Belly Pictures – Orange County Maternity Photographer
Have you had professional photographs taken while you were pregnant? I am asking because I missed out on the opportunity to have a maternity session when I was pregnant with my first child. My daughter decided that it was time to meet everyone when I was just 36 weeks along. I know that’s not super early but early enough for the NICU staff to be in the delivery room when she finally appeared 40 hours after I realized the Braxton hicks were actually beginning stages of labor. Back to what I was saying, pictures. We were going to have our pictures taken that Friday, but to our surprise she came on Wednesday.
I was really good about taking belly pictures each week and I even have them printed out and stored away somewhere. I think I realized after that… 32-33 pictures of my belly is a LOT of belly pictures! Once a month would have been sufficient to document my growing belly; so that’s what I did with my 2nd pregnancy, once a month pictures but still no professional pictures. My son also decided that 36 weeks was a good time to come out and say hello. I skipped professional pictures and settled on posing everyone and having my mom click the camera.
Me and my family when I was pregnant with our little Charlotte. Photograph created by Ana Brandt of Belly Baby Love
I know when it comes down to it, a lot of women forgo a maternity session and figure they’ll just have a newborn session instead. I mean, it’s all about dressing up right? And I’ll need an updated family picture when the baby comes anyway right? Well… No, that is not (all) a maternity session is about.
The purpose of a maternity session is to document the amazing transformation your body is going through. It’s about celebrating your baby that you haven’t met face to face yet. It’s about the awe and excitement that fills your heart so much that it has nowhere else to go, (I think that’s the pregnancy glow everyone talks about). And don’t even get me started on the adoration on your husband and other children’s faces. I absolutely love capturing that!
Unfortunately, you might not realize what you’re missing until after the time has passed (and you regret not taking any pictures other than the ones taken with your phone).
I don’t believe I am alone when I say, I feel the most confident and radiant in my skin when I am pregnant. I know not everyone has smooth pregnancies. I’ve had many friends who are sick the whole 9 months. (Friends, I am sorry, that really sucks)
I know toward the end of pregnancy right around that 36 weeks mark and beyond, any pregnant woman is feeling a bit inflated or just flat out sore as your hips and ligaments are expanding beyond the uncomfortable distance. And depending on how you’re carrying you might be feeling like that as early as 20 weeks.
I totally get it, my body has been able to experience pregnancy 5 blessed times and really, how different will each pregnancy look (is what I or we as moms tell ourselves)?
I really love being able to show my kids pictures of mama when they were still growing inside my tummy. They get this look, you’ve probably seen it on your own child’s face. It’s that look of pride that says, “this time in mom’s life was important enough to document it with a picture. Wow, mom must have been pretty excited.” Yes, that look! That melt your heart look! So I made sure to have professional maternity photographs taken with the last 3 and a birth story session with my last (we’ll have to talk about birth photography another time).
Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to know mama, that no matter how many pregnancies you have had or which baby you are pregnant with or even if you didn’t have pictures that first, second or third pregnancy; I believe each pregnancy and each child should be celebrated. These photographs are part of your story and the beginning of your child’s story. You don’t have to wait until after birth-day to start documenting it.