Trust me, I GET IT! I have 3 children myself. I listen to expectant moms all the time. No matter where I am, I hear what they are saying. They feel fat, unattractive, tired, swollen, etc. And if this is not their first pregnancy, that all begins at 13 weeks with #2 and 5 weeks with #3 or later. Seriously! But it’s not all bad. There is so much joy and excitement that comes along with pregnancy. However, when it comes time to get in front of the camera, many are just not excited about it.
We take the selfies and share on social media to keep friends and family updated. They aren’t typically the most flattering photos, but I think we hide behind the fact that it’s not expected to be. We see professional maternity photos and think how we would like to have our pregnancy captured, but…. The thought of paying a photographer to have professional maternity photos done sounds like a waste of money. “I mean look how I look in these photos. I’m not a model and definitely don’t feel pretty.” I am here to tell you a photo you capture with your phone will look different than what a professional photographer will capture.
So, I’ve compiled a list of 3 reasons why I hear moms skip having professional maternity photos done. If you have an interest in having a maternity session, but are hesitant read on.
1. I am fat everywhere. I don’t look like myself.
That’s right! Carrying a baby inside you along with all the extra fluids is going to make you bigger. That’s the way it works. Your skin may break out and get splotchy. But you will have great hair! Some women only gain weight in their belly, but most put it on everywhere. I was the latter. I think I lost my neck during my pregnancy with Layla, lol. They say girls steal your beauty. Well, that little beauty definitely did a number on me. But regardless, this is how you look pregnant. If you feel like your belly is growing very fast, we can schedule your session a bit sooner. Your session should be when you have a prominent belly but not so late that you are too uncomfortable to move around. Have your hair and makeup done for your session and you’ll be amazed at how beautiful you feel. Pregnancy is beautiful!!! You are beautiful! Don’t forget that. Maternity sessions are not just about what you look like, they are about how you feel about this miracle inside you that you can’t yet see.
2. I’d rather just focus on spending the money on the newborn session instead.
I understand photography is a luxury, not a necessity. I also respect and understand that everyone has a budget. Maternity sessions are often cut for reasons of budget. I have created a Belly & Baby package for this very reason. I think it’s so important to have your pregnancy captured that I decided to offer a discounted package for anyone who books me for their newborn session. As a thank you for choosing me to capture such a precious time in your lives. I offer gift certificates so that you can ask friends and family to help put some funds towards a lifetime of memories not just a baby gadget that you may or may not use for a few months. I will not push you to have a maternity session. Again, I respect my clients and their decisions. I just really wish you would think hard about it. Pregnancy is a big part of your baby’s story.
3. I never did it with my older children.
Um, this should be a reason TO have maternity photos done! This is a big one I’ll talk about in another post. You have regrets of not doing it before? So, do it now! You may never get this chance again regardless of how many children you hope to have. We can’t predict the future. It doesn’t matter if you capture every pregnancy, at least capturing one is an amazing gift to give your future self. Your kids will not hold it against you or think you love them less because you didn’t do it with them all. That’s typical mommy guilt for you. They may ask, but if you tell them the truth they will understand and not make a big deal out of it. You didn’t with them due to lack of funds, not finding a photographer you liked, not knowing of this style of photography, etc. They will still get to see what you looked like pregnant through the other beautiful professional photos. And they will see your pregnancy with them through ones you did yourself.
Whether you believe it or not, you will one day want to look back on that short lived time. If not you, your children will. You may chuckle about how big you got (I do) or sob because you wish you were experiencing that joy all over again. I loved pregnancy, mostly. Of course there were struggles with each of my pregnancies. I had sciatica, heartburn, rib pain, swelling, etc. But the miracle of pregnancy gets my heart every time. It’s such an incredible experience. I wish I could have had my pregnancies captured so beautifully. Sure, I have photos, but I’d much rather some professional ones. I even asked my photographer if it would be weird to strap on a fake belly and have maternity photos done, lol. She said yes, yes it would. hahaha I won’t be having any more children, so I won’t get that opportunity. Don’t lose yours!
*Disclaimer* This is not a message of pressure. We face so many pressures in this world today as moms. I’m not saying you are a bad mom or will live a life filled with tears over not having them done. If maternity photos are something you are interested in, but make these or any excuses you should really have them done. Why? Because that’s your true heart’s desire. These other thoughts are just noise getting in the way. If you don’t, you may end up with regrets. If you have absolutely no desire or interest, then don’t. You may or may not have regrets, but I’m not writing to convince you. I am writing to convince the mom with the desire to listen to her heart.