In the early months of my pregnancy with Wolf, I hemmed and hawed over scheduling a maternity shoot. I am normally not camera shy, but I am pretty sensitive about my weight. I wasn’t sure that documenting a particularly weighty (in more ways than one) time in my life would be a good idea. Eventually, I decided to go for it, because I reasoned that if I end up not liking the pictures, then no one else has to see them. I figured that it’s best to have a keepsake, as it might be the first and last time I’d be pregnant. Who knows, right?
Maternity shoots are best scheduled in the latter part of the third trimester, so that the bump is more obvious. The word “obvious” in my case was an understatement, because we had our shoot on November 30, 2016, less than a month before my due date. By that time, my tummy was really big already!
Aside from the issue of my hugeness, I was also concerned about ensuring that we will get classy photos. I have seen so many maternity shoots that come out really tacky, which I believe is usually the fault of the photographer. If the photographer has a good eye and sense of style, the pictures will be tasteful. Thus, I made sure that the photographer I chose fit the bill.
I decided to go with Ida Roccio Ferrer-David, one of our friends. Her rates are on the higher end, but based on my experience, they are justified. She knows how to strike a good balance between establishing rapport and being professional, she works quickly and efficiently while remaining sensitive to her client’s comfort, and her studio is beautifully and thoughtfully designed. It is an air conditioned glass house, which allows her to take advantage of natural lighting while her clients stay sweat-free.
The day before the shoot, Ida checked in with me to ensure I was ready with our outfits and props. I’ve never been what you’d call fashionable or trendy (I’m the rare girl who hates shopping for clothes), and so I just prepared a blouse and pair of shorts and figured that if they’re not shoot-worthy, I’d go nude instead. Haha. Luckily, my outfit choice was nice enough for the shoot, though I had nude shots taken anyway, because those are what would bare the bump in all its glory! I included a few at the end of this post, so if you’re uncomfortable with such photos, don’t scroll down! For Casey’s outfits, I just made sure they were color-coordinated with mine. I went with a black, red, and cream color scheme. We didn’t bring any props except for red baby Toms (to match Casey’s shoes).
On the day of the shoot, we had no trouble finding the studio, as it’s searchable on Waze. Ida began by briefing us on the flow of the shoot and on the poses we’d be doing. We were to start with my solo shots, and then proceed to couple shots, at which point Casey mumbled to me, “What about my solo shots?” Uhhh hellooo, there’s a reason it’s called a MATERNITY shoot?! Ida was nice enough though to humor my vain husband by squeezing in a few solo dad shots. Haha!
It was the most tiring photo shoot I’ve ever had, but only because I was so heavily pregnant and I would tire really easily! Ida was always making sure that I was well hydrated and comfortable with each pose. We also took breaks whenever I needed them. She had two female assistants who were cheery and quick on their feet. The studio had curtains, and so I did not feel so exposed when the nude shots were being taken.
I did not regret having a maternity shoot, especially when the prints arrived. They were gorgeous! True to form, my husband saw me gushing over the pictures and said with a shrug, “Well, Ida had good models.” Hahaha.
But seriously, I believe the success of the shoot had less to do with us and more to do with Ida. A bad photographer can make anyone look bad. Likewise, a good photographer can make anyone look good. I think that through the lens of a skilled photographer, everyone is photogenic. That’s why it’s important to choose a competent photographer, especially for a maternity shoot, because this is a time when you are vulnerable and self-conscious about your rapidly changing body. I made sure that I was in the hands of someone talented, who delivered photographs that boosted my confidence and made me proud of my heavily pregnant body. Rather than pay less and risk getting tacky, badly edited photos, I chose to spend a bit more so that I could be captured at my best, biggest, and most beautiful.