Hello and welcome! I have recently relocated to Portland, Maine from Rochester, Minnesota and serve the wedding and portrait photography needs of Maine, Minnesota and beyond. This is the place to check out my most recent work and to get a glimpse into my life. Feel free to take a look around, I'd love to connect with you!

Emily Griffith

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03.06.14 | birth stories, my life

Clara’s Birth Story

My baby is ONE YEAR old today.  SAY WHAT!?!?  And I just now feel ready to share her birth story and images.  Oooorrrr I am just finally getting around to it.    Or a little of both.  I owe the world to Becca Wood for these images.  Photographing a birth is HARD.  Emotionally.  Physically.  Technically.  She was with us at least 10+ hours through the night, was ridiculously patient, dealt with horrible lighting and somehow made images that bring me to tears even a year later.  (Click here to watch the slideshow she made last year).

These images are raw.
They are emotional.
They are personal.
They are painful.
They are joyful.

They are about the birth of our baby but speak more so to me about the love that Justin and I share.  They are a visual representation of the underlying love, support, respect and commitment that I feel from him on a daily basis.  I could not have done this without him (or our AWESOME nurse Amanda and our AWESOME doctor, Dr. Sansonetti).  Giving birth is hard.  Becoming a mom is hard.  Maintaining a marriage is hard.  Raising kids is hard.  Life is hard.  But it is always, always, always worth it.  I think these photos communicate that.

And now, for the longest birth story ever.  I actually wrote this out on my phone while holding a sleeping baby shortly after she was born.  No wonder my thumbs were tired…

