Birth, Newborn and Lifestyle Family Photography in San Antonio Texas
 

A little bit about me….

Tiny fro rocking extended breastfeeding, home birthing, crunchy mama of 2… Birth, motherhood, and lifestyle family photographer… New to loving coffee and intermittent fasting… Old at loving people and the stories of life…

 
 
 
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Meet Milena

It is my desire to create a business in which my clients feel comfortable to let me into their lives. I realize in order to create a safe space for you, I should share some of me. So here goes…

I am a bit of a free spirit and late bloomer… I have spent a lot of my life not sure exactly who I was or what I wanted to do with my life. But picking up a camera and learning to tell stories with it has become one of my greatest joys in life. So much so, that even when I thought I lost myself, I still gravitated back toward the thing I love and the thing that makes me feel like me.

In college I took a photography course just for fun… When I became a wife, I knew motherhood wasn’t far off anymore and I was scared of giving birth. I remember thinking, “why doesn’t our culture give women the opportunity to participate in each other’s births?! No wonder we are scared of it… we don’t know a thing about it!” I had just decided to start a photography business and realized, maybe I could create my own opportunity to participate in births by photographing them! I honestly thought this was a new concept… google showed me otherwise. As I began to photograph births, I learned just why giving birth in the US could be so frightening… the treatment and disregard for women’s rights in labor was sometimes atrocious, and I knew I could not just stand by without the knowledge or tools to empower and help women. I decided to become a doula and wow! My world exploded! The more I learned about women’s bodies, birth, the nature of women and our roles in families, the more I knew I am created to serve women.

Since having my babies, I have stepped away from the doula role in an official capacity, although I will always advocate for and with women where it is necessary. Today, I empower women with my camera. I show them their beauty, I honor them, I honor their partners and their children and the irreplaceable role they have in their families and our world. I don’t just love what I get to do, I am called to it… I can’t stop even if I wanted to. It literally gives me life! So much of my journey has led me to this path, so I invite you to scroll down and get to know me beyond just the pretty pictures.


Team Awesome: AKA Team TreLe

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I married my husband in 2011. We met at his house at a Bible study he used to lead and within 18 months, we were married. We laugh a lot about our story because it was slightly unusual. For one thing, he’s a rapper… I don’t even really like rap that much. He also would have considered himself a home-body and slightly anti-social, but shortly before we met, he told his friends he knew God was bringing him a wife soon. They would ask, “bro, how are you going to meet anyone? You never go anywhere!!” and he would joke back, “she will just show up on my doorstep one of these days with a bouquet of roses and a name tag that says ‘Trace’s Wife’.”

To be clear, I did no such thing. I only came to his house to get some music from a friend with whom I was sharing an itunes gift card, but that is another story. I knew the second I saw him, there was something unique about him. As our friendship progressed, I began to realize I didn’t want to live without him. He will always tell you he knew we were meant to be from the first moment. I wasn’t so sure. Even when we got married, I remember knowing I loved him so much but that it was always a choice.

Now, it’s nearly 8 years and 2 kids later. We have braved financial difficulty, emotional upheaval, the loss of a pet, raising a new puppy, 2 home births, 2 toddlers, and so much self-discovery together. By now, he’s the ride or die I always imagined being married to. He backs me up when I need childcare or just to cry. He listens when I talk birthy things even if it turns his stomach some (which, by the way, it usually does not… he’s pretty well-educated by now). He supports everything I do so when you get me, inevitably, he is going to touch you too.


 
 
Women, don’t ever apologize for your behavior or choices during birth. When you OWN your experience and take pride in your journey, you help other women do the same thing. No matter how you did it, you just brought a human being into the world! The world should be kneeling at your feet.
— Lauralyn Curtis
 
 
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My Birth Stories

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So far, I have had 2 incredible births at home. They both truly changed everything for me. My first birth was intense beyond anything I had ever experienced to that point and frankly, left me somewhat terrified to ever go through that again. It wasn’t that anything had gone wrong- in fact, I feel like the circumstances could hardly have gone more right! But I had never faced that level of intensity before and survived. I didn’t know how I felt about testing those waters again.

When I found out I was pregnant a second time, I was upset and terrified. I had wanted another child, but the timing was not what I had in mind… and did I mention how scared I was to give birth again and go through all that intensity?!?! Thankfully, I took an incredible childbirth ed course that truly felt like a turning point for me; 1) Because the educator in that class allowed me space to vent my fears and therefore gave me the opportunity to face and conquer them, 2) because it gave my husband the tools to support me in ways he had not been certain how to do with our first birth. Giving birth to Avery was night and day different than giving birth to Annabelle. He was born on my bed, his labor was faster, I was substantially calmer and unafraid.

You can read more of Annabelle’s birth story by clicking here

You can read Avery’s full birth story here…

I just wanted to share with you that as a woman, I know a lot of what you might be going through. I haven’t experienced EVERY birthing scenario, but as a doula and photographer, I have walked with many women through many different situations and I have room in my heart to empathize with them all. When you trust me in your family’s most sacred space, you are trusting a person who is fully acquainted with this season of life from the inside out. My heart in working with you is to let you know I see you, and I see your value. I want to help you see it too!


My other passions…

There is more to me than photography! As much as I love being creative and capturing your family in your truest essence, I am also fueled by a few other passions! I am a crunchy mama and love to learn about gentler ways to parent my kids as well as healthier options for feeding us! AND I am in the midst of a daily photo project where I am chronicling the daily stories of shenanegans and changes my kids get into. Learn more about them below.

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Gentle Parenting and Health

I am a gentle mama in the making, but I also like to learn about health and nutritional things I can do to improve my life. In my blog, I share little stories and tips about things my family and I are up to and things I am learning!

My Daily Photo Project

Follow me on Instagram under @memoriesbythesmilephotos and check out the entries for #365dailymoments. Every day I share a little story from my life and the moments I capture with my kiddos… Just little thoughts and lessons I am learning and doing my best to apply!


My Purpose

I love photography, but it’s not my purpose in life… it is and always will be first about the people I work with!

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My mission

After all this time working with families and creating artwork for their homes, I have come to see that my mission in this business is so much bigger than pretty photos. I get to meet some incredible people through this business and each person, each baby born, each family created is a special opportunity to show love through the way I serve! I sincerely believe the gifts I was given were created for the purpose of empowering women and their partners, and adding to the joy of the most significant seasons of their lives. Growing, birthing and sustaining a child and family are absolutely awe-inspiring. So, while women may not always feel glamorous or beautiful, I work hard to show them they are ALWAYS glorious and powerful.

My mission in my business is to empower mothers through photography by capturing them doing what only they can do for their children, and to create love-filled experiences for each client that I work with.