Romantic couples outdoor maternity session celebrating Colton & honoring Emelia
Cathy wanted to celebrate her rainbow baby boy with a romantic session with her husband, Bobbie. Mercer Arboretum was the perfect backdrop despite the chilly temperatures. This is one of my favorite places for maternity photography because there are so many beautiful places to photograph. I could shoot a different couple here every weekend for an entire season and never replicate a session!
Beautiful mama in blue
Although she had originally planned to wear an ivory lace dress, the cooler temps and growing baby bump meant Cathy had to rethink her plans a little, and this blue dress worked so well! I loved the length and the ruffles at the top – it was so feminine and flattering, and absolutely perfect for this romantic maternity photography session! She alternated between going sleeveless and wearing her long black jacket. She even wore my own brown duster for a few photos where I knew it would look great, especially with the tan shades in the background!
Bobbie’s dress slacks and button-down shirt complemented mama while sticking with the blue theme. I really liked his rolled up sleeves, which gave him a more relaxed and casual look.
The flow of the session
I like to arrive about an hour before my couples so I can scout out a location and ensure there are no surprises since my last visit, like roped off areas where we can’t photograph or flooded walkways. Fortunately, on this particular Saturday, all of my favorite spots were accessible and we didn’t have too much company, other than a few quincenera sessions. (Side note: I LOVE when these girls in enormous, beautiful dresses are at Mercer while I’m shooting there. Their gowns are unbelievable!)
For most maternity photography sessions, I tend to start at one side of the arboretum and work my way around. There are a few “must-have” spots along the way – the staircase, the tree with bright red blooms, the white stone – but I always find new places, too. The arboretum isn’t big, but there are tons of hidden gems along the way that make stunning backdrops for photos.
We usually start out with couples portraits and sprinkle in some of just mama along the way. There are lots of cuddles and little kisses because these tender moments so perfectly illustrate the love between two people who are expecting a baby.
Celebrating a rainbow baby boy
Cathy’s session was an opportunity to celebrate not just one baby, but two. She and Bobbie lost their first child, Emelia, in 2018 when she was born still. There is nothing harder in this world than losing a baby, a story my husband and I also know all too well after losing our first daughter in 2012.
Over the years as a maternity & newborn photographer, I have worked with many mamas of Angel babies who are in Heaven. The first thing I always want these women to know is that I understand the complicated emotions you feel when you’re pregnant again after a loss. There’s a mix of joy, fear and guilt. Sometimes rainbow baby sessions are filled with more sadness and tears than joy and smiles – and that’s totally ok.
Cathy and Bobbie’s session was joyful; we honored their daughter Emelia, while celebrating their son Colton. Moms are welcome to involve their Angel in whatever way feels most comfortable. I’ve had moms bring along stuffed animals to represent their babies who have passed on, along with photos and special jewelry. Cathy chose to bring a sign she made to include Eme in the session, which was beautifully touching.
My favorite moments
This session lasted about an hour and it went by so quickly; Cathy and Bobbie are two of the happiest, mosts cheerful people I’ve met. Our time together was relaxed and I genuinely enjoyed getting to know both of them.
My favorite moments of every maternity session at Mercer Arboretum are on the staircase. There’s something about this spot that reminds me of a prince and princess coming down the stairs in a fairy tale. I also love how it’s so different from the usual maternity portrait, but it’s not so out there that you wouldn’t want it hanging in the nursery.
I’m so excited for Cathy and Bobbie to experience the joy of parenthood when Colton arrives this spring! There is so much joy ahead for this sweet couple!