The First Hello Project is a collaboration by a team of photographers in Sydney, Australia


It was late one night on a couch in Sydney, Australia, Bel and River started talking about bucket list moments in their photography journey.

Bel mentioned capturing her sister’s birth was one of the greatest highlights. It wasn’t long after that River was invited to photograph and document a birth. Riding the high of that emotional experience River and Bel began conversations about starting a birth photography business in order to give couples the stunning capture of their first hellos with their child. This is when The First Hello Project was born.

And so, together Bel and River, and their growing team, have had the privilege of documenting some of the most incredible First Hello moments in birthing suites and homes around the world. They truly love what they get to do, and more than anything, they love to celebrate life. 

“There is nothing quite like seeing a baby being born. It never leaves you. We often walk away feeling so privileged to have witnessed it. We are working in an environment where there is nothing staged or posed - just powerful, raw human emotion. We are constantly watching for the tear on the father’s face as he meets his child for the first time, or the overwhelming relief of the mother when she stops labouring. Joy is so evident to everyone in that room. We like to think of ourselves like a ‘fly on the wall’, capturing humanity’s story as it unfolds. 

"We believe photography can unlock the human heart. We as creatives challenge ourselves to be brave enough to step into those intimate spaces that some may shy away from and capture it. The world needs images that will set hearts on fire more than ever.”




Meet the Team

If you're interested in collaborating with us, send a sample of your work to



River has a passion for motherhood, humanity and the arts in all it's avenues. Her love affair for photography started after being handed a camera while her children were only babies. Capturing and documenting their lives made way for her to do the same for her clients. She is passionate about telling real life stories through powerful images.

River is the co-founder of The First Hello and the founder She has extensive experience in photography, blogging, writing and speaking.

River lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband, Joel, and three boys, Zion, Rome & Knox.

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To Bel, life is just a great adventure that needs to be captured. She's been found with a camera in her hand for over 10 years, working in many creative roles including photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, marketing/brand management and artist.

Becoming a mother herself, lit her heart on fire and has since fuelled her passion to photograph life in all its vivid colour and unscripted intensity.

Her photography work is showcased at, which she owns and operates, shooting a wide range of subjects. She is also the co-founder of The First Hello.

Bel lives in Sydney, Australia with her daughter, Sunday.


Philippa loves being invited to tell people’s love stories, their intimate moments in life. So capturing birth as part of The First Hello team is a great thrill that she's always eager for.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better job in this life. I love what I do & hope to capture your story."

She is a much sought after wedding & lifestyle photographer at, which she owns and operates. 

She is also a wife to Michael, plus a lover of adventure, rock climbing & pineapples!