This month we interview the fabulous Rana Rankin, a photographer based on the Gold Coast & Northern NSW in Australia. Rana specialises in newborn, family and birth photography, which seems a natural step for an uber talented photographer who also happens to be a qualified midwife with oodles of experience in birthing rooms. Rana’s galleries feature incredibly beautiful and emotive imagery, and we understand instantly why she’s an award winning photographer in her field.
I bought my first film SLR from a cash coverters shop when my eldest son was 8 months old. I undertook a community course shooting and developing black and white film and I fell in love instantly. I found through the camera I could see more, capture little moments that I would have missed if I’d blinked, but with my camera, those blinked moments were frozen, for me to keep forever. I loved this! It was like photography had become my sixth sense. I always loved to create, but didn’t (don’t) consider myself artistic… photography became my artistic side I guess.
Whilst I had always loved photography, doing it professionally is a fairly recent transition for me. I already had a career I loved as a midwife so photography of newborns and families was a lovely extension of the birth and newborns I was so passionate about. A couple of friends became pregnant and invited me to photograph their births, and I felt like I had found my place, a place where I could pour all my passion!
I have a few favourite moments that make my heart sing, of course the faces of those in the room when they get to meet their baby, those first newborn facials, but also I love capturing the strength that women carry through birth and the support from their loved ones… I love those moments as much as the actual birth – the “becoming”.
The biggest challenge would have to be the shooting conditions – low light in particular. I overcome this by using equipment that copes well with low light, and also by trying to find any light I can in the room. I would be lost without my Canon 5Dm3 and my 50mm f/1.2. Also shooting around people can be a challenge at times, but I feel my experience as a midwife definitely aids me here, I know what is happening in a room, and I can often anticipate whats going to happen next.
All my births get a mini movie or slideshow of their birth and I adore these, the way the music combines with the stills and film can have such a huge impact. I also love it when clients order a birth story album, as it’s such an amazing keepsake.
I often have to rush to a birth, previously being an on call midwife for two years has given me a lot of experience on how to just drop everything and run. I just try and stay prepared to grab my bag and jump in the car around the due date of the birth. I have at times had to call people along the way and say “no time to stop, can you meet me at the hospital and grab my son”. I am also lucky that I have a very supportive husband and three older awesome children as well as a young one, and they are happy to hold the fort should I have to rush off in a hurry.
Thank you so much Rana for taking the time out of your busy schedule (!!!) for Click Love Grow.