The Birth of Charlie – Nashville Birth Photographer

Shay Bunch Photography

The Birth of Charlie – Nashville Birth Photographer

Let me just start with this: Hypnobirthing ROCKS! :) As the preferred Nashville birth photographer, I was on-call…

…for a client’s waterbirth at one of the birth centers actually in Cape Coral, FL…and the evening began with a text message from my birth client, which said something along the lines of, “I’m having contractions, but I’m just not sure if this is “it” or not…stay tuned!”

This beautiful mama had planned her baby’s birth so very well…she had her support team in place; her birth plan all set; hypnobirthing education; you name it. She and her husband chose Baby Love Birth Center as the place where they would like to bring their little one earthside. (Baby Love and the staff there are absolutely fantastic, by the way! Go check out their website…after you’re done reading this post.) So, with me being on-call, I already had my birth photography gear charged, loaded, and ready to roll at a moment’s notice. And THANK GOODNESS I did! (You’ll find out why in a minute…)

Fort Myers Birth Photography, Cape Coral Birth Photographer

 The hours continued to pass, with an update from mama every now and then. No change; her labor was continuing, and since she had prepared herself SO well with her hypnobirthing techniques, mama was able to remain calm and work with her body through each contraction as it came. Finally, another text came through, with much more urgency this time:

“We’re heading to the birth center!”

Fort Myers Birth Photographer, Cape Coral Birth Photography

I quickly texted back, “I’ll meet you there! You’re doing great, mama! You can do this!” and I hopped into my already-packed car and took off for the birth center. I pulled into the parking lot. There was no one there. The lights were off; no cars screeching into the parking lot (like my husband would be if I were in labor); no signs of an impending birth whatsoever. So I got out my camera and stood outside my car in the parking lot, thinking that I would need to be ready to start shooting when they pulled into the lot (you just never know!).

Cape Coral Florida Birth Photographer

Nothing was happening. Then…my phone chirped. New text message! I quickly flipped it open and saw the latest update: “Actually we’re going to Gulf Coast Hospital”.

Well, at this stage of the game, that can only mean one thing: BABY ON THE WAY!

Which is a WONDERFUL thing!! I knew the general route mama would be coming, so I knew that if they were going to Gulf Coast instead, after all of the waterbirth plans and natural midwifery care…then that pretty much means baby isn’t going to wait until they get to the birth center to make his debut! So exciting!!! It was almost time!! :) However, there was one slight hiccup…I was standing in the parking lot of Baby Love Birth Center…and Gulf Coast Hospital was a solid 20-25 minutes away. So back into my car I hopped, making my way as quickly as possible (while obeying all traffic safety laws of course). I pulled into the hospital parking lot, found the entrance for “Women’s Care”, grabbed my gear, and literally ran inside. I knew this was going to be a close birth, IF I even made it on time.

Cape Coral Florida Birth Photographer

Ran in and eventually found (by the grace of God, a lone gentleman walked into the lobby and pointed me in the right direction…thank you, kind sir!!!) the place I was supposed to be, and went to the nurses’ station. Told them who I was, and the nurse waved me over to a curtained room in triage. And the next image is what I saw when I walked into that room…

Cape Coral Florida Birth Photographer

I just ADORE the sheer bliss on mama’s face!!!!!!!!

At the end of the day, little Mr. Charlie simply had his own agenda, and he was in a bit of a hurry…and that’s TOTALLY okay! :) I ended up missing his grand entrance, but as you can see, we DID manage to capture some beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime memories for this amazing family of five.

Cape Coral Florida Birth Photographer

Cape Coral Florida Birth Photographer

And if you have any questions about the amazingness of hypnobirthing, this is a great place to start. :) You can also check out more birth moments on our Facebook page, and keep in touch with us by signing up for our newsletter (we promise, we won’t clutter up your inbox with a bunch of unwanted email!), by going to our website, and entering your information at the bottom of the front page. Feel free to check out our birth photography collections while you’re there, too. :)

Sigh. What a blissful day in the life of a middle Tennessee birth photographer.

