When we found out we were expecting baby number two, I did a few things. First, I freaked out a little wondering how we were going to handle two babies (I mean, I’m being honest here). Second, I got really excited at the idea of this little one and of Abbie becoming a big sister. Third, once we announced the news, my first email was to our favorite family photographers to book maternity and newborn photos.
Kathy and Matt at Mathy Shoots People have been taking our family photos since I was pregnant with Abbie, and every time we get photos back from them I’m reminded why I love them so much. Fun fact – Kathy and I actually went to high school together, and back then I was the one with the camera in hand since I was on both the newspaper and yearbook staff. How times have changed!
Having photos of my little family to look back on has always been important to me, and I’m so glad I make the decision to invest in them every year. Is it expensive? Sure, but there is no price on having photos of all of us to look back on – photos where I am in the picture and not just taking it. I think too many moms hide behind the camera, so I push myself in front of it – I have far too few photos of my mom and wish I had more of us together from when I was little. I want my girls to have those.
So last month, Chris, Abbie, and I met up with Matt and Kathy once again to take maternity photos – our last set as a family of three. While you never really know exactly how a photo shoot will go (especially with a 3.5 year old in tow), there are a few things I did to prepare for it that made it SO much easier.
- Plan your outfits. I tend to keep the color scheme simple with a little interest – for this shoot, I selected a few main colors and a print that tied it all together. Abbie’s dress has gray and pink in the print, so having Chris in gray polo and me in a white and pink dress kept us cohesive without being matchy-matchy. It was also really important to me for all of us to be comfortable, and be clothing we would wear anyway – I wanted the photos to reflect the best version of ourselves.
- Pick the right location and time. For these photos, Kathy and Matt suggested Burke Lake Park in northern Virginia, and it was perfect – the lake allowed for water photos, there was plenty of space for Abbie to run around and burn energy, and we got a lot of different shots. We also went early in the morning to capture the best light and before it got too hot. We took these in early September, so it was still warm and the afternoon would have been scorching for this pregnant mama.
- Accommodate your kids. For Abbie, this meant a full container of goldfish crackers, a full water cup, and lots of time to run around and play. She’s an active kid and needs that direction and distraction! I also made sure to give her specific instructions for things. I knew that if I asked her to kiss my belly she’d do and quickly run away, but if I asked her to give it 20 kisses, she’d stay and do that before running away, allowing Kathy and Matt to get the shot. We also allowed her to pull us along and call the shots a little – and as a result got some great photos of her feeding the ducks.
- Pick a photographer you trust. For us, that was a no-brainer, because Kathy and Matt just get us. They show us exactly as we are, but in our best light (pun intended). It’s so important to find someone you trust and are comfortable with because it really shows in your photos.
- Go with the flow. Seriously – sometimes your kid is going to run off and be crazy. Sometimes you are going to trip over your own two feet. Sometimes an impromptu game of hide and seek calms your kid down and gives you adorable photos. Don’t stress and just kind of go with it!
Did you take maternity photos? Any tips you would add to my list?
All photos by Mathy Shoots People – they’re the best! Definitely look them up if you’re local, or if you’re getting married – they travel for weddings! Below are a few more of our photos from this shoot!