have tears streaming down my cheeks is my kind of therapy.
  • I love delicious, wholesome food. I also love good coffee, cold pints on hot days, salty hot chips, and I have a sweet tooth. 

MY JOURNEY TO BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY

My journey to birth photography has been a little unconventional, but driven by passion, determination, and some gentle nudging from the universe.

It began when I became a mother. When my son was born, I fell in love with him, but I also fell in love with birth. I felt a deep reverence for the power of birth, and I became a passionate advocate for Positive Birth and empowering women in their choices. I felt drawn to likeminded people in the birth community, and I co-founded a local support and information group to help pregnant women in Armadale and surrounding areas understand their choices in birth and connect with other new mums, which I still run today.

I considered myself a bit of a mum-tographer and carted my camera to many mother blessings, first birthday parties, and several other special occasions. A close friend invited me to be a support person at her home birth. I was honoured to be part of such an intimate life event, and excitedly took my camera along. The photos I captured did not come close to doing justice to the amazing birth I had witnessed.

It was then that I became determined to learn how to take better birth photos, and through relentless research and practice, I began to understand the craft of birth photography. I had the privilege of documenting a few more births for my close friends and was thrilled that I could provide them with everlasting memories of their birth stories, but becoming a professional birth photographer still felt like a far-off dream.

At a bonding and attachment workshop run by a local Fremantle postpartum doula, Courtney of Mother Nurture Doula Services, I connected with a passionate mum-to-be who later approached me about documenting the impending birth of her son. Around that same time I happened to attended a birth photography information session run by award winning Adelaide Birth Photographer, Victoria Berekmi. These two things combined felt like a little nudge from the universe to formally set up my business and begin working with families throughout Perth to document their birth stories. I have since photographed many births; including hospital births, birth centre births, cesarean births and home births, and am humbled by the positive feedback I continue to receive from clients and fellow birth workers within the Perth community.

I have found my calling and it makes my heart happy.

 
Cat’s passion for birth and honouring the birthing woman is clearly evident in her work. Birth photography is her “thing” of that I’m sure. I will forever treasure the wonderful images she has taken and the beautiful montage of my birth photos makes me cry every time I watch it.
— Vicki {Home birth of Levi}