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Organizing Digital Photos – A Step-by-Step Guide

One question that I get from my clients and friends is, “I cannot get a handle on organizing digital photos. How do you keep yours in order?”

After a vacation or a significant life-event, like a wedding or a birth (or a summer of them!), you might be like millions of other people around the globe…staring at your computer screen, sorting through hundreds or thousands of photos that were taken. The task of organizing digital photos often seems so difficult…as though no one else could POSSIBLY have THIS many images on their camera. :) My recent working-vacation to North Carolina was just like that: a client photo session, followed by an evening with my sister at a softball game, followed by an engagement session, followed by a night of watching my Angel-Baby catching fireflies in a meadow. (Imagine the number of pictures we took on our week-long trip!)

organizing digital photos, photo organization, folders, files, computer, organize, order, session, events, wedding, birth

Or if you’ve ever looked at your computer folders and asked yourself, “How on earth do I start organizing digital photos?” (this includes vacation photos, kid-growing-up photos, wedding photos, family reunion photos, etc.), you’ve probably felt overwhelmed if there is not much semblance of order. Well, here are some things I have picked up, learned along the way, trial-end-error’d, and taught myself about organizing your digital family photos (well, in my case, digital photos for all my personal files, as well as all of my clients’ photo session files!). Some of this education/experience came from my parents. Actually, my mom is a Professional Organizer (, so my sisters and I have been organizing freaks since we were kids. :) (I’m sure Mom’s heart sings to hear that!) All of the organization skills we were taught have been used not only in our everyday lives, but also especially in electronic organizing. With the way the world is going with technology moving faster than just about anything else, electronic organization is an absolute must. Now, for photographers like me, it is even MORE necessary…we have client files to keep safely organized, based on type of shoot, date, which family, etc. But…

organizing digital photos is super important for everyone

…who has files on their computer. Whether you keep yours in “the cloud”, on your hard drive, or on external media, you still need to keep them organized if you actually want to know what you have and be able to USE them. So if you have electronic stacks, folders upon folders, or a random college-student mish-mash of digital photos on your computer, this blog post is going to help get you back on track and maybe, just maybe…give you back some of your sanity!

Okay so! Are you ready? :)

toes, feet, grass, fireflies, meadow, north carolina, anson, polkton, wadesboro, albemarle, charlotte, kid, family, child, play, fun

First Step: I recommend an external hard drive of some sort, if you don’t already use “the cloud”.

I say this because if you’re anything like me, and have a TON of photos and documents on your computer, you’re eventually going to start bogging down your computer’s internal hard drive, which will eventually slow down the speed of your system…which you definitely don’t want. I had an old computer, which finally bit the dust after using it for 10 years (yes, TEN! it was a beast), when it finally gave me the Blue Screen of Death. Thankfully, I have a friend whose husband works on computers, so he was able to salvage the hard drive so I wouldn’t lose ten years of photos and memories. But what would I have done without those files? Cried many, many tears over the thousands of images I had lost, that’s what. (Thank goodness I didn’t have any client files on that computer!) So that’s why I think everyone should have a backup option to their internal hard drive.

Second Step: Begin With The Year.

Here’s a quick screenshot of how I have my family files set up, starting with the year (pay no attention to the first folder; I don’t even remember what I put it there for; probably just over-organizing! haha Is that possible?):

8-11-13 Blog - Organizing Digital Photos - pic1

I’ve had this particular external hard drive since 2009. It’s only about half full, and still going strong. Also, my files don’t bog down my computer because they’re on an external drive, so my computer is still just as quick as it was the day we got it.

Third Step: Next Comes the Quarter.

Once you’ve gotten your yearly folders sorted like above, then go into each one and add the quarter. I set mine up like this (example of the folder for the year 2013 only; the other years are the same as well):

8-11-13 Blog - Organizing Digital Photos - pic2

Fourth Step: Create Dated Folders for Each Event.

