Tori & Scott celebrate the upcoming arrival of their son, August, with a gorgeous maternity session!
I’ve really, really tried to narrow down the number of photos I share.
Instead of blogging most of the session, last week I decided I was only going to post highlights.
But then I met Tori and Scott.
And their session is so stunning that I couldn’t help myself! I HAD to share every amazing moment!
Last-minute weather worries!
I had been watching the weather for a couple of days leading up to Tori and Scott’s maternity photo session. We were all clear, with sunny skies and a humid evening, until about two hours before our scheduled start time. That’s when a summer storm popped up on the radar. No matter how many times I refreshed my Weather Channel app, it kept insisting on a 60 percent chance of rain at 6 pm.
I gave Tori a call and told her I was headed out to our location early to scope out our chances of shooting that evening. She had just finished getting her hair and makeup done, and we both had our fingers crossed that a reschedule wouldn’t be necessary.
Fortunately, the storm managed to barely squeak by us – and it also lowered the temp by quite a few degrees!
Maternity session + Michael Scott = perfection
As we were walking to the first stop for photos, Tori and Scott were sharing how they passed the time during COVID-19. Like most of us, they’ve spent lots of time binging different things on Netflix and Hulu. Their favorite show?
This is when I knew it was going to be the most amazing photo session!
My husband and I have watched every single episode of The Office a million times, and we can quote our favorite lines at the drop of a hat. If I could have dinner with any famous person, alive or dead, my choice would always be Michael Scott (during the dating-crazy-Jan phase, naturally).
When you can discuss Michael Scott with others as if he were a real person, you’ve made a lifelong connection.
A beautiful mama-to-be in navy
Tori and Scott are expecting a precious baby boy at the end of September, so she selected a stunning navy blue maxi dress from Baltic Born. It fit her and her first-time mama baby bump so perfectly – the color couldn’t have been more perfect with her hair and skin tone!
Fortunately for us, this particular evening was cooler than expected and overcast. I was thankful for Tori’s sake that it wasn’t a million degrees, on top of 200 percent humidity, because that will zap your energy while pregnant like nothing else.
For our first series of photos, Tori and Scott snuggled together on a sweet wooden bridge.
This has become one of my must-have shots ever since I photographed Hannah and David here in the spring, about two weeks before the Coronavirus brought normal life to a screeching halt. I shared the photograph of Hannah and David standing in this spot on my website, and practically every mama has requested this shot ever since!
I love to kick off photos here because I shoot with a long focal length lens, which means I’m pretty far away from Tori and Scott. For this entire first series of photos, I don’t ask them to look at the camera. They just snuggle and chat with each other while I provide gentle prompts. I’m far enough away that I can’t hear a thing, and they can almost pretend that I’m not there.
This way, they avoid the awkwardness of staring at the camera right away, which helps everyone relax.
This bridge was perfect for a few solo shots of Tori, too!
August is on his way!
One of my favorite things to chat with first-time dads about is what they’re looking forward to after baby arrives. Some say the snuggles, while others are thinking further down the line: riding bikes and throwing a football.
The biggest difference between mamas- and dads-to-be is that having a baby isn’t quite real for him when the pregnancy test is positive. They don’t experience morning sickness, kicks and flutters or Braxton-Hicks. As mamas, we get to know our babies over the nine months they call our wombs home.
Dads are often overlooked during maternity sessions, taking a backseat to mama and her baby bump. There are so many ways to highlight a daddy-to-be and call attention to his relationship with baby, too. One of my favorite ways to do this is to have just dad looking at the camera.
These photos tend to work best when I’ve been working with a couple for about 45 minutes and everyone has relaxed in front of the camera. I think most men approach a maternity session thinking it’s all about their wives and they won’t have to do much. There’s so much to celebrate as dads wait to meet their babies, and photos like the one above capture dad’s excitement, too!
I’ve also fallen in love with photos that showcase how parenthood is all about teamwork:
Bump shots like this one focus less on mama and dad as individuals and more on their relationship as one unit. With Tori and Scott holding hands under the bump, sweet August is the focus, as his parents wait to meet him.
Gorgeous maternity photos start with smart wardrobe choices
Tori and Scott looked great in navy blue tones for their maternity photo session. Tori was a little concerned that her bump wouldn’t be big enough to show up in photos, which is a very common concern with first-time moms. A big, round basketball bump can appear at various stages of pregnancy. First-time mamas may not see it till the last few weeks of pregnancy, and by that time we’ve usually already wrapped up their maternity sessions.
My advice for especially first time moms with smaller bumps is to wear solid, earth-toned dresses or skirts. The longer the dress or skirt, the better! A solid color keeps the focus on your bump, even if it is small, whereas a print or pattern can be distracting. Earth tones like Tori’s navy maxi dress pop against the colorful backdrop of the arboretum. With careful posing, we can call attention to even the smallest bump as long as you start with smart wardrobe choices!
August makes his debut this fall!
With a late September due date, there’s a great chance sweet August will appear on the blog in early October! I’m so excited to see Tori and Scott make the full transition into parenthood with a sweet baby boy to snuggle and love!