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Baby Michael • Maternity Session

I have been planning my maternity session probably since before I got pregnant, LOL! As a photographer that captures the journey of motherhood, I’ve had the honor of documenting maternity sessions for so many lovely couples over the years… I patiently waited for the blessing where it would be my turn to finally experience it from the other side of the lens.

You may have seen on the blog recently that we invested in Emily Gerald Photography as our photographer to document this exciting season in our lives. She’s such a sweetheart and has already spoiled us rotten! Last week we spent some quality time together for our maternity session and we can’t wait to have her back to Richmond on the BIG day to capture Michael’s birth arrival! SO much to look forward to in the weeks to come!!!

I reached out to Emily a while back with my ideas for our session and she was all in! With this being my first child, especially with the journey Ryan and I went through to get here, I wanted this portraiture session to be extra special. I was going with a bohemian, organic, editorial vibe – it all came together even more beautiful than I imagined…

The morning of, I scooted over to Avenue 42 Style Studio to get my makeup done by the fabulous Natalie Gordon. She’s the owner of her beautiful studio and she’s been published in Southern Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Richmond Magazine, Richmond Bride Magazine, BRIDES magazine, and more! It’s been almost 4 years since my wedding day when I last got dolled up with having my makeup done so it was time! I’ve never been a guru with makeup – I can take about 5 minutes to get ready in that department – so it was nice to have a professional make me look like a million bucks that day! It was such a relaxing way to start the day and Natalie was so much fun to chat with. While I was there, Kristen with The Proper Petal stopped by to drop off my gorgeous floral crown and florals for my milk bath maternity portraits (more details coming to the blog soon!). Always love seeing Kristen and her precious little boy, Lawson!

Emily arrived around noon with an amazing client gift in her hands! Obsessed with all the goodies!! The chocolates may or may not have already disappeared! She started out by capturing some lifestyle portraits of Ryan and I in Michael’s nursery. Outfit wise, I went with a more casual “everyday look” for these in-home portraits. It was such a surreal moment to know that this was actually happening!! I had a lace robe that I wanted to wear for a few pictures to show off my beautiful growing bump – I’m going to miss it once Michael is here! Then we headed to my master bathroom for some dreamy milk bath portraits (stay tuned for more on this!).

We reconvened later that evening to Tuckahoe Plantation to explore the grounds and capture some beautiful outdoor portraits as a family of 3! I had my bridal portraits taken here with the fabulous Laura Gordon 5 years ago (time flies!) so it was a sentimental location for me. This time around I have a sweet little boy in my belly that was dancing around all day. Even with the threat of clouds, we lucked out with the weather. It was truly the most amazing day that I will always remember! Glowing with excitement, grinning ear-to-ear, and so very blessed to celebrate this special time!

For this evening session, I wanted to wear something new! I didn’t really have the energy in the 90+ degree weather to hop from store-to-store trying things on… I’m more of an online shopper so figured that I would give Rent The Runway a try! It was my first time shopping on Rent The Runway. I searched through all of their beautiful “bump friendly” dresses — I was looking for something that was long, whimsical and elegant, fitted (to show off my bump!), with light and airy colors. I came across the one! This pink floral chiffon dress was perfect for a plantation maternity session setting. The pink floral design didn’t really scream that I was having a boy but I felt so very feminine and beautiful in it! I would highly recommend Rent The Runway if you’re looking for stylish attire for an upcoming event! Their customer service was great – the dress delivered the day before our session (they let you order 2 sizes for the price of 1) and I shipped it back the day after. Ryan looked rather dapper himself just by shopping in his closet — guys have it so easy!

million thank yous to my fabulous team of creatives!! Natalie – you sure do know how to make a 33-week preggo lady feel absolutely flawless! My makeup and fancy lashes gave me that extra boost of confidence to rock out my portraits. The Proper Petal – your stunning florals were the perfect touch to the day adding a POP to our images and making my home smell heavenly! Emily – I am overwhelmed with your finished work. You truly have a gift. You completely exceeded my expectations and I cannot thank you enough for the images you captured on this day. Ryan and I will treasure them always – we’re so grateful for you.

To Ryan, thank you for your continued love and support throughout this journey. You’ve been amazing! Laughing, smooching, dancing, holding hands, and looking up at you during our maternity portraits — I’ve never been more in love with you. I know that love will continue to grow stronger as we build our family together. You’re my rock, my best buddy. You’re going to be an incredible father. Michael is one lucky boy!

Being pregnant has been an amazing, exciting, powerful, and overwhelmingly beautiful season in my life. In experiencing pregnancy for the first time, I have developed a newfound respect for my body. With each little kick I feel in my growing belly it is a lovely reminder of God’s many blessings bestowed on me. I am truly in awe with the miracle of life that I’m carrying. For me, the purpose of this maternity session was a way to embrace the end of my pregnancy. Celebrating not only my beautiful bump and the strength of my body but also documenting a life created, a life changed.

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