I feel so thankful that I was able to experience pregnancy and watch my belly grow and feel my baby doing back flips and have the hiccups. What a thrill.  I know not everyone is able to experience this and I will never, ever take it for granted.  I was not anxious to rush through any part of it which I credit to the fact that Baby G was so, so nice to me!  I had very few pregnancy woes, only getting sick a few times (almost always on an airplane) in addition to the standard exhaustion, heartburn, heartburn and more heartburn (Oh and my feet grew half a size, my eyesight got worse and my hair started turning brown.  But whatever).  So when her due date came and went, I was anxious but I was happy to put my feet up, rub my belly and enjoy having her all to myself for a little while longer.  However, I did feel the (self imposed) pressure to have a baby by the time my family got here.  I warned my parents that we may have to plan some touristy things to do as they could potentially be here for six days before I would be induced (I was reeeeeally hoping I wouldn’t have to be induced…) On Clara’s actual due date (March 1), Ike and I took a walk at Baxter Woods and then I took a long bath.  The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th included similar activities.  I finished making our “2012 year in review” book, added more stuff we didn’t end up using to our hospital bag, and made some freezer meals in between several naps.  Early Tuesday morning, March 5, I noticed a few light contractions when I woke up to pee (8 times…).  Having never experienced them before and with the ultimate goal of staying calm and getting sleep, I brushed them off as nothing and went back to bed.  My parents were set to come Tuesday afternoon so in the morning, I made dinner (it was my dad’s birthday!) and went to a massage that Justin had scheduled for me (what a guy!) at noon.  Throughout the morning, I was having contractions but convinced myself it was nothing.  I had a great massage and counted 7 contractions during it, still convincing myself it wasn’t time.  (Seriously, Emily?!)  On the way home from my massage, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things (again, seriously, Emily!?).  As I walked waddled around the store, I reviewed my list of the four things I needed at least 12 times while sweating profusely.  (Awesome mental picture…)  Somehow I managed to get the things I needed and got the heck out of there.  It was about 2:30pm when I got home and obviously, I put away the groceries.  I finally decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider this the real deal when the contractions started bringing me to tears. I tried to time them but we all know how well I do with numbers…so I took a shower instead.  Justin was totally giddy.  He was racing around the house, finishing up work phone calls/emails, packing his bag, etc.  I swear he ran up and down the stairs at least 12 times taking three stairs at a time.  We weren’t really sure when to go in as I wanted to labor at home as much as possible.  My parents were scheduled to fly in at 5:00pm so we decided that we would pick them up at the airport as planned and then decide if we would come back to the house with them or have them drop us off at the hospital.  Mom texted me when they landed and I told her the plan.  I think she crapped her pants in the airport (I hadn’t mentioned anything earlier so they wouldn’t get all riled up on the plane!)  On the way to pick them up, we decided we would have them drop us off at the hospital (I figured since every bump we drove over was like torture meant this was the real deal!)  It was good to see them and I felt bad saying hi and bye but it was go time.  We arrived at the hospital around 5:30pm and got checked into triage where we met our amazing nurse Amanda and got monitored for about 20 minutes.  I was at 6cm and 100% effaced so we moved to our labor and delivery room almost right away.  We met Dr. Sansonetti for the first time shortly after we moved into our room and right away, he put us at ease. Initially, I was very disappointed that my doctor I had been seeing all along wasn’t able to be there.  I know it is not very common to actually have your primary doctor present for delivery but she makes it a point to attend nearly every one of her patient’s births.  This was so appealing to me since we just moved across the country and uprooted all that was familiar.  I really liked her and felt comfortable with her and was so bummed that her week of vacation started on my due date.  However she assured me that Dr. Sansonetti (who always fills in for her and vice versa) would be fantastic and she was 100% right.  He is so kind, gentle and patient.  I was immediately happy that he was there.  Things start to get a little fuzzy for me but labor was going well and fairly manageable for awhile.  We were so thankful to have Becca Wood photograph our birth and she arrived around 7:30pm.  I remember talking with her a little as well as with our nurse until things started getting more intense.  I walked around, sat on the birth ball and tried really hard to relax and focus on my breathing to get through each contraction.  I’m not sure what time it was but they came and checked me again after a couple hours and I was still at a 6.  Dr. Bob suggested breaking my water but I wanted to avoid an epidural and other interventions (read: STUBBORN) so I asked to wait a bit longer.  I got into the tub and started listening to my hypnobabies.  I started feeling stronger contractions as well as the urge to push but was still only at a 7.  This is where things get really, really fuzzy for me.  I think I got out of the tub shortly after that and sat on the birth ball some more, tried hands and knees, squatting, etc, etc. and nothing felt good or right. Every single muscle in my body was shaking.  My teeth were chattering my skull.  Up until this point, I was able to deal with things fairly well (perhaps I am being overly optimistic about this) but I started freaking out and could not calm myself down at all.  During our birth class, we talked about several techniques to help get through intense labor and one of the suggestions was to be vocal.  At that time, I just KNEW that that was not a method that would help me.  I was too modest and would rather go inward.  HA.  My throat was raw the next day.  I have never, ever, ever yelled like that in my life.  It was about 11pm before I was fully dilated and started pushing.  It was my dad’s birthday and I thought, “oh wow, we could still have a baby born on dad’s birthday!”  Hahaha… Cue freak out episode round two.  I remember looking at Dr. Sansonetti in absolute DESPERATION.  Help me.  I cannot do this.  You need to cut this baby out of me or something.  SOMETHING.  ANYTHING.  Right now.  I can’t do it anymore.  Pushing was exhausting but eventually we got our rhythm down.  After every push, I needed a hot wash cloth, a drink and the fan off.  Then at the start of a new contraction, a cold washcloth and the fan back on.  Every single time.  Talk about demanding.  My contractions were about 3 minutes apart which worked in my favor because I was able to get a good rest between each one, almost falling asleep each time.  They brought a mirror in when her head started showing so I could see the progress.  They kept saying how much hair she had and I could see it too!  I couldn’t believe how dark it was!  I was getting more and more frustrated and tired wondering if I could actually do this.  With each contraction, I would make good progress and then feel her slip back in which was SO frustrating.  I was able to feel her hair/head a couple times which was crazy.  Justin said my mood dramatically changed when I would touch her head.  After 6 hours of pushing, she was finally born at 5:22am.  INCREDIBLE.  As she was being born, Dr. Sansonetti was so calm and gentle, it seemed like it was happening in slow motion.  She came out sunny side up which was absolutely amazing because she looked right at me, blinked a few times and started crying.  They laid her on my chest and we both saw she was a girl then.  A GIRL!?!?!?  I was so happy.  I am 100%  certain that I would have been just as happy if she had been a boy but I was so so so happy.  We were in awe of everything that just happened and absolutely in love with each other and her.  I was so happy to have her in my arms while delivering the placenta and getting stitched up because that was NOT PLEASANT, to put it mildly. It was a second degree tear with a left something or other but who really cares anyway because I had a baby!  Justin cut the cord and people were shuffling around but I have no idea what they were doing because I was on a total baby high.  I remember looking at Justin feeling so overwhelmed, so thankful, so in love with him and oh yeah, OUR BABY GIRL.  I was able to hold her for over an hour skin to skin before they did her measurements or anything and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  Things started calming down and we ended up with only one nurse who did Clara’s measurements as well as her footprints.  Dr. Bob came back in and talked with us and gave us a baby hat that he knit.  Seriously?  Melt my heart.  Is this guy even real?  We rehashed the labor experience and I thanked him for being so incredibly patient and for not telling me that she was sunny side up.  He said that he didn’t mention it because he didn’t want me to freak out and think I couldn’t do it anymore (Too bad I thought that anyway!).  We thanked him profusely which still didn’t feel like enough.  After this experience, I am a total believer in the power of oxytocin.  Giving birth was no doubt the hardest, most painful, most emotional thing I have ever done.  It’s a lie that as soon as you hold your baby you forget the pain (at least for me).  I most certainly have not forgotten. Nothing about it was pretty, I was not graceful, it hurt like hell and more…yet I remember it as the most beautiful, most perfect, most exhilarating moment of my life.

