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.
Can you tell me how you fell in love with photography? Were you always creatively inspired?
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.
What attracted you to birth photography?
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!
Do you have any favourite moments during a birth session that make your heart sing?
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”.
What is the biggest challenge in this genre and how do you overcome it?
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.
How do you best love seeing your client work from a birth session?
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.
Do you ever have to rush to a birth that is happening very quickly and if so how do you manage the logistics of this given you’re a mother yourself?
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.