REASONS FