If you’ve been following me throughout this pregnancy, you know I struggled with the idea of maternity photos. Actually I loved the idea of maternity photos, but I had pretty low self-esteem when it came to body image during the early parts of my pregnancy, which in turn made me want to stay behind the camera.
After being convinced to do a maternity shoot with Sarah Aaron Photography, my mind set did a 180 when it came to how I felt about my body. I wanted to embrace my pregnant body. I wanted to embrace creating and carrying life.
So when fellow blogger and mama, Kristi, of Shoptini, came to me about styling a milk bath maternity shoot, I said yes! To be honest she actually brought this up to me months prior and I was on the fence and didn’t really continue reaching out, hoping she’d forget she suggested it. It wasn’t until she brought it up again and looped in photographers, Megan and Jes, of Maewood Photography, did I think ok, there’s no backing out now, lets do this.
Kristi shared photos of her own Milk Bath Maternity shoot and reminded me no matter what form my body had taken during pregnancy, that it was doing something amazing and something so beautiful should be captured. She pushed me. This right here, is why I love what I do. I love meeting other people in this blogosphere, that I wouldn’t have otherwise met, and learning and growing from them.
It doesn’t hurt that Kristi is also a mom. I had felt like I sort of lost my place in this blogging world for a little bit. I wasn’t up for the post-work happy hours because I was exhausted and sober. I wasn’t doing the typical fashion styled shoots because they weren’t focusing on baby bumps and I likely didn’t fit into anything. But following other mom bloggers and having relationships IRL with other moms who had once been in this blogging boat was a lifesaver. I just needed to transition a bit. Keeping in mind that soon I’ll be able to reintroduce that part of my life while still juggling mom-focused material.
OK, reeling that tangent back in.
The day of the shoot came (at 36 weeks), and I was still super nervous. I mean wearing close to nothing with a 9 month pregnant belly sitting in a tub of milk. Once we got the perfect milk consistency and color, it was time to hop in. All my nerves subsided once we started shooting. Kristi, Meg and Jes are a rockstar team and made me feel instantly comfortable. Whether it was Meg saying “you’re doing EXACTLY what I was just about to tell you to do, you’re amazing!” or watching Jes hop around on the sink and even get in the tub with me for the perfect shot or Kristi snapping behind the scenes photos for insta stories or layering flowers all over me. There wasn’t even a chance to think about nerves.
We even did a few shots inside with this white maternity dress I brought. I didnt even expect to use it since it was raining outside, but they suggested we just shoot a little inside. How they were able to turn those photos into what they did is pure genius.
I received the gallery a week or two later and I was amazed. The way I felt about myself versus the way the photos portrayed me were at two opposite ends of the spectrum. I had to double take several times because I couldn’t believe that was me. They were beautiful.
Ok, enough of me talking. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves and leave you with this. If you’re feeling low about your self image, whether you’re pregnant or not, just know that your body is beautiful and please never miss the moment to document this time of your life. You’ll look back either a week later or a year later and be instantly brought back to that time. You’ll see how you’ve grown since. I promise, its worth it.
STYLING | Shoptini
PHOTOGRAPHY | Maewood Photography