I’m pretty sure maternity photo shoots are a modern gimmick brought about my social media and the need to portray one’s life as picture perfect…but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Especially in a time when reasons to get dressed up are very few and very far between.
Knowing that time and energy for things like this dwindle with age, it was important to me to set time aside to take these phots. However, like all other mamas to be, brides to be, and general families this year, I struggled with whether or not hiring a photographer was the safest thing to do. Even after convincing myself that it would be safe, there was the much bigger issue of the cost.
The lowest cost photography session I found was $750…and that was the smallest package.
With a nursery to furnish, a house to update, a new car payment, and maternity leave creeping up, $750 (minimum!) could go a lot farther than a few pictures.
Luckily, I have sisters who will do anything for their first niece or nephew, and one of them is a college student who spends plenty of time working a camera for social media. With a free photographer, and some hair and makeup products that have been eagerly awaiting the light of day, I was willing to get creative and self-sufficient.
If you’re looking to save a few (75,000) pennies, one tip to running your own photoshoot is to google OTHER photoshoots and save your favorite poses – copying is the best form of flattery, after all! My second tip is to take a walk, or drive, around your own neighborhood. You don’t have to go to a fancy “location”. You just have to look at your own backyard through a different lens.
You can see in my photos that we used backdrops from the side of the road. A simple stone wall adds texture and dimension, but you could get the same effect with a white picket fence or stretch of hedges. The rail road is a great frame for a shot and adds depth, but you can get a similar effect with a driveway or walking trail.
We got a lot of great shots using portrait mode, which I find is best when you have trees, tall grass, and a natural back drop. In terms of the old farm wagon we used as a backdrop? That may have been us “borrowing” someone’s empty farm land we happen to live by.
I felt very confident on my photoshoot day. To be honest, there have been zero times that I have felt sexy during my pregnancy. Mark has told me I’m beautiful, and I recognize that a pregnant body is an amazing body, but my COVID pregnancy wardrobe consists of elastic waistbands, oversized sweaters, and underwear that is a size bigger than before. Without a reason to wear form fitting maternity jeans, cute accessories, or accentuate the bump…I usually don’t.
I bought three maternity dresses from ASOS, this dress being one of them, and all three made me feel sexy. They showed off the curves of my new body in a way leggings and sweaters don’t. My typical style probably wouldn’t include this dress (as my friend said, it gives off some definite Kim K pregnancy vibes), but every woman is out of her comfort zone in her pregnancy body and we should embrace it.
My favorite hair products give my thin, straight hair volume and curls – just one level beneath the capability of my hair stylist. These curls will last about three days on fresh washed hair! After towel drying, I brush a nickel size dollop of Living Proof style primer through my hair – to my knowledge this product has been discontinued, but the description looks identical to the PHD 5-in-1 styler. Next, I brush my heat protectant gel-cream through my hair and blow-dry. I curl away from my face with my trusted Eva NYC wand which I’ve had since college. It was perfect for my short hair days and still works for my long hair. Last, brush out the curls with the Bumble and Bumble beach waves spray. NO Hairspray!
For makeup, most of my products are Stila. Not many bloggers talk about Stila, but this is my trusted and true brand. I think Stila provides medium coverage. I’ve been using their mascara the longest, followed by foundation, micro-tip eyeliner, brow pencil, concealer (sometimes it gets creasy), and most recently the blush. I set my concealer with Bare Minerals powder and brush my eyelids with the Urban Decay Naked 2 pallet. Ulta and Sephora only sell the Naked 2 Basics pallet, but the Naked 2 in general has been the only eye shadow pallet I’ve worn for years!
The time was magical and helped me love my body. I can’t wait for Baby Y to get here, but want to savor these last weeks of pregnancy until then!
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