Today I’m sharing a tale of two mamas I photographed in 2017. These sessions perfectly illustrate why it’s so critical to trust your photographer!
I met April early last summer as she was awaiting the birth of her son. She wanted a nature-themed session, so we met at a park in The Woodlands where I knew we’d get that lush green background April wanted. She came in a cute maternity maxi dress that had sweet lace detailing on top and a beautiful shade of blue on the bottom. I could tell she felt comfortable and pretty in her dress, so she wore it for the beginning of her session.
I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s perfectly natural to feel kind of awkward as we get started. Every mama feels that way – I can always see it. Even if we had a great pre-session consultation and hit it off perfectly, it’s not easy being in front of a camera.
Reason #1 to completely trust your photographer: you’re going to feel awkward at first. Let me help you relax and bring out beautiful, natural expressions that you’ll love.
Here’s one of April’s initial shots when I was testing my light. This isn’t intended to be a “keeper” photo – I’m just getting my camera ready to capture the magic. I always invite mamas to close their eyes here because it helps them feel a little more comfortable.
Pretty mama, right? Definitely not a photo you’d want to keep, but watch what happens when April changes into my ivory gown. She goes from a pretty pregnant mama to a stunning woman expecting her second child.
April had to put an enormous amount of trust in me when I told her this wrap would beautifully show off her pregnancy curves. Once she put it on, I took her through the same gentle posing as when she was in her maxi dress – but I was photographing a different woman! Can you see from her body language that she feels completely radiant? She’s embracing pregnancy with her entire being and her confidence just leaps off the photo.
How did this transformation happen? The gown she’s wearing is a totally luxurious fabric that makes every mama feel like a million bucks. She can see it hugs her curves in the most flattering of ways. A similar gown probably would have cost her hundreds of dollars, but this is one of my signature client wraps available to every mama I photograph.
But it’s not just what she’s wearing. I guided her through a series of poses designed to highlight her bump and make the most of her lovely figure. I stood directly in front of her for each new pose and let her mirror everything I did, from the position of my feet, to the tilt of my chin. I made sure she was comfortable each step of the way. We kept an easy conversation going the entire time and took breaks when she wanted a breather.
Reason #2 to trust your photographer: You should never feel like you don’t know what to do with yourself during a session. You should receive clear direction and constant reassurance the entire time.
At no point did April wonder what to do with her hands, or if she was supposed to look at me and smile. I gave gentle direction the entire time, which meant she felt empowered and comfortable.
Jessica is the second mama I photographed last year whose before and after photo is striking. Again, her before photo was taken as I was setting up my camera for her session and testing the light. You can see I asked her to look down because that feels less awkward than looking at the camera.
Her maxi dress is cute, her makeup looks great, but you can see by her body language that she’s not quite comfortable yet. That’s ok, every mama feels this way when we get started. No sweat.
After a few shots in this dress, Jessica changed into the same gown that April wore. This ivory wrap is pure magic!
Can you even believe it’s the same person?
She’s not afraid to maintain eye contact now. Look at that confidence. This is a woman who believes in herself. She knows she’s beautiful and she’s not ashamed to show it.
Again, it’s all about trusting your photographer. By the end of every session, I’m always working with a different woman. She knows from our time together how to hold her body in the most flattering way. She understands where to put her hands, how to hold her chin and when to give a soft smile. Jessica told me that she was nervous before her session because she’d never had photos taken alone before. How did she feel after it was over? She said it was a wonderful, easy experience.
When you’re looking for any kind of photographer, there are so many boxes you need to check: do you like her work? Do you have a connection with her? Does she seem to care about what you want?
The most important thing to look for is – do you trust her? Because when you trust your photographer, I guarantee you’ll love your photos and you’ll genuinely enjoy every moment of your session.