I could feel the excitement through the phone when this first-time mama and I had our pre-session consultation. There was such joy in her voice!
I arrived at the session, stepped out of the car into the frigid air and realized that I had such tunnel vision making sure the session was going to be perfect that I had completely forgotten my jacket. And not only did I not have a jacket, I was just wearing a plain cotton tee shirt and ripped jeans. Ha! I felt so much regret.
But when I saw that mama-and-daddy-to-be step out of their car and I saw those big smiles, I really quickly forgot how cold I was.
The tide was pretty high and it was really windy. Our normally calm bay was rolling with white capped waves.
Don't worry, I told the mama.
This windswept look will be beautiful. Let's just go with it. Trust me.
And I pulled out a lens that gives a really special, soft, dreamlike effect. I knew exactly in that moment what I wanted these images to look like.
The bright sun, forceful wind, and restless waves made for beautifully unique photographs full of texture and life. Although cold and without a jacket, I wouldn't have traded this artistic maternity session for anything.
It really was perfect.
If you ask me, there is nothing quite like a maternity session done at home. Are they different from more traditional maternity sessions, where you pose with a pretty gown? Oh yes, very. Is it very different from a normal family session with me? Not particularly. I love to see "the bump" in it's natural habitat!
And I don't know about you, but once I hit a certain point in pregnancy, I just really wanted to hang out at home and be comfortable. What about you?
This session was filled with the easy comfort that comes just from being at home. As I arrived, I was greeted by a level 5 blowout from soon-to-be big brother that was so bad they had to just use trauma sheers to cut everything off of him. Ha! Me, a mother of 3, walks in, camera in hand, totally unphased, begins shooting the momentary chaos.
I came on a Monday and it happened to be a federal holiday, so the Dad was there too, and soon to be big-big-brother had the day off of school. So, naturally, we played super hero, blocks, had nap time, looked at a few books, made the most delicious smelling pour-over coffee and enjoyed it in the playroom/Florida room.
With permission, I am going to use a bit of words written by the mama (now I call her friend) I photographed.
"Worked through a lot of vulnerability before doing this shoot. Mainly how big I feel and how it might look to be holding a baby (with medical needs) and then be actively pregnant again. I wanted the house to be magazine worthy. In short, we have never had the opportunity to do family photos of any kind so I put a lot of pressure on myself to make it extra special....By doing this kind of shoot, there was some growth that happened. Letting go of it all and just being. " She also went on to say, " it was the perfect reminder to just be fully present and literally nothing else matters. That the simple moments of the ordinary are the ones we will crave and cherish the most as nostalgia will grip us in the years to come." - Jessie K.
If you want your easy-like-Sunday-morning maternity session, I am here for you! Let's get that conversation started. You can message me from the Contact tab above or just click here. I can't wait to hear your story.
What to Expect At Your Maternity Session with Jess Nicole Photography
Pregnancy is such an exciting time in a woman's life. There are so many crazy changes happening in such a short period of time, it's honestly mind blowing! How can a body create an entire organ, grow a human life, bring forth that life, and then sustain that life for months afterward? And the way your body changes physically is just so hard to believe.
For some women, pregnancy is this magical and glowing time. Some women have a really hard time with it. I am a firm believer that both journeys are worthy of being photographed and the whole process deserves to be honored. So for that reason, my maternity sessions look a little different than my normal family and newborn documentary style sessions.
My Maternity Storytelling Sessions can be exactly what you want them to be.
It can be a celebration of your changing body and honoring all that it has been through. Yes, even stretch marks. It can be simple, with just you, your body, and light. It can be about the natural and organic beauty of pregnancy.
I'd like to briefly speak to Mama's with high-risk pregnancies or those who are on bedrest: I mainly shoot in home and I am comfortable shooting in your space in whatever capacity you are able to. Please don't feel left out if this is your situation- I know how you feel, I've been there.
Or. your Maternity Storytelling Session can be more artistic and abstract. It can be a celebration of the whimsy and the unknown (or the well-known journey). It can be more mindful or dreamlike. It can be creative. It could even be saying goodbye to one chapter of your life and the beginning of another, very different chapter.
Or, your Maternity Storytelling Session could be about your growing family and how it's a familial journey. It could be about family growth and the joys of being promoted to Big Brother or Big Sister. It could be about your day-to-day life and how this new baby is along for the ride. It could even be about preparing for the new baby.
Whichever direction you choose to take your Maternity Storytelling Session, it will surely be infused with love, hope, and wonder. It's about the Mama who is changing and shifting... coming into a new part of herself.
Here's what you can expect for your Maternity Storytelling Session:
When should I book my Maternity Storytelling Session?
I recommend booking as early as possible to get the most flexibility with dates. But always feel free to reach out and see what my availability is. I'm happy to try to accommodate you. I've even shot one in home maternity session as the Mama was in active labor!
When should I schedule my Maternity Storytelling Session?
I like to schedule maternity sessions at about the 33-36 week range, although there are always exceptions. Please reach out and let's talk about what your needs are!
Is there a discount for booking a maternity session and newborn sessions at the same time?
Absolutely! I offer a Belly + Baby Collection with an amazing incentive for booking both sessions at the same time. For more information, send me a message here or click here to view my Client Guide.
Can I do my session with my family?
Yes! If you include your family in your session, I typically shoot it the way I would any other session, in my signature documentary style.
Can I make payments?
YES. My payment plans are super flexible and I can work with anyone's budget.
Do you edit out stretch marks and lumps/bumps?
No. I don't. In short, I will not edit out stretch marks or other body features because I believe wholeheartedly that our bodies are unique works of art and they are perfect the way they are. Stretch marks are a part of our body changing and growing a whole new life- I think that is a beautiful testament to the love and sacrifice of a mother.
Got more questions? I'm all ears!
Interested in telling the story of your journey? I want to hear it and I want to be a part of it.
Click here or on the Contact tab above to send me a message. I can't wait to hear from you.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.