Here’s my next group of folders…they are the events that I have photos/documents for, so I named them to relate to the event. This is inside the “3 Jul-Sep 2013” folder above:

8-11-13 Blog - Organizing Digital Photos - pic3

The most important thing to note here is that the date comes FIRST in the filename. That way, when you are searching for a particular event later on, then all you really need to know for SURE is the year it was shot in, and the season (fall, winter, etc). That date being first keeps everything in order of when it occurred…which is SUPER nice when you’re looking through your files later. No flip-flopping around, looking for “Aunt Mary’s Reunion – 7-16-13″…it’s already in chronological order if you use the method above. Now for remembering seasons, of course, for me in Florida, our “seasons” are pretty much spring, summer, rain, hurricane…but most parts of the country have winter/fall/etc pics as well. So if you can remember, “Well, that family reunion was when my son Scooter was about 2 years old, so that would have been…2005…and I think it was pretty warm outside because we had the reunion at a local park…so I’m going to start with the 2005 folder, and then check out the spring/summer months.” BINGO!! Now you’re getting it!

aaaaaaand……….. That’s pretty much it!

food, north carolina, polkton, anson, albemarle, charlotte, produce, produce stand, road, roadside

This image of a North Carolina roadside produce stand was taken by my very talented sister & partner, Katie. Isn’t she fabulous?!

If you’ve just started incorporating these steps into your home computer filing system, it will take a decent while until you get all of your current files squared away. But once you do THAT…all of your future events will be soooooo super EASY to save, edit, utilize, and LOCATE, without having to sift through hundreds of photos to find “the one” you want. :) Easy peasy!

Now, this is just my OWN method. Other people probably do it differently, and that’s totally cool! In fact, I would love to hear about any extra little tips that YOU might have for organizing digital photos and/or files. Got a fantastic setup at your home or office? I’m all ears! :) Did this post help you get yourself organized, even a tiny bit? I would LOVE to hear all about it!! Leave me a comment below (I read every one!), or over on my Facebook page (yep, I read those, too).

Oooooo, and I almost forgot to mention…if you need holiday photos for your Christmas cards this year, or just need an updated family photo for your living room, give me a shout today! We’re booking holiday sessions for October this year, to make sure you can get them back in time for your holiday cards and other events. Beach sessions with Santa are always a hit! :) Come on over and drop me a line on my website, or shoot me an email: Shay {at} eShayPhoto dot com. Can’t wait to hear from you guys! Love ya’s!

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The Birth of Jordynn – Fort Myers Florida – Birth Photography

Welcoming Jordynn {Fort Myers Birth Photography}

Cape Coral Birth Photography – Fort Myers Birth Photography – Lee Memorial HealthPark Hospital – Labor & Delivery Unit

Birth…such bliss.

Hard work…but so completely beautiful. It is clearly a work that was created by God Himself.

As a birth photographer, my typical evening starts by heading to my evening workout. This evening was no different. Suddenly, my phone rang. It was Stacie, my pregnant friend & birth photography client. “Shay,” she said, “I’m in labor. We’re on our way to the hospital!” Breathless and excited, I must have asked her a thousand times, “How far apart are your contractions? Has your water broken yet?” I told Stacie to go on ahead to the hospital, I would arrange childcare for my daughter and meet her there.


When I arrived at the hospital around 7:00p, Stacie was about 4cm and was walking the halls. We walked and talked for a long while, pausing for her contractions and applying pressure on her lower back. Baby was posterior, so Stacie was having some seriously difficult back labor. She progressed for awhile; 5-6cm and going strong. Then the back labor started to get much worse. Her mom, Beth, was an absolute magician with her hands and her words! She knew just where to apply pressure to ease Stacie’s back labor, and spoke with a firm, low voice that calmed Stacie at the height of so many contractions. It was a beautiful thing, to see a mother helping her daughter bring new life into the world.



