A dazzling summer sunset maternity session for parents-to-be Ashley & Mark at Houston Oaks
This just might be the most romantic maternity session I’ve photographed this summer! Ashley and Mark couldn’t be more excited to welcome their son, Hudson, scheduled to arrive late August. We celebrated with a gorgeous summer sunset maternity photo session at Houston Oaks County Club!
A stunning backdrop at Houston Oaks Country Club
Ashley is one of those super organized people who just make it simple to plan anything. She emailed me about her maternity and newborn photography sessions with a location already in mind. Once she knew I’d be happy to photograph there, she responded with dates she and her husband were available… and that was it, she was booked!
Don’t miss this gorgeous sneak peek video from Ashley’s maternity session!
She requested we meet for her maternity session at Houston Oaks County Club, where she and her husband are members. I spent a Sunday evening at Houston Oaks touring the property and scouting out lovely spots for beautiful memories. There were so many beautiful back drops, but I narrowed it down to three places to give Ashley and Mark maximum variety in their photo gallery.
On a cooler July evening, I met these sweet first-time parents for a gorgeous evening of preparing to welcome their son, Hudson!
Three beautiful maternity dresses for Ashley
Ashley came prepared with more dresses than she needed to allow for tons of options. I helped her select three very different dresses, each intended to shine at different places on Houston Oaks’ property.
To kick off her session, Ashley wore a blue and white floral dress that fell to about her ankles. I knew this dress would pop off each photo in front of the old oaks, and in front of the gated area near the chapel.
If you’re a fan or student of wedding photographer Katelyn James, you’ll spot one of her signature moves in this series – Mark nuzzles in to create intimacy snuggled close to his lovely wife. Katelyn is an amazingly talented photographer, and so many of her posing tips for engagement/wedding photos work perfectly for sweet maternity sessions, too.
With the wind blowing and the water behind her, Ashley looked beautiful holding her bump right from the start. Hubby Mark complimented her look in khakis, a blue jacket and white button down shirt. They really are an adorable couple!
Next, we took a break from the Houston heat for a few solo shots of Ashley in The Teacup Room of the Houston Oaks club house. I didn’t get a chance to walk around inside the venue when I was location scouting, but I had seen photos of this room online – I knew I had to get Ashley in front of the beautiful tall mirrors here, and in front of the gorgeous huge arched window along one wall, too.
The fitted blue dress in The Teacup Room
I’ve fallen in love recently with shots of clients in front of long mirrors. It’s an opportunity to be a little creative, and most people really love this shot because it’s gorgeous, too! For the shots of Ashley standing in front of the long mirror, I positioned her for perfect photos – although this meant she could barely see her own reflection! Once I showed her the back of my camera, she was in love with images of her standing in front of the mirror!
Since we were inside enjoying the a/c, Ashley wore one of her favorite pre-prergnancy fitted blue dresses to honor her son on the way. The long sleeves would have been unbearable outside this time of year, which is why she decided to save this dress for indoor shots.
The large window in The Teacup Room provided so much gorgeous natural light, but I added a soft fill flash to give a bit more dimension to Ashley’s baby bump. I would have loved some couples shots here, but this room is tucked behind the ladies locker room, so unfortunately we couldn’t invite Mark in.
For the last series of images, it was time to venture back out into the heat – and find some color!
Ashley wore a flowy white high-low dress and brown sandals to wrap things up. We stopped at an area behind the pool with so many gorgeous plants and lots of bright colors. After getting lots of solo shots of Ashley inside the club house, it was time to invite Mark to join her for romantic couples photos.
This is when we started to catch the sun setting across the water, and the entire property was bathed in gorgeous orange light. Ashley and Mark shared that they don’t have many photos from their wedding almost four years ago that they really loved. That inspired me to pull back and snap a few shots at a distance. Ashley’s in her white dress, and with me so far away, you can barely tell she’s pregnant. I loved that these photos celebrated Ashley and Mark as a couple, where they spend lots of time together. It can’t make up for not having lovely wedding photos, but it’s still a beautiful shot!
Hudson’s newborn photo session is coming soon!
The next time I see Mark and Ashley, they’ll be overjoyed to introduce their son, Hudson! He makes his debut here sometime in September. Stay tuned for gorgeous photos of this family of three!