I don’t know if I’ve ever openly admitted it on this blog on not (although it’s probably fairly obvious!), but one day I dream of being a photographer. A real one. A “people-pay-me-and-I-can-pay-bills-with-this” type of photographer. Some days the dream feels very far away. And others days a lot closer. On the faraway days, I have my moments of discouragement and impatience and frustration. And I find myself whining “Can’t I just BE there yet??!!!”. But then I remember I am living out this beautiful dream and this sweet dream on a daily basis. And I feel blessed and thankful and oh so grateful! And so I keep giving my dreams to God, trusting that since He is the one who planted them in my heart, He will make them grow in his perfect time. And He will. I whole-heartedly believe that. And it will be a better dream than any I could have every created on my own.
But until my photography business dream is fully realized, I have lots of fun practicing with family and friends. And it appears that my current niche of portraits is maternity! In the last year I’ve done 8 photoshoots, 5 of which have been pregnant ladies (I guess it helps having lots of friends you know knocked up! 🙂 ) And I have loved every single one of them. They have all been so unique and different (from railroad tracks to a deserted field to jumping in a river to standing on the edge of a mountain to walking in the snow!), and I learn something new with every single one.
Last month I got the opportunity to shoot for my friends Marci and Lindsey. I randomly met Marci last year at a “Tastefully Simple” party and she has a daughter Bailey’s age and we just hit it off and have been hanging out ever since. When she got pregnant over the summer w/her second daughter I offered to take maternity pics for her, but being a “no-attention-on-me” kind of girl, she declined. No biggy- it’s not for everyone! But then a day after her due date she called me up and said she changed her mind and didn’t want to miss out and regret not taking pics. So I ran over to her house and we knocked it out in about half an hour! She lives in a beautiful house on the edge of a mountain overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway, so needless to say, it was easy finding some nice background! And being the awesome pregnant lady she is, she impressed me w/some of her crazy yoga skills, belly and all!
Last thing about Marci before her pictures- she is seriously one of the most laid-back people I’ve ever met, and her birth story proves it even more! A week overdue and she woke up one morning and started having contractions, but feeling so good, she decided to wait a while till they got closer together and more painful. Fast forward a few hours and she realizes she’s in active labor and finally decides to go to the hospital. A couple miles down the Blue Ridge and she yells at her husband Tim to pull over; she’s gonna have the baby right then and there and can’t make it to the hospital! Tim must have really been thinking on his feet so he decides to call 911 and try to make it to the closest fire station. 911 alerts the fire station and as soon as Marci and Tim pull up into the parking lot, about a dozen firemen rush out, throw her on the stretcher, and 2 minutes later she delivers baby Vanna right there in the Asheville fire house parking lot! And the part that really cracks me up is how Marci was disappointed b/c they still made her go to the hospital to get checked out and all she wanted to do was go home w/her baby! Seriously- that girl is one super Mama!
Ok, so enough chatting- here are some of my faves of Marci! –
she has the most sparkly, big brown eyes!
not a bad view for your backyard, huh?
look at that 40 week pregnant lady!!
didn’t notice till i had downloaded the pics on my computer, but there was a rainbow right over her! so cool!
Marci and Maeve! such a sweet little girl!
already loves her little sis
this one is my favorite
Tim had to work that day, but popped in at the end of our session so i snagged him for a quick photo
the end! wish i had some baby pics of Vanna to share- she is just a gorgeous as her mom and sister!
A week after Marci’s shoot, I woke up to a cold, snowy morning – the day of Lindsey’s shoot. (This was also the exact day that baby Vanna made her firehouse debut! 🙂 ). Lindsey and I go to the same church and when I decided to leave my part-time job there, she took my position and I ended up training her. Got to know her and loved her instantly! She is one of those super sweet and genuine people that just make you feel so at home whenever you’re with them. Her first baby, Sawyer, is arriving tomorrow actually! A Leap Year baby!!! How fun is that?? She is currently at the hospital being induced right now and in a week or so I’m going to get to take my first newborn pics of him. Very excited!
