Almost one year ago, I realized there was a baby boom going on around Northwest Ohio. All these mommas were counting and comparing weeks and due dates, and I enjoyed their pregnancy stories. (Those are often more enjoyable from the outside, looking in!) As you probably already know, I believe that pregnancy is one of God’s most amazing miracles, as well as one of the most beautiful to photograph. I just can never get over how different every baby belly can be from one to the next, all the while the mothers are united with this one common thread of motherhood. This really inspired me to invite the soon to be mothers into the studio for a little bit of fun and support.
By the time we arranged our schedules with childcare and found matching wardrobe, we were able to pull together 4 amazing women, who were willing to brave all. Their “due dates” were stacked one after another and that added a bit of fun to the assortment of baby bellies. Of course, we can’t forget to mention that one of those awesome bellies was a twin pregnancy! So we had four mothers, with five babies, and one giddy photographer/ doula. (I promise, I didn’t rub any bellies unless invited! haha!)
Now imagine for a minute, you’ve got four women in a studio and they’re feeling much “bigger” than they usually do. Some of them are friends, some of them are strangers. All of them are overly aware of the way they are looking, knowing they’re about to step in front of a camera. And then? Then you ask them to bare all. In their undies. Yep, that’s what happened and the result is this adorable image! Within a few minutes, everyone was comfortable with each other and I felt oddly overdressed haha! Seriously though, it took a lot of guts for these guys to do this. A lot of times lighting can be used to shape and hide our flaws, but in an image like this, what you see is what you get. I am SO proud of these women for stepping out from their fears and being proud of the work their bodies were doing!
I can not even tell you how much I love that each of their bellies had it’s own shape! It’s a lot of fun to guess “boy or girl?”, so take a guess and see if you can figure it out. This black and white photo is my favorite image from the entire group maternity session! It perfectly displays their shapes and I believe it captures the beauty of pregnancy. So if you’re curious, in order from left to right: Girl (22 weeks), Boy (30 weeks), Girl (32.5 weeks), and Boy and Girl Twins (30.5 weeks.) Did you guess correctly?
Believe it or not, between these four women, they have 19 children! That’s a lot of mommy moments! In order from left to right, God has blessed them with 5 kids, Stephanie also has 5, the next momma has 6, and the last (on the right) has 3. Some of these mommas are stay at home mommas, some are working mommas, some homeschool, some don’t. Some home birth, some don’t. Some have natural births, some don’t. The list goes on and on, but it doesn’t matter. These women are all stepping in the same steps- walking through motherhood one day at a time, doing the best they can!
Step by step, these babies will be turning ONE!! And that means…. REUNION SESSION! Yes, we’re doing a “Before and After” because beauty doesn’t just lie in pregnancy, it lies in motherhood! These awesome women are bravely coming forward with their Postpartum bodies (and babies!) and empowering other women with real life. We’ll be photographing that session soon and I’m honored to gather with them. Thank you ladies, for being beautiful YOU!
If you’re in need of a Maternity, Birth, or Motherhood Photographer, please give Ashley a call at 419.231.1174.
Services are available in all of NW Ohio, SW Michigan, and the surrounding areas. (Toledo, Wauseon, Archbold, Defiance, Maumee, Perrysburg, Fort Wayne, and beyond.)