Monday, March 12, 2018

What to expect before, during and after your maternity session…

Pregnancy is full of aches and pains, morning sickness, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and multiple trips to the bathroom at all times of the day and night… it’s a challenge during this time to see yourself as the goddess that you truly are. Bringing new life into the world is probably the most amazing thing you will ever do and, like all amazing experiences, it is so important to capture this moment in time.

I have a friend who is pregnant and a couple weeks ago we were talking about her upcoming maternity session and what she told me just about broke my heart. She is having second thoughts about having a maternity session because she says when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t feel good about the way she looks.  My fondest wish is that she could quiet that negative voice in her head and  see herself through my eyes, or the eyes of her husband, or her mother’s eyes and see how truly beautiful she is at this moment in time.

I’m imagining that some of you probably feel the same way as my friend and that’s where I come in… to photograph you at this somewhat ungainly, uncomfortable time in your life and capture the beauty, glow, and grace that all the rest of us see when we look at you. It’s also important to remember that the images taken aren’t just about you.  They are of you, naturally, but they are about so much more. When your child grows older they are going to cherish these images of you while they were growing in your tummy, as will your grandchildren and their children and so on.

So, what happens during a maternity session you ask? Well, let’s start at the beginning… when you schedule the session we will discuss whether you would prefer to have the session in studio or some place more public, like a park. I'll also ask questions to get an idea of what you want your images to look like, for example, we will talk about what colors you would like to wear; whether you are comfortable showing your belly (don’t worry about a few stretch marks, I have a magic wand to help with those!); if are you wanting to be photographed in your own clothes (I have quite a few beautiful maternity dresses and fabrics so you don’t need to bring anything if you don’t want to); if the baby’s father or siblings going to join you for the session;  whether you are wanting something a little more risqué in your session,  or perhaps you’d like some images in silhouette. If you choose to bring some of your own clothes I can send you a cheat sheet to give you some “do’s and don’ts.” Ultimately, my goal is to have you as comfortable and relaxed during the session as possible so we will want to discuss anything you have questions or concerns about beforehand and get them out of the way.

The most important thing I can recommend bringing is underwear (thong or bikini underwear if possible) and a strapless bra that match the colors we are photographing you in. For example, if you are wearing black for the session it would be helpful when post processing the images if your undergarments were also black. If you don’t have a strapless bra and underwear that match the colors we are photographing, or if we are shooting a variety of colors, then please bring beige/skin tone undergarments with no patterns or designs.

Believe it or not, maternity sessions can be fun… yes, I said fun! I can put on some music to get you in a playful or relaxed mood during your session and you will be photographed in three outfits or looks with different poses, different lighting, perhaps a tiara or flowers in your hair, and heck, we may even use a fan to give the appearance of hair blowing in the wind. I will verbally guide you into the different poses, although occasionally I may fuss with your hair to keep it out of your eyes or from covering your face. If you don’t feel comfortable with any poses, for example lying down, just let me know.  I will also capture images of you with your baby’s father or your baby's siblings if they are present at the session. Maternity sessions typically last between 60-90 minutes.

Once the session is over I will review your images, choose and edit the best of the best and upload them to my website.  I ask that you give me a week, but generally I can have the images ready for you to review within 72 hours. I will also post a “sneak peek” of your session on my Facebook and/or Instagram page within 24 hours. Once your images are uploaded on my website, I will send you the link and password so you can access your images and then you begin the fun process of selecting the ones you want to purchase in print or digital format. There are many different printed sizes and types to choose from so if you need any assistance or recommendations during this process please let me know.

A few last words… celebrate your pregnancy, whether it’s your first, second or sixth, with professional images. A few pictures taken with someone’s cell phone at your baby shower isn’t going to capture you at your best and most flattering. It may feel like you are pregnant FOREVER while you are going through the experience, but really it’s just a blip of time.  Before you know it you will be cheering on the sidelines at soccer games, watching them walk across the stage during graduation, having children of their own, and this time of your life will be a distant memory. Just remember, once it’s over, it’s over. I’ve never known anyone regret having maternity images taken, but I do know women who have regretted NOT having them taken. 

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