Well Lindsey’s maternity shoot turned out great. It was beyond freezing cold that day and I was nervous b/c I had never done a shoot in the snow. But it turned out to be a wonderful background- giving off a bluish tint to match her blue scarf…..all blue for baby boy! But poor Lindsey was freezing and her eyes were watering so badly b/c of the cold, so we only got about 10 minutes outside, but I think we got some good shots from it. Then we went indoors and went to town. Lindsey had been stalking Pinterest for weeks and sending me lots of ideas for poses, so we had fun trying things out. And her husband Casey was a good sport and game for anything. It was fun! So here are some of my faves of Lindsey. There’s a lot, but we did so many poses!
you would never know this relaxing country scene is right in front of their apartment complex!
I love the way the wind blew the scarf right over her belly…..giving little Sawyer a hug!
red hair and blue eyes! can we say gorgeous??!!!
couldn’t be cuter if she tried!
do not like pregnant women lying on their back, but we were quick and got the shot!
after Sawyer comes we’re going to try recreating this pose and putting him where the blocks are…..we’ll see how it goes! 🙂
they just happened to have these LOVE letter right over the bed- perfect!
on these last 3 I was just messing around w/some creative editing. i’m not a big fan of making it look too different from reality, but was trying something new. any thoughts??
the end! and next week it’ll be baby Sawyer pics!!! nervous and excited!
Ok, so I know this is an uber-long post, but I’ve still got more to say! (surprise, surprise!) Like I said, doing some photo shoots over the past year has really taught me a lot. But here’s one of the most marvelous things I have learned from taking pictures of women: each woman is SO beautiful in her own special way, and yet we do not recognize this beauty within ourselves. We are SO hard on ourselves when it comes to seeing how beautiful God really made us. Seriously -this is exactly how it happens every single time. First I took pics of my my friend Lindsay last year. She is gorgeous and oh so photogenic! When I showed the pics to my friend Jessica who wanted me to take pics for her, she immediately said something to the effect of, “Oh I could never look that good! She is beautiful! Mine won’t turn out that good!”. And then we got these pics. Beautiful. Enchanting. Captivating. A couple of months later I showed Lindsay and Jessica’s pics to my sister-in-law Stacy and honestly it was almost the same conversation – “Oh but they are both so stunning. I won’t look like that! yadda, yadda, yadda…..” You get the idea. And of course, BAM! Stacy makes these sweet and breath-taking pics. And I’m sure you can guess what happened w/the last two mamas I recently took pictures of.
I sometimes wish I had a secret tape recorder I could use for when I show pics to other people and I could record all the wonderful, complimentary things that are said about these women. But then I wonder, would they really believe it?? And I myself am no different! I see pics of so many beautiful girls and my wish list gets going……wish I was thinner, taller, better skin……whatever! But this past year, through spending so much time w/women in the appearance heavy setting of photography, I have really learned that we need to give ourselves a break. That we need to not jump to pointing out our flaws or focusing on our insecurities, but rather we need to celebrate the beauty that God has instilled in each of us. Our own beauty. Unique and like no other. And these women whose pictures I’ve taken, it’s not that I find them so beautiful b/c of their outward appearances (though they are!), but it’s their inner kindness/humor/humility/feistiness/gentleness that really makes them shine. Makes them glow in their own special way. I know that probably sounds cheesy, but it’s true. We are all made in God’s image, and dang! He has done a really good job! And I believe if we allow Him, he’ll show us even more just how beautiful (and loved) He thinks we are. And of course in the end, his opinion is all that matters! 🙂
So that’s my soapbox for the day, and now I’m hopping off and going to enjoy me some “Downtown Abbey”. Take care and can’t wait to hopefully share some newborn pics w/you soon (if they turn out well!).