Sara and I spent a lot of time together in the first half of 2018 - she was teaching me about SSP, coaching me through using my camera well, and bringing me along to as many shoots as possible. I got the pleasure of watching Sara in action in every possible setting, and her passion and enthusiasm for what SSP does sucked me right in. I realized I was ready to let go of the security of my old job and trade it in for the excitement and variety of being a photographer with SSP if it meant that I would fall in love with my work the way Sara has. On a regular basis, Sara and I had lots of long chats that often circled back to her intense affection for two types of shoots in particular: newborn and maternity. She loves every bit of every shoot, but those two in particular she jokingly said she’d fight me for…at least I hope it was a joke…
Maternity sessions, as my mom tells me, are a “new” thing. When I travelled to Mississippi recently to shoot my cousin’s maternity session, my aunts and Mamaw confirmed the notion that “back in the day” there wasn’t a draw to capture your pregnancy quite like there is today. As we sat and looked through the gorgeous photos of my gorgeous cousin (side note: it’s almost inhuman how incredible she looked at 36 weeks pregnant), the combination of the emotion, the intimacy, and the sheer beauty of her being an expectant momma left us all speechless until my aunt remarked that she wished she had that for herself. That got me thinking about why maternity photography has become so popular in recent years.
The more I do these maternity sessions, the more I see that this isn’t just a Pinterest inspired trend, but rather an expression of love for your child and pride in what a mother’s body does during pregnancy. The more I do these, the more I hear from these expectant mommas that they want to treasure these fleeting moments as much as possible. The more I do these, the more I realize why Sara loves these sessions so intently. There is something to special and honoring about being invited into someone’s most intimate moments and being trusted to capture it in a way that makes them feel and look beautiful. Often, our mommas share stories about babies they’ve lost, babies they longed for, and babies that came when they weren’t expecting them. When they share those stories, we come to treasure these moments even more knowing that they are sharing more than a story with us. This is why Sara wants to fight me for these sessions.
Even with the growing trend toward maternity sessions, not every expectant momma opts to do one. We hear many of the same reasons - either it’s just not something she’s comfortable doing or she didn’t know about all we had to offer for a maternity session. While we wish we could convince every momma that your beauty in this time is worth capturing no matter what, we can at least walk you through every option SSP has so you can decide if something we offer will help you make that decision.
The Fine Art Maternity Session
This session for momma only is a really creative and unique way to capture your pregnancy using all the amenities found in-studio. Sara puts a lot of creative energy into planning and shooting the fine art sessions. Through the privacy of the studio and experience of Sara, these sessions open up opportunities to be more intimate and personal, and they are tailored to your specific desires for capturing your pregnancy in a way that reflects who you are. We have several options for unique poses, prop and fabric incorporation, and backgrounds that set the right mood for the feeling you want to capture.
Studio Maternity Session
A studio maternity session is a great option for couples who want to have
the session in a climate controlled setting (my summer/fall due date mommas, can I get an amen?!). Our studio has a variety of backgrounds, all with a similar light and airy feel. This session can be momma only or can include the whole family if you have older children. Since we keep all of our stunning maternity dresses in the studio, you can select a few options from our collection to wear. Our workflow within each studio session ensures that each pose is flattering and the dresses are fluffed and trains are laid out to perfection.
Outdoor Maternity Session
An outdoor maternity session is a great option for a large family or couple. Of course it can be momma only, and we always aim to find the right combo of sun and shade to to be the most flattering. The outdoor sessions tend to be more casual and candid, and we have a lot of fun getting creative with what is available on site for various poses. We can bring one or two of our maternity gowns, but we are limited on which can be worn outdoors. This option for a maternity session has the most opportunity for incorporating props, large families, PETS(!!), and getting a wide variety of scenery. I personally love when clients ask if it’s ok to bring the dogs to these sessions - YES, ALWAYS YES!
You can also look through the gallery of all maternity gowns we have at this link: https://sarastanleyphotos.com/p943456482
Whether you’re expecting your first child or you are a seasoned pregnancy veteran, capturing this special time in your life is so dear to the heart of SSP. One day, you’ll get to sit down with your children and show them these photos, and they’ll what we’ve all said from the beginning, “Mommy, you look beautiful”.