The Life Of A Doula & Birth Photographer, In 11 Raw Photos (NSFW)

Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
Since her daughter was born, Angela Gallo has come to view childbirth as a transformational process. So much so that, soon after, Gallo became a doula and birth photographer in hopes of helping women experience this transformation as fully as she did.

"Prior to my daughter's birth, I lived one life, I was one person," Gallo told Refinery29. "After her birth, I shed that life. I said goodbye to that person, and I have yet to look back."

Gallo had previously studied underwater videography and documentary in Thailand, and the skills she learned no doubt come in handy in her current ventures — she often photographs water births. As a doula, Gallo makes herself as available as possible to the mothers she works with, as she's well aware that childbirth can be "unpredictable." So her goal is to be supportive and vocal, and fill any need mothers may have.

"It can be a hand to hold, eyes to lock gaze with, tough love, gentle reminders to move to another position or eat something sweet," she said. "I am there to serve her in whatever capacity she needs."

When it comes to her work as both a birth photographer and doula, Gallo is on call 24/7 and never knows how long she'll be on a job — it could be one hour or 30. But she said it's 100% worth it.

"Seeing these women dig deep within themselves, visit — and expand — their emotional or physical boundaries; watching partners or siblings set eyes on their babies for the first time; and then capturing that vulnerability, that excitement, that power, in a few images is magic," she said.

But don't just take Gallo's word for it. Click through to view a selection of her birth photos (some of which are graphic in nature), and see the "magic" of childbirth for yourself.
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"Tina's face says it all. Seconds after the birth of her baby, she kept saying, 'I did it, I did it, I can't believe I did it!' Pretty much sums up the satisfaction here!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"This is Tina again. She was sobbing with joy. How lovely is this?"
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"Lara almost looks angelic in this one, like the saint of all birthing women. The look of pride on her face makes me so happy. Her first birth was so traumatic, but this birth was so healing for her."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"The curves of a woman's body in pregnancy go for miles, and miles, and miles..."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"This is Sarah and her big, beautiful family. This home birth was truly a family event. The kids argued over who would cut the cord, so instead, they all took turns burning the cord. [That's] a gentle way of disconnecting baby from the placenta."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"This is one of my favorite pictures, ever. Truli looks like an absolute womb warrior. She birthed Luna on all fours, then pulled her over to [her] chest from under [her body]."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"[This was] a beautiful home birth with two midwives. I love the connection and affection between the women in this photo. This is truly 'women-centric' care."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"Tiarna holds her baby close moments after [giving birth] in the water. She labored so peacefully; the energy was serene."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"[This was] a sweet, tender moment of introductions for big sibling and his little brother."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"A little one in mama's arms, seconds after being born."
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Photo: Courtesy of Angela Gallo.
"Women are so resilient, the most graceful of chameleons — forever changing, forever adapting. I love watching as they shed their skins, and become amplified versions of themselves after each birth."
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