Saturday, January 3, 2015

Our Maternity Photography Sessions

   Way before I ever found out I was expecting, I knew that I wanted to have maternity photos taken at some point in my pregnancy. As much as your body changes during pregnancy, there is something innately beautiful about growing a new life inside of you.  For as long as I can remember, whenever I've seen a pregnant woman, it would make me smile.  It always has. There is just something special about that time in your life, and I think it is only natural that many women want to capture that moment in time with photography.  On the other hand, some people are totally weirded out by pregnant women and think that maternity photos are gross, awkward, and/or inappropriate.  And....some of them are.  Unfortunately, I have seen some pretty disturbing pregnancy photos that should literally not be allowed to exist, yet they do (see Cringe Worth Pregnancy Photos and Most Disturbing Pregnancy Photos Ever). Seriously.....who does that??  But for the most part, if done tastefully, I think maternity photos of most women and couples are sweet, beautiful, and special.
    When I was about 25 weeks pregnant I realized that if I was going to schedule a maternity shoot I had better do it sooner rather than later.  I started showing VERY early in my pregnancy (like at 8 weeks kind of early....) and continued to show more than the average woman at every stage, so I knew that I wanted to do my pictures pretty soon before I got all gargantuan, for lack of better words.  I scoured the internet and Pinterest for the kind of feel I was going for and then tried to find a photographer that I thought could capture that feel.  I wanted elegant and sophisticated, yet rustic.  I looked around and finally found a photographer, Lauren Gregory, through Facebook who had done some pictures for friends of ours. I didn't know her, and as it turned out, she had just kind of gotten started in her business and had never actually done a maternity shoot before, but she was willing to try and she seemed very open and flexible to capturing just the look I was going for, so we scheduled a maternity session with her.  I ended up making a Pinterest board and sharing it with her so we could collaborate on what kinds of shots we wanted to do. We communicated back and forth before the shoot and made sure we were on the same page about everything so things would be smooth sailing once we were on location.
    Early evening on a Saturday in October, when I was almost 29 weeks pregnant, we decided to meet up at a hay field in a small town near where my husband worked.  He knew the owner of the field, or so we thought.  But as it turns out, we were in the wrong field.  So we took pictures in some random dude's field.  Whoops.  Anyway, working with Lauren and her husband was an absolute blast. They were hilarious, and my husband and I enjoyed seeing the dynamics of their relationship and how they complemented each other. They made everything fun and made posing for photos seem not the least bit like work. We started off the shoot doing pictures of us as a couple, and then we did the rest of them with me in my maternity gown that I had bought just for the shoot from. The maternity gown was a split front gown which is made for taking pictures from the side showing your belly, but getting around in it proved difficult seeing as how I had to pull it together in order to walk around so I wouldn't give everyone a show!  I hadn't quite thought that one through...but we made it work!  Tony and I truly enjoyed our photography session, and after we were done he just kept saying how fun Lauren and Ben were!  After we went back home to change, we ended our maternity photo session with a dinner date out together. It was truly a fun day!
    The two weeks waiting to get our pictures back was agony... I wanted to see them so bad!  But once Lauren sent them, I knew it had been worth the wait.  They were so beautiful and really captured "us" and our joy in waiting for the arrival of our sweet baby boy.



   When I was about 32 weeks pregnant, I decided to go back and do a separate surprise indoor maternity shoot by myself and take some additional pictures to give to my husband as part of his Christmas present.  I met up with Lauren and her husband in their studio and we did some pictures of just me.  By this point I was feeling pretty big, fat, disgusting, and completely UNphotoworthy.  But they really worked hard to make me feel comfortable, and I'm sure they put lots of extra work into finding just the right angle and lighting to shoot so I didn't come out looking like a whale.  There was some major contortions of arm placement on my part in some of these pics so as to not accentuate the ever present back fat rolls that had appeared out of nowhere in the few weeks preceding this shoot.  TMI...I know.... Pregnancy isn't for the birds, people.  I think they did a pretty good job of making me look the absolute least whale-like as possible. :) Here are a few pictures from our indoor shoot...



 I ended up making a photo book of all of our maternity photos on Snapfish as a Christmas gift for my husband, and he absolutely loved it.  I'm so glad that we took the time to capture this special season of our life through photographs, and I'm so happy that we found such wonderful photographers to work with as well!  If you would like more information about Lauren and her work, visit her photography Facebook page Lauren Gregory Photography.


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