Getting pregnant is such a joyous occasion for so many but can be equally as terrifying and stressful. As the months go by and you feel as though you have been pregnant forever it is so important to remember what a special chapter in your life this is and forget the uncomfortableness that comes alongside all the bodily changes.
In an era where we are bombarded with unrealistic, highly photoshopped magazine images of women, we also encounter this false representation in the media with regards to pregnancy and how pregnant bodies should look. We see all the celebrities who barely gain a pound, with zero stretch marks and shrink back to pre-pregnancy body within days of delivering their little one and feel like thats how we should be and that therefore we are somehow falling short.
As a maternity photographer myself these images and self perceived expectations sadden me. I feel deeply that it is vital to empower women with the truth and embrace the natural beauty that comes with pregnancy. So much joy is stolen from so many with the negativity that comes with comparison. It disappoints me that we as pregnant women feel as though we have to compare ourselves to these magazine images. We need to get pregnant women everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, enjoying and excited about capturing their individual beauty in pregnancy and sharing it with the world.
Going into my maternity sessions I give my all. It is my aim to leave these women feeling beautiful and comfortable in their pregnancy skin. I want them to fall in love with their photos and their stunning pregnant bodies. There is nothing more incredible then looking through the lens of my camera at an expectant mothers bump and realizing there is a mini human growing inside, it blows my mind every time! My sessions are so much about the bump and not hiding it but showing it off for all its beauty and being proud.
Next I just love to capture the the excitement of the daddy and his love for this unborn bump. Often the men are dragged into these sessions and feel a little awkward to begin with but in no time I like to believe I have them surprising themselves and actually enjoying being a part of this special occasion. They find themselves suggesting ideas and props and getting so into the whole session. Its important to involve them and have them feel needed and special too at a time when all focus is generally on the mummy.
I love how involving the dad often leads to revealing such deep love and connections with the mummy in this new adventure of their lives. I often think how lovely it will be for these children to one day look back as see the love they have for each other captured.
Then of course its ALL about the women and celebrating the beauty and shape of this growing tummy. I absolutely love to get creative and plan ahead with my ladies what artistic looks they would love to go for. So much of the fun is in the planning as each couple is so individual. I never want to just recreate identical shots for every couple.
It is always so incredible to hear how happy the mummy's are after they see all the edited images. Its as if they surprise themselves with how incredible they look when I see it from minute one. Enjoying the photo session is so vital, it should be a fun and comfortable experience that leaves you feeling encouraged and excited.
So go ahead and celebrate your growing bump, wear the beautiful tummy hugging tops that show it off to the world. Embrace the change and empower each other to love every second!