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07.09.12 | birth stories, blog

Ryk Thomas

It’s so strange how a normal day can go from being normal to amazing in a matter of moments.  Tuesday, June 26 was one of those normal turned amazing days.  Ryk Thomas was born on this day and I had the awesome opportunity to be there with my camera.  I know babies are born every day but I don’t think it ever gets less incredible.  Ever.  What an absolute privilege to be there for your birth, Ryk and for the birth of your brother over two years ago.  Know you are loved, loved, loved.  And a great, big thank you to your beautiful parents for trusting me to be there and document some of the most raw, intimate and powerful moments of your lives.  xoxox.



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07.11.10 | babies & kids, birth stories

Milo : Birth Day

Milo Griffin
7lbs. 9oz
June 4, 2010

I’ve had this entry ready to go for awhile but haven’t posted it yet because I’ve been waiting to find the right words to pair with the images. I haven’t found them.

As I drove home from the hospital, I let the happy tears roll and simply marveled at the miracle I just witnessed. And I know that sounds cheesy.  But witnessing a birth is witnessing a miracle.  I wanted to stop each car I passed and shout, “Do you know what just happened!?  Milo was born!  And it was BEAUTIFUL!”

I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Congratulations, my friends.  I will never find the right words to express my gratitude for the opportunity to photograph this raw, intimate and incredibly powerful moment in your lives.  My heart is overwhelmingly thankful and joy filled for you!  xoxox

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05.27.10 | birth stories

Birth Day

Kai Conrad Joyner
7lbs 13 oz.
20 3/4 inches

Dear Kai,

Today is May 19, 2010.  Today was a day filled with anticipation, excitement, and celebrating : today you were born!  I had the honor, privilege, and joy of witnessing and photographing your entrance.  And though you won’t remember it, your mommy and daddy will never forget it.  And neither will I.

I  haven’t known your mom for very long, only about three years but it feels more like thirty.  However, in these three years, I’ve gotten to experience lots of exciting stuff with her.  In fact, I got to see her fall in love with your dad.  I got to see your mom and dad get engaged and then married.  I got to see your mom shop for little baby pajamas even before you were in her tummy.  I got to see how excited she got just thinking about the possibility of having a baby.  I got to hug her when she found out you were on the way.  And today, I got to see her hold you for the first time and cry the happiest tears ever.

Kai Conrad, welcome to this world.  Know that you are surrounded by family and friends and a crazy camera lady who loved you even before you were born.

With lots and lots of love,
emily


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