What I Wish I Knew About Maternity Photos - When I Was Pregnant.
For my entire life, I have always wanted to be a Mom. I always imagined myself with 6 daughters! (I think at one time I even had names picked out! - Hey! I was just a kid!!) I was raised as the youngest daughter of 4 children. Youngest by 18 years. I basically grew up as an only child, and for me, living out in the country, it was fairly lonely. I did however, have a few childhood playmates nearby, All Girls. I guess this explains wanting 6 Daughters! However, God and my Husband, had other ideas. I still ended up with that big family, 5 is my number now, but 4 of them are boys. My Daughter is the cherry on top of our sundae!
What I never imagined was the toll pregnancy would take on my body. I don't think anyone can prepare you for that. I didn't have particularly difficult pregnancies but I'm rather petite to begin with and usually by the 7th month my husband would look at me with pity in his eyes and sigh, "Bec. Your poor little body."
Let's face it, for most women pregnancy isn't the most flattering time for our bodies. We feel tired and awkward and clumsy... and just plain old Big.
Our favourite clothes are too tight and we worry whether we will ever be able to fit into our pretty dresses again. For some of us, we may also worry that our shoes as well, will need to be replaced (not a problem if you're a shoe shopper but no woman wants to part with her beautiful stilettos because her feet have become too wide to fit in them again!) And let's not even get started on skin! Acne, stretch marks, rosacea and spider veins are words that still make me uncomfortable!
For the reasons listed above (and many others) I never wanted my picture taken when I was pregnant. I was too tired to give myself the proper care, I was too big to feel pretty. I wasn't light on my feet and I didn't glow. And most of all, like every mother to be, I was far more concerned with what was going on inside my body, then I was about the outside of my body. I was always focused on the little person inside me and after my first, the ever constant distraction of the little people running me in circles on an hourly basis, as well. Besides I'm old enough to remember when babies were being photographed in cabbage leaves! No one really did Maternity photos back then - except to place moms in long white cotton nightgowns staring out windows draped in white sheers.
My Girlfriends often laugh at me for saying, " I wish I'd known me, when I was pregnant!!" And it's TRUE!! I say this for 2 reasons.
#1. Pregnancy Photo Shoots are Fabulous!!
They start with a planning/fitting session where we go thru the client closet, discuss style and colour and theme and mood. And Oh the fabrics!! I tell my moms-to-be If I don't have it, I'll get it and we'll build the shoot around it! I also work with Several Talented Make Up Artists! We discuss hair and jewelry and shoes (or none at all), indoor or outdoor, casual or styled - it all has to fit the Mom. I want my Moms to feel Beautiful and Pampered! I want the day to be about them. To capture a moment in their lives they will never get again. Once Baby Arrives - everything changes. It is no longer about Mom. It is about Mom and Baby. And for Mom, it is Only about Baby.
#2. I Look Back and WISH I had photos of Myself Pregnant. And So Do My Kids.
Maternity Sessions are an Investment. Let's face it, with a new person coming into your family there are loads of expenses to consider. But I have spent 45 months of my life Pregnant and I can't get a single one back. My daughter especially wonders what mom looked like with her inside me. I have no photo to show my strength, my courage and determination in carrying her inside me and I have no photo showing her all the beauty a woman possesses when she is about to do the impossible. Oh how I wish I did! It would have been a small investment in terms of a lifetime of having those memories to cherish and share with my children forever!
As a Mother, my children are my whole world but I owed it to myself to take those photos. To see myself not just as a tired, awkward and clumsy female, but to see myself as the evolving woman God made me to be. To see myself as beautiful, strong and courageous.
And for this very reason, I will be pursuing more education and more inspiration for Maternity Sessions over the next year and moving forward. I will still do all the other sessions I have always done but they will slowly become less so that I can focus more on photography I deeply connect with. For This photographer, that is Maternity and Beauty Photography. There is no more beautiful form than the female body and to capture it forever, at it's most exquisite time, is a gift Every Mother should give herself, and her children.