Then Stacie’s husband Jake came in. He had been there earlier and had run home to pick up a few items for Stacie. Poor guy was sick…bronchitis and the whole nine yards! But he managed to tough it out (and tried not to breathe toward anyone) and even had the strength to help Stacie through a lot of her labor. He pretty much immediately took over supporting Stacie, and it was so heavenly to see a husband holding up his wife through some of the most intense hours of her life.


(And making her laugh even through contractions! :) )


Labor progressed. One thing that kept Stacie going through labor was her craving for a cheeseburger and vanilla milkshake! :) lol Too funny. Jake promised her she could have one after Baby made her debut. (I’m sure he made good on that promise!) Jake, along with myself and Stacie’s parents, went down to the cafeteria around 3:00a to grab a bite to eat, joking the entire time. This family truly cares about each other, and it really showed that night. Even in the wee hours of the morning, joking over hospital cafeteria food!





When doing birth photography, it is always such a pleasure to be able to see each family working together as a team, everyone supporting the mother. It makes my job so much easier…when everyone focuses on mom, I can do what I do best…capture memories. And Stacie was an absolute ROCKSTAR in bringing her precious one earthside!! Welcome, baby Jordynn!






You can see more of our birth photography on our Facebook page, by clicking here, or on our website, here.

Stopping time. Capturing life.


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New Beginnings – Florida Birth Photographer

Well here I sit…on the brink of a new horizon. I am finally breaking into what is my absolute PASSION: birth. Yep, childbirth. Bringing new life earthside. I am super-excited to be photographing the birth of a friend of mine, due in two weeks (although baby may come sooner!), and things are really coming together! I cannot WAIT to stop time for this family as they welcome their newest little one. For me, birth is a rite of passage. It’s the ultimate symbol of strength in a woman. It is something that only WOMEN were created for, and something only WOMEN can handle. (You know all those jokes about how men wouldn’t be able to deal with one hour of active labor? Well, it’s true! Most of them can’t! My husband included…and yes, Mr. Bunch, I know you’re a bodybuilder…but women win the strength, stamina, & determination contest hands-down. Unless you would like to have our next baby drug-free? Let me know. Kiss kiss.)

I’m so totally stoked to finally be merging my passions and living my dream of becoming a Florida birth photographer!

Personally, I have a LOT (a LOTTTTTTTT) of experience with & education on babies, births, new mamas, breastfeeding, post-partum, children, toddlers, new daddies, vaccines, etc etc etc. First, I have two babies that I carried in my womb. My son was born in a hospital, a very clinical setting that was terrible with its stark walls and sterile smell. He was also 20 weeks too early, so he went home to be with Jesus about 30 minutes after he was born. So not only have I dealt with giving birth in a hospital, but I have had pregnancy complications, non-natural labor & delivery, but I’ve also dealt with the loss of my baby, which was life-changing in and of itself. Then, my daughter was also born in a hospital. Although I wanted to deliver in a birth center, my husband was too nervous for us to do that due to the complications of my pregnancy with my son. But I wanted as natural and drug-free of a birth as I could get, even in a hospital setting. So, after about a decade of research at that time, I labored at home with my daughter until I was 7cm. (Mr. Bunch was pacing the house; he thought for SURE I was going to have our baby right there on the bedroom floor!! Which, looking back now, I probably should have! ha) (c)(That’s my Angel-Baby on her birth day!)

In addition to birthing my own children, I have also worked in various aspects of healthcare for many years. I have worked on a Labor & Delivery unit, a Mother-Baby unit, a pediatric Cardiac ICU, a pediatric Emergency Room, a pediatric ICU, and hematology/oncology. I now have more than 12 years of research & practice under my belt with regard to birth, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, newborns, and post-partum. I nursed my daughter for almost two full years…we dealt with thrush, clogged ducts, cracked nipples, low supply, teething, mastitis, you name it. It was WONDERFUL!! :) Truly. Every moment spent with my children (and our two older children) has been pretty stinkin’ amazing.

So anyway, now that you have a GLIMPSE of an idea of where I’m coming from…NOW we bring into the picture my OTHER passion: photography! (Betcha already knew THAT answer, didn’t ya!)

