It's a common thing for me to hear about how nervous you are to have photos done in your home. I think social media plays so much into this because we are constantly bombarded with the highlights of other people's lives, not necessarily the real deal. But that's another post for another day.
This post is to tell you how to prep for your in-home, documentary style newborn session...which honestly isn't much. It's more mental preparedness than anything!
The first thing you need to know is that it's easy. Like, really easy.
After you have a baby, speaking from my own experience, the last thing you want to do is go somewhere. No matter how your baby came into this world, having a newborn is absolutely exhausting. So, with an in-home newborn session, you don't have to do anything or go anywhere. I come to you and I meet you just as you are.
I don't care about your mess.
I'm not there to photograph your mess. I will photograph things as it pertains to the story, but I'm not there to shame you or judge you. When you're sleep deprived from keeping a little human alive, happy, and fed- things can get a little messy and that's okay. That's real life and it's all a part of the journey we are on. Don't worry about cleaning up too much, just focus on you and your baby.
You can carry on with your daily life.
You can lay around nursing your babe, pumping, or cleaning bottles. You can fold laundry. You can cuddle your baby. You can play with your other kiddos while baby naps. We're after the organic goodness here, not necessarily the perfectly posed photographs (although I do a few of those at the end!).
Think about what you want these photos to say.
Think about yourself in 5 years when baby is starting kindergarten. In 18 years when they graduate. In 30 years when they have a baby of their own. What do you want your photographs to say? To yourself? To your child? To future generations?
Think about that and whatever tugs at your heartstrings, that's what we'll do.
Think about how much skin you want to show and what you're comfortable with me photographing.
Are you comfortable with skin to skin photos? Nursing? Do you want your stretch marks photographed? Do you want the real and raw of motherhood photographed (think mesh panties, pumping/nursing, etc.)? I think these hard moments are worthy and valid and beautiful. Let's talk about it beforehand and see how you feel.
See? Most of it isn't stuff you have to physically do.
It's just things you need to think about and mentally prep for.
I'm here to serve you and to help give you something tangible to hold onto in this incredibly brief, yet paramount season of life.
Want to book a session with me? It's easy too. Just fill out the Contact Form and I'll take it from there.
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.
What to Expect on Your Day in the Life Session | Hampton Roads Photographer | Jess Nicole Photography
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see your daily life through someone else's eyes? It can be a really amazing experience. I offer Day in the Life Sessions in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area (and beyond!). This allows me to spend 8 hours- or more- with a family and to artfully document their daily life. This allows me the time to get to know you, figure out what's important to you, and to gain your trust. I'm not there to judge you or your house or your parenting style or lifestyle. I'm there to tell the story that is unfolding in front of me.
Why would you want this type of session? Well, I'm glad you asked because...
What can you expect from your session?
Does this sound like something you would love to be a part of? I am happy to talk to you about it and answer any questions you may have. Just send me a message here or you can reach me on any of my social medias- Instagram here and Facebook here.
If I've learned anything in the past year, it's been this: life is too short and too precious to miss out on documenting these memories. Invest in them.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.