mood 4 eva

Do you know anyone who approaches life like it's the most fun adventure you could ever be on? I do! Nicole always has the biggest smile on her face and greets the day with a "let's see what happens" approach. She's not afraid to be vulnerable despite what life tosses her way and treats every deserving person like family. That's why I was especially ecstatic when she invited me to photograph her family for a maternity session in my studio in Norfolk, VA.

My favorite time to photograph maternity sessions is at the 8-month mark. Most moms-to-be are nice and round but are still able to move comfortably. It's the final stretch and there's lots of excitement in the air. I absolutely love tossing fabric around and creating ethereal images. The billowy fabric shows movement and the color provides a beautiful contrast against her skin.

brown skin girl

Nicole calls Olivia, "Honey Girl" probably because of her gorgeous honey-brown complexion and sweet personality. Honey Girl really enjoyed getting a touch of makeup and wearing her high heels for the shoot. With the help of her favorite Stitch doll, she did a few twirls and gave some of her best model moves. (Sorry Stitch, we had to edit you out of the photos.) Shawn assisted with some additional twirling action.

speaking of dad

I have to give a special shout-out to Shawn. At times when clients book photo sessions, the men get impatient and aren't really into it. I don't think Shawn quite knew what to expect for the shoot, but you betta believe he showed up and showed out! He was so very patient and had his suits perfectly matched to every scenario. He will be the first to let you know that I doubted his clothing selections at first. But, they photographed soooo well! I'm happy to say I think he was pleased with the final results. Thanks Shawn!

you're part of something way bigger

When I chatted with Nicole and her family about what kind of session they envisioned, Nicole mentioned that she and her daughter loved The Lion King's "The Gift" by Beyonce'. She wasn't aware that my daughter and I listened to that album probably 2,000 times when it was released. (Side note: We listen to the version with the clips from the movie. It adds to the experience.) The visuals from the music videos in "Black is King" provided so much inspiration for her shoot. I had a blast digging through my stash of African Ankara fabrics and Indian Saris for her shoot. I love the way the vibrant colors create additional visual interest and create a cultural connection within the images.

I usually photograph simple colors and backgrounds, so it was really fun to play with patterns.

take a look behind the scenes

Our favorite thing to do in the studio is capture the sweet moments that happen when families relax and enjoy each other. Here's a glimpse behind the scenes of this amazing session.

the gift

I'm so very thankful that Nicole, Olivia, and Shawn hired me for this shoot. I was pushed a little out of my comfort zone and it felt good to stretch to the occasion. When the new baby is a little older, I'm very much looking forward to another shoot with the family. Maybe they'll let me do a disco-themed "Renaissance" shoot for that one. (Just kidding.)

Contact me if you would like your own custom photoshoot. We'd love to work with you!

Makeup by The Undefeated Candace Weather (@candiepaintbeauty on IG)

Video and BTS footage by the MVP Michelle Fancher (@annmichellebreece on IG)