It is fulfilling my ultimate dream to be a photographer. Every day I wake up realizing how BLESSED I am to be able to do what I love. But offering BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY to soon-to-be new parents (and lots of seasoned parents!)…WHOA. Now you’re talkin’!!

You might have a couple of cell phone pictures or a 1-minute video to mark this massive milestone…but most new mamas and dads suddenly find themselves in the brand new world of parenting, without documented memories of the powerful life-change that took place when their tiny one came earthside. Having photos of your birth is so important…I know personally, for the births of MY children, I was exhausted for the first couple of DAYS, so trying to remember those laboring hours, and the details of my babies’ tiny toes and eyelashes, and the look on my husband’s face when our baby came earthside…well, having those memories in my hand, in birth photographs, means more to me than anything else in our kids’ Memory Boxes. I can look at those pictures and go right back to those very moments. And it is purely AMAZING.

Birthography (or birth photography) not only captures the moments as they unfold…but also the details; the feelings; the emotion; the sense of actually BEING there.

Birth photography allows you to have more than a birth story.

It creates the ability to relive every moment of your child’s BIRTH. Even with the tiniest detail of a calm birthing tub or a soon-to-be mama humming through a contraction… to the raw emotion shared between a loving couple… to the moment where baby snuggles up to mama and daddy… and they all fall in love together.

So many parents have voiced how much they regret not hiring a professional photographer for their birth. It breaks my heart that these parents will never have those once-in-a-lifetime memories captured! And so many parents who do hire a birth photographer are so grateful to have their professional photos… many of them realizing after their baby’s arrival that they “didn’t realize how important these photos would be.” As one of my recent moms said, “I could have never remembered the birth of my little girl in such detail… she completed our family and we are done. So being able to have these photos is such a huge blessing! THANK YOU for being there so I can relive every minute, anytime I want.” We create professional art which can be proudly displayed in your home… and in your new nursery.

Your story…your details…your spouse…your family…all living these moments together.

With a birth photographer, you not only get to LIVE the moment, but you get to relive it again and again, through photos taken by a professional who specializes in birth. These fleeting moments in your family’s life that pass by so quickly, and cannot be recreated. Every birth is unique. Every detail is personal to you and your family. And you don’t have to miss out on any of them!

If you’ve been on the fence about hiring a birth photographer, let’s sit down together over a cup of coffee (or pickles and ice cream!) and we’ll talk about all of your plans, wishes, wants, and needs for how you want to remember the birth of your baby. Believe me when I say, every birth is different and EVERY baby deserves to be remembered on their birth day.

We currently offer birth photography in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Punta Gorda, Sarasota…so we cover most of Southwest Florida. Click here if you are looking for Fort Myers Birth Photography; click here if you are looking for Naples Birth Photography, and click here if you are looking for Sarasota Birth Photography. Or head on over to our Facebook page and come see all the fun stuff we’ve got going on (including special deals just for our Facebook fans!). And please feel free to drop me a line (here) so we can chat about your upcoming birth… I can’t WAIT to hear all about it!! (c)(pardon the cell phone pic. Angel-Baby was about 4 days old here,
so we were both exhausted…)

Stopping Time…Capturing Life…


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Welcome to 2013! – Fort Myers Photographer

Fort Myers Photographer – Cape Coral Photographer – Southwest Florida

Hey, ya’ll! :) So glad you stopped by to check things out!! :) It’s so crazy…a new year is upon us. And with this new year, I have decided that I am going to start blogging regularly. And I am not going to put a day of the week, or month, or whatever in here, because it might be every day, or every week, or every month, or every other day, or every 2 months, or something altogether different. So I’m just going to say “regularly”.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. (Talk about “getting to know your local Fort Myers photographer“!! haha) :) If you’re reading this blog, you’re in for a ride. Because not only are we going to be talking about photography, but also life in general…my family, my friends, my passions, my God, my everything. Still with me? :)

Good. This is gonna be fun! :)

So first, my name. Everyone always asks me about my name. I answer to Shay Bunch, although some people (mainly family and uber-close friends from my years past) refer to me by a different name, a name that starts with an “E”. I love my names. All of them. :) But only a few select people get to refer to me by my “E” name. And that’s not to sleight the rest of you…honestly it’s mostly just my parents and sisters that call me “E”. Even my husband calls me Shay. That’s what I prefer and that’s what I will answer to. If you happen to find out my “E” name and start calling me by it, I very simply “won’t hear you”. That’s all I have to say about the name. :) ha!

Now that we have the introductions out of the way… :) …next about me is, I am passionate about my relationship with Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior, and I am a blood-washed pilgrim; a sinner saved by His grace. I am 100% certain that I am going to heaven when I die…and YOU can be that certain, too. Just ask me about it. :) I am also passionate about my family!! I am blissfully married to my Godsend, my best friend, my confidante… the uber-amazing and ultra-hot Mr. Bunch. :) We have three daughters! My husband and I were both previously married to people who weren’t God’s choice for us, and we have and are paying the price dearly. My husband has two daughters from previous relationships, and we have one little girl together. Here we are:

(photo removed)

There’s also one person missing from this family photo. I also have a son. My son only lived for about 30 minutes when he was born. I went into labor early and the doctors couldn’t stop it, so my little Tanner Benjamin was born 20 weeks early. He had my nose & mouth, and the tiniest toes I have ever laid eyes on! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and what we would be doing together if he were here…but we’ll talk more about him later. :)

Okay, so! On to another passion of mine…photography!! :) YAY!! Let me just start by answering the questions that SO MANY people ask me: “What made you so passionate about photography? Why did you become a photographer? Why do you love it so much?” Well…there are a LOT of reasons. But mainly, it is because I truly want to STOP TIME and CAPTURE LIFE. Just like my Facebook page says. I don’t want to miss one MILLISECOND of this life. Why? Because after my son died, and as our daughters continue to grow faster than our eyes thought possible, I truly can’t bear to think I might miss something. I’m literally in tears sitting here thinking of the possibility of missing out on a memory. That may be the only time you get with that person, in that moment, for the rest of your life…you know? Those 30 minutes were the only moments I will ever get to spend with my son this side of heaven. Ever. That’s it; that’s all I get. These moments with our youngest Angel-Baby are the ONLY moments we’re going to get when she is a precocious three year old, with a vocabulary more voluminous than most 2nd graders, with a love for our dogs and her stuffed animals & princess dresses, and these may be the only years we get when her favorite word is “Mama” followed by a string of questions about the most amazing things that I may never have the innocence to think about again. “Why does the sunset have such a deep pink tonight, Mama? I love you more than I have words for, Mama! I just want to go home and snuggle with Daddy, Mama.” What if this is all I get? We are not promised tomorrow…ANY tomorrows. So today…every single day…I do my best to truly CHERISH every moment, to live FULLY, to be PRESENT, and to LOVE as much as I possibly can. I’m not perfect and the human race drives me crazy sometimes…but no matter if it’s good memories or bad memories, I want to remember them all. I want to live them. I want to capture them. And I want to capture them for YOU, too. THAT is why I am a photographer. THAT is where my passion lies. THAT is why I love it so much. The desire to capture your life’s moments comes from a deep well inside of me…I desperately don’t want YOU to miss out on any of YOUR memories just as much as I don’t want to miss any of MINE. I can’t help it…it’s in my blood. It’s through the eyes of my children. Through the eyes of my future self, looking back through age-old photographs…remembering the love, the feelings, the aromas, the hugs, the laughs, the tears, the joy, the sorrow, the bliss, the mundane everyday little moments that you will want to remember for the rest of your life. THAT is why I am a photographer.


So now that you know a little about ME…I want to know about YOU!! Leave me a comment below (yes, I read every single one!) and tell me about you…your passions, your dreams, anything. I want to hear from you! :)

Until next time on my regularly-scheduled blog post…


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