During my first two pregnancies I had a hard time fully embracing the bump. I’d see photos of myself and nit-pick. Too much of this or that + hormones = tears. This time I’ve made a conscious effort to just set the negative aside. Suck it up and be brave, I told myself. There are lots of unattractive and uncomfortable aspects of pregnancy, but what’s the point in dwelling on them, right? Not long after I’d had each of the girls I wished I’d done a better job of capturing the pregnancy with a maternity shoot- or asked someone to help. I wasn’t ever sure we’d decide to have a third child, but when I found myself there again – this time around – I knew the perfect someone who could help.
Photo sessions don’t come naturally to most folks, me included. In my experience a glass of wine (or a shot of something stronger) makes for more relaxed photos, but that’s not always practical… or medically advisable. Thank goodness for Maggie! She was eager to help, knew exactly where we should go to find great light and atmosphere and kept me relaaaaaxed. At about 30 weeks, just before our move, we went to a nearby Savage Mill, MD studio.
I know Maggie well enough and also know her style from her gallery well enough to be sure that she’d help me get the light and happy images I wanted. I was comfortable saying “Umm, Maggie, no way in hell are we snapping any part of me naked, mmmkay?” And she laughed and agreed. I’ve met other photographers who are so set on their own vision for a project that they can’t hear feedback. Or have a rigid set of poses they set up without input. For something as personal as a maternity session, that’s painful. Maggie had already “shot” Adrianna and I last summer, and it had felt easy and fun. It was easy to hire her again.
In just an hour in the studio, we got lots of images I love. Even on the morning of the shoot as I was rushing to grab what I thought I might want to have with me, I had to consciously say “yes, you have a million other things to do right now, but you’ll be glad you did this later”. And I am.
A fun related note about Maggie – at the same time that I moved south, so did she! She’s now living and working in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. The drive between our houses is a good bit farther now than the 3 minutes previously required, but she’s still kind of a neighbor! I’m so grateful for that.
I was glad to get my Maternity Countdown Tee into the shoot. Miranda Anderson, countdown tee maker and seller, is working on her own baby girl countdown now!
Sharing these is almost as hard as taking them. I still see the sorts of flaws that we notice about ourselves that others probably wouldn’t unless we pointed them out. And others probably see things I haven’t noticed! But my purpose in sharing them is to say: Be brave! It’s not east to be in front of the camera, but it’s worth capturing fleeting moments. I’m so glad I did. Thanks, Maggie, for helping finally make these happen!