“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “
Why are you passionate about photographing babies and their mothers?
Even as a child I admired the beauty of mothers and women who were pregnant. It is something I have just always felt inside of me as something that should be cherished and valued deeply. I think it is a time in a woman’s life that passes so quickly and is so delicate. Often women get caught up in the day to day routine and forget to take the time to step back and see the little moments that define them as a mother. That is why I am here. I strive to capture these connections of nursing a baby, the meltdowns, sleeping together, and bonding in every way possible so that mother’s and children never forget what that love was like.
When did you realize you wanted to capture motherhood?
I have always had a love for working with babies and children. Before I was a photographer, I was a gymnastics coach for seven years. Once I began my journey as a photographer, I did what most people do and shoot any and everything: boudoir, weddings, seniors , babies – you name it. After having a little experience in all areas, I felt a special connection with maternity and newborn photography. Those were the sessions that I felt fulfilled, inspired, challenged and confident.
What makes these subjects so special?
A couple years into my career as a newborn photographer, my husband and I faced the challenges of infertility. After failed treatment after failed treatment after failed treatment, I realized the value of photography for me. It was an outlet…a means of coping. It provided me with a connection to motherhood that soothed my soul. It was at this point, I rebranded. I went from a props, posed and a studio light newborn photographer to a lifestyle and documentary-like newborn photographer. Because of my change in perception of motherhood from a more sentimental and emotional eye, I fell in love with capturing those “in between” moments, the connection between parents and baby, the look on the mother’s face as she was nursing her babe…. All the things I was dreaming of as a life I wanted as a mother, honestly. Three years later, our infertility struggles are still my inspiration and motivation for capturing motherhood the way that I do. It’s healing for me and so special to be around the mother’s I get to photograph.
We know angles can be hard to figure out when photographing maternity, can you share some tips for anyone trying to capture the essence of motherhood in general?
I go about photographing a maternity session the same way I photograph most all my sessions. I will take one pose and shoot a variety of angles: shoot high (looking down on mom), shoot low (looking up at mom), shoot wide, shoot close up. I also tend to get at least an underexposed shot with every pose as well. I love seeing different moods that I can alter in Photoshop with underexposed images. Then take the same pose and change the position of the mother in relation to the light source.
When posing, I aim for a pose that has a purpose. A pose that shows connection between mother and baby, mother and father or whoever the subject happens to be. I like to capture a very natural and almost candid approach by rarely having the mother look into my lens. I like for attention to be with her loved ones as if we are peering into her life as it is. When I do have the mothers connect eyes with my lens, I ask her to lift her eyes and give a baby smile. That usually keeps her expression soft and natural.
Always reassure your client and constantly let her know how beautiful she is. I think confidence during pregnancy is something a lot of women struggle with, then add a camera and it can make them nervous. The more relaxed mom is, the more natural her expressions and poses will be. Make her see herself for how you see her.
About the photographer:
I am an intimate maternity and newborn photographer based out of Northwest Arkansas. Once a props and posed newborn photographer, I rebranded my business in 2014 to a more lifestyle and documentary approach. While photography is my first love and business, I also have two other jobs. My husband and I created The Infertility Project in 2015 after three years of infertility. The Infertility Project is an online community where those with infertility can find private forums, an education center, leading experts in the industry to answer questions and much more! My husband’s family also owns a car dealership where I am the multimedia communications manger. Needless to say, I have my hands full with my jobs and projects but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Photography feeds my soul and gives me fulfillment like nothing else. It will always be my first “business baby.”