I’ve always loved capturing life’s magical moments, but I wasn’t the first in my family to do so. My late father, Ivan Myers, used his 8mm movie camera to film the family since the 50s back in South Africa. Thanks to him, I have footage of my great-grandparents and of myself as a newborn! Years later, my young brother Michael, at age nine, studied photography and took over my father’s old cameras. By age fourteen he was the youngest IPPA (Israeli Press Photographer’s Agency) photographer. I remember curiously watching him process black and white photos on our balcony-converted-dark-room. I didn’t know it at the time, but the photography ‘bug’ would hit me too. Many years later, I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University’s Film School. I aspired to become a documentary filmmaker, and so I moved to Los Angeles. Over the years I worked for National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Gemini Production, and Jewish Life TV. I’ve been fortunate to work on projects involving archeological digs, The Old City of Jerusalem, Arab and Israeli musicians, avalanches, mammoths, submarine treasure hunts, and biblical animals.
In 2001, my friends asked me to film the birth of their first child. It was a candle-lit water birth at their home. It was an awe-inspiring and eye-opening moment. Three years later (2004), another friend had the same request. A couple of births later and with encouragement from family, friends, and birth professionals, my journey as a birth videographer began. As a pioneer of this niche, I had a lot to learn and no one to learn from. I had many ‘aha!’ moments, made mistakes, and learned from them. Eventually, I became known in the birth community for my work, but outside of the birth community no one knew of my existence or that having a birth filmed was an option. I’d get a lot of “You Do What?!?” That changed a few years ago when I quit freelancing and solely focused on birth videography.
I’m still only one in a handful of birth videographers, but birth photography has gained popularity and there are currently a few hundred birth photographers worldwide! Recent media exposure has helped bring awareness to our field, and numerous birth-related documentaries have also changed the way people think of childbirth. (i.e. Birthing Into Being, The Business of Being Born, Orgasmic Birth, Birth Day, etc.) The times they are a-changing, and in today’s world of instant digital gratification and documentation of every personal or world event – professional Birth Videography has an important place. It’s a priceless gift that will be cherished for years and possibly generations to come.
I am grateful and inspired by all who’ve supported and influenced my journey.
With Love & Gratitude,
© Jodie Myers 2009 All Rights Reserved