Should you do a maternity photo shoot?

V-Blog-3

I had no interest in organising a maternity photo shoot when someone asked me.

I had an image of the typical photos that you see from a maternity shoot in my head. I never felt comfortable taking photos of my naked body especially since a lot of the maternity photos have naked bellies or just a sheet covering their body. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that pre-pregnant and let alone being pregnant.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the pregnant body is gorgeous but I also find it a very personal choice on whether you feel comfortable showing off your naked belly or taking photos of it.

Then I had another mother tell me one thing that I will never forget

“this is an incredible time of your life and you’re only pregnant for the first time once and your body is doing amazing things, a photo shoot would allow you and your partner to capture this amazing moment in your life and you can look back and see the beautiful way that your body has changed to give life”.

I walked away and though about what she said. This is true. This is the first time my body is experiencing such an extraordinary change for my baby and what if down the track I would regret not doing it? I think that was my biggest worry. I couldn’t exactly turn back time if I decided to not go ahead with the shoot so I decided to look into it.

As mentioned before, I didn’t want to have photos done of my naked pregnant body but I did want to capture the changes in my body so I decided to jump on Pinterest and see if I could find any maternity photo shoots that would help inspire my own shoot and Pinterest was fantastic in providing me ideas in style, location and what to wear. Below was some of the photos that inspired my own shoot:

maternity_shoot_forestchristi-falls-beach-maternity-shoot-04

So I proceeded to keep on looking for images like above to set the tone of the kind of photo shoot that I wanted and put together my own maternity photo shoot:

  1. Location

As per the images above, I really thought having a natural backdrop like in a park or field would be great for my photo shoot and immediately thought of Centennial Park. The Park is so expansive and has so many different back drops such as lakes, big trees, ponds, flowers, statues and space! Perfect. Some of my own maternity photos below:

V 1

V 27

I would suggest picking a location that you feel comfortable getting photographed at and that gives the ability to give you different backdrops.

2. Clothing, make up and hair

In regards to clothing, my photographer recommended light coloured clothing and something that accentuated my belly. Again Pinterest is great in helping me get ideas on what kind of clothing I should have for my photo shoot. I firstly looked in my closet but I didn’t have anything white or cream that a) fits me and b) gives me the look I was after.

My photographer said I could have a change of clothes in my photo shoot which was a great idea as I thought of getting a white/cream long dress and then another dress in another colour.

I went straight on to ASOS as I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress that was just going to be used for my maternity photo shoot and below are the two dresses that I used for my photo shoot:

V 54V 67

As for my hair and make up, I wanted a really soft natural look so I curled the ends of my hair and pinned it to one side so it dropped down and my make up was soft using bronzer, brown eye liner and pink eyeshadow with pink lipgloss.

3. Choosing my photographer

Once I had an idea of how I wanted my maternity photo shoot to look, I then began searching maternity photo shoot photographers. I jumped on Gumtree as I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a photographer and I knew many up and coming photographers would charge less and do a great job. So I made my ultimate choice based on the photographers website and the kind of photos they took and which best aligned with the kind of photo shoot I was looking for.

I got in touch with the photographer I wanted to go ahead with and she was nice enough to offer to meet with me over coffee to discuss the kind of photo shoot I wanted to and pass on her advice on the shoots she had done. Michelle Purchase from Faure Photography was fantastic and made my photo shoot so much fun and a great day for me and my partner.

4. Props

Another aspect that I saw at many maternity photo shoots was the use of props and I think its a great idea and gives the photos that cuteness and linkage to baby that is due to arrive. Below are some of the props I used in my photo shoot:

V 51 V 29

 

 

 

All in all we had a lot of fun doing our photo shoot and I’m so glad we did it.

They are memories that will be captured forever at such an important moment in our lives.

Maternity clothes…What to buy?

Maternity clothes

 

 

So when I fell pregnant, I had this image of myself ballooning out and going up a size or 2 (I’m usually a size 12) in clothes so immediately I thought “I need to purchase maternity clothes ASAP”.

Now one piece of advice that I can definitely pass on is:

“Don’t buy any maternity clothes until you start out growing your current clothes”

Every pregnancy is different and some women do go up a size or 2 and others can manage to get away with their own wardrobe and may need to buy a couple of things here or there.

The first thing I outgrew at around 3-4 months is my jeans since I own skinny jeans and had a tendency to buy a size smaller than I am so it was proper skinny jeans.

One thing I noticed about maternity clothes at the shops is a) insanely expensive. Jeans were at least $100 plus for a piece of clothing I was only going to wear for 6 months and b) some of the styles were horrific! I mean you’re pregnant and they make clothes that make you look even bigger than you are!

So I refused to purchase anything from these “maternity clothing stores”.

My saviour for style and price was ASOS.

I can’t recommend them enough in regards to their range of maternity wear as well as the price.

I proceeded to purchase skinny jeans in maternity wear from them which I think ended up being around $40 which I think was a bargain. The style was perfect and it looked so flattering on me that I love wearing them until this day (I am 38 weeks now). A very similar model to mine is pictured below

Msternity jeans asos

Now the second piece of clothing I outgrew was my work pants since they were all tailored and with zippers. Again I went to ASOS to make my second purchase for work pants. I would have paid about $50 for some black pants that went fantastically with all my work blouses. Below is the exact pants I purchased from ASOS.

Maternity work pants ASOS

Next items I outgrew were my work skirts which were all fitted and with zippers. I probably outgrew these when I was about 6 months pregnant.

I decided to go to Cotton On and see if they stocked elastic skirts that I could wear to work and lo and behold they did! The make of the skirts were fitted, in cotton and with elastic around the top. Perfect! I proceeded to go a size up than what I normally am so I got a Large in 2 black skirts of different lengths. Each skirt was between $20-$30. Excellent!

And then finally since I was pregnant during the summer months, I bought some dresses as well as they really are the most comfortable items to be wearing as it gets irritating having things around your belly when you wear skirts or pants or jeans so on the weekends all I wanted to wear was nice flowy dresses.

Again I went to ASOS and bought 2 dresses which were about $30 each and was perfect for the weekends.

I was lucky enough to be able to wear the rest of my wardrobe. I usually have quite flowy and loose tops so this worked in my favour as they all fitted and looked great on while I was pregnant.

So if I think about how much I would have spent on maternity clothes all up, it would come to about under $200! Which if you think about it with $200 at the maternity stores would have bought you a pair of jeans and work pants and that’s about it.

And when you think about it, its clothes that you will wear for 6 months and then in my case I will put away until I’m pregnant with number 2.

So girls, don’t get ahead of yourselves when you find out you are pregnant and start buying a whole new wardrobe unnecessarily. You will be surprised about how much of your existing wardrobe you can still wear and you may need to add some pieces here and there to get you buy work and say going out for dinner or events.

Everyone’s bodies are different which is why its much better for your own wallet to wait and see how you develop.

The perfect thing about ASOS is that if you are desperate for clothes, they can express post it to you in any case.

Good luck on shopping and keep in mind, you will only be wearing these clothes for 6 months!!

Pregnancy books. Do you need them?!

Baby books

With the excitement of finding out you are pregnant, many women then go on a shopping spree to buy pregnancy books and let me tell you, there is plenty out there!

Once again, my thoughts on purchasing these books came down to a monetary aspect. But I still wanted to know what was going on with my body while being pregnant.

Lucky for you and me, we live in a technological era and all the information you need around your pregnancy is at your fingertips.

There is so many apps and websites that it can bit quite overwhelming but I will narrow down the apps and websites I have used as like many of you, I don’t have the time to sit there for hours reading various websites or downloading a heap of apps.

The best app for my iPhone that I have downloaded is the My Pregnancy Baby Center app. A couple of reasons why this is a great app:

  • The app tracks your pregnancy daily. It tells you how many weeks you are and how many days until your due date
  • It gives you very useful daily information around being pregnant. It covers everything from food, exercise, hygiene, pregnancy symptoms and general information. It’s fantastic to get a daily dose of info
  • The best part about this app is the Birth Club. Basically a forum dedicated to the month your baby is due. So you sign up and jump on and you and any other women who is due the month you are due are in that forum. This have been invaluable to me as I read the various symptoms and see if what I was experiencing was normal, ready on what was coming up (as most women were ahead of me as I am due 31 May) and also give you the opportunity to post your own questions and queries and have the other mothers respond. This has been great for me as mentioned previously because I don’t have friends who have been mothers to help me along so sometimes at night before I go to sleep I would stay up and chat with the other mothers and feel at ease that the things that were happening to my body was perfectly normal

The other app that I have also downloaded and used is BabyBump (both apps are free by the way).

Now BabyBump I have used for the below reasons:

  • This app also tracks your pregnancy letting you know how far along you are and how many days you have left
  • This app also comes with a daily information dose around pregnancy
  • I have used this app to track my baby bump! At first I didn’t want to do this when my Mum and others suggested it because I felt weird seeing my belly grow but I thank god I did it because it’s not something you can exactly go back and do. This app tracks your baby bump weekly and now I love going back over the weeks to see how much I have grown! It’s just such a wonderful experience to go through that I love that its been captured in this app for me to look at
  • There is a journal section which I have used to track my weight. You can also include your measurements but I never used that. I’ve only just used it to track my weight.

Now I also suggest to sign up with the Baby Center website. They will send you a weekly email to let you know how your baby is growing and developing and they also have some great videos to see your little one developing. I love receiving my weekly newsletter letting me know how my baby is growing and growing.

The other website which I signed up to quite late in my pregnancy but have enjoyed the emails coming through is the Huggies website. They also send through a weekly newsletter and gives you helpful tips and info on pregnancy at that specific stage.

Now I got given one baby book through work which is called Baby Love by Robin Barker. I have found this very very hard to read. I am not even a quarter of the way through the book and to be honest I just find it really boring and tedious. I felt guilty at first when I wasn’t enjoying reading the book but then realised that I can get that very information elsewhere and in a much more lighthearted way.

I found it a heavy read and don’t think I will be picking up the book anytime soon.

Another good source of information which I will go into more details in another post is my antenatal classes. My antenatal classes are run by the midwives and they give you a bunch of readings every week.

I found it great to read on my to work or back as it was a couple of pages and didn’t have to carry a whole book and again snippets of information.

I just find there is such an information overload with pregnancy that I can’t handle too much at the same time as I most certainly get overwhelmed so the various ways above of getting information about my pregnancy has worked for me like a dream!

Oh and being able to access blogs like mine and others out there are great as well to help through your pregnancy.