First-time parents Hannah & David celebrate their baby girl on the way at Mercer Arboretum!
There were so many unforgettable aspects of this gorgeous maternity photography session at Mercer Arboretum, but the best part is Hannah in this red dress!
Normally I don’t start off blog posts talking about mama’s wardrobe, but she’s so radiant in this dress that I have to mention it right away. I had just added this gown to my client closet and Hannah was the very first mama to try it out. It so perfectly compliments her baby bump and creamy skin. I know she felt beautiful, and her daughter will have the sweetest memories to go through with Hannah some day!
A peaceful garden in a busy city
When Hannah requested a location with lots of trees and flowers, my mind immediately went to Mercer Arboretum. We’re entering spring and although it’s still a little early, so much is in bloom there! This was Hannah and David’s first visit to Mercer and what a gorgeous introduction it was!
I shot several maternity photo sessions at Mercer last year, but I hadn’t been there in about seven months until I met Hannah and David. They’re two of the sweetest first-time parents ever! Both of them are just dying to meet their baby girl in April.
We met on a peaceful, cloudy Monday morning, a time when just mamas with strollers and toddlers were roaming through the gardens. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better morning to help Hannah and David celebrate their daughter! It was so quiet there that it was easy to forget that Houston was buzzing all around us.
The red dress!
We kicked Hannah’s session off in this dramatic, fitted red dress. I knew she’d probably want to spend most of her session in it. It’s a comfy, stretchy jersey material that flows beautifully to the ground, even on Hannah, who is 5’9″.
Don’t miss Hannah’s incredibly beautiful sneak peek here!
I love how Hannah just pops off the photo in every single image. The color is so flattering on her and with everything in bloom around her! For vibrant dresses like this one, husbands look best in neutral colors – and David is a perfect example! He compliments his wife so well in well-kept jeans and a white polo shirt.
A storybook setting
I have lots of favorites from this maternity session, but hands down the ones I loved the most feature Hannah and David on a bridge, with the gorgeous green landscape around them. It looks like something straight out of a fairy tale, especially with the delicate ivory flower crown Hannah wore for this series of photos.
I also loved the series of images of Hannah coming down a winding staircase. There’s something magical about her here, especially with how the dress flows down the steps. I asked David to stand behind me and make her laugh, which he’s very skilled at doing! Her expressions of pure joy here are so lovely; you can see in her eyes how much she loves her husband. The sun started peeking out, and Hannah just glows with happiness!
The iconic Mercer shots!
On crowded evenings at Mercer, when a dozen or more photographers are working with all kinds of clients, there’s one shot you almost have to wait in line for. I think you’ll see why:
The symmetry and drama here makes for such a stunning portrait, especially if you’re a gorgeous mama-to-be in red! Since we practically had the garden to ourselves, we were totally unrushed getting this amazing set of photos. It allowed us plenty of time and space to get Hannah perfectly posed and comfortable. I love working with clients in settings like this, where you’re surrounded by breathtaking beauty and you’re not worried about getting the shot and moving so someone else can squeeze in.
Even better, right behind this spot are these columns and fountains that David specifically requested we use during the session. Can you blame him?!
Again, since we had the place mostly to ourselves, I could get this sweet couple perfectly centered, back up quite a bit, and give them a stunning portrait that captures so much natural beauty, too. On a busy weekend, you’d never get this photo unless you like crowds in the background!
Wardrobe change into black
We wrapped up Hannah’s portraits on the staircase and she changed into a black strapless cotton dress that was a little more flowy. David also changed into a gray button up shirt, which complimented mama in black quite well.
The sun peeked out from the clouds again just as I shot this series of photos, creating that soft glow around Hannah and David. This was toward the end of their maternity session, when they were incredibly comfortable in front of the camera and naturally fell into this pose. I love when that happens!
Even if a fitted red gown isn’t your thing, you can see that a a long black dress still works perfectly at this location. I’ve photographed mamas in all kinds of outfits here, and the only thing that wouldn’t work is a mama in jeans.
You can see a little more of Hannah and David’s maternity photography session below! Their daughter will make her debut here in April!
Dreaming of your own gorgeous maternity session? Let me know when you’re due and I’ll start planning a magical experience just for you!