Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Birth photographer Heather Nischke
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- You may have seen Heather Nischke's work before.
She took photos of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his partner, Mariah Riddlesprigger, when they hosted a diaper drive recently celebrating their son, Maverick.
She photographs families in all kinds of settings, but the focus of her work is documenting births.
She captures those precious moments when families welcome a new member.
"You don't like this idea," Nischke said, holding a camera over a new baby.
Nischke is used to handling fussy clients.
"Oh, that's perfect! You cooperated, thank you," she said with a laugh.
A lot of them, after all, are babies.
She got the idea to start her own business seven years ago.
"A lot of it started as I had my own kids," she explained.
It's really taken off over the last four.
"It's growing, I would say, more and more every year," Nischke said.
Nischke works to capture a family's precious moments from the very beginning.
Photos show the focus, concentration, and finally joy.
Every moment of Gabriela Espino's labor and delivery captured.
"You just can't get those moments back and you know, it happens so fast," Espino said.
Nischke specializes in birth photography. Her business is called Heather Nischke Birth Services. She's there through the labor and delivery.
"When you're going through something so big, we naturally disconnect a little bit to get through it. So, there's not always clear memories as you look back," Nischke said.
Two years later, that's exactly how Espino feels. She's happy she's able to look back at the birth of baby, Luna.
"I absolutely love it. I go through the pictures regularly," she said.
Espino joined us by Zoom, chatting with Nischke about her now toddler.
"She was kind of like made family overnight," Espino said of Nischke.
"They know I'm dependable," Nischke said of her clients and the trust they put in her. "They know I'm going to be there."
Nischke documents everything-- whether it's a home birth like Espino's, or a delivery in a hospital.
"For them to be able to have a really clear, cohesive timeline of events to reflect on and really see how they worked together to bring their child into the world is pretty cool," Nischke said.
Espino especially loves looking at the pictures of her husband holding their daughter.
"Even with my husband, I get to see those moments of him being so gentle," Espino said. "It's amazing to see how much a man can fold when he's holding his newborn, and I get to have that, and that's so awesome."
Nischke is also a doula, trained to support women through labor.
"Giving people the space to just kind of work through it is something that gives back to me," Nischke said.
Espino appreciated the support.
"She was so good at validating my emotions, my feelings, and just being there for me, being that extra support person," Espino said.
For Nischke, it is a 24/7 job.
"I do essentially have to drop my own personal life to attend to them whenever a labor may come about," she noted.
Then, she connects with families a month after the birth.
"We reconnect about a month postpartum and I deliver everything, as we kind of go over their birth story. If they have confusion, questions, like hey, what happened? I'm able to kind of show them," she said.
It's a once in a lifetime moment her clients can hold forever.
"It's priceless, honestly. It really is. It's such a treasure that I get to have for the rest of my life," Espino said.
For more information on Heather Nischke Birth Services, go to https://www.heathernischkebirthservices.com/.
If you'd like to nominate someone for Natalie's Everyday Heroes, send Natalie a message at NShepherd@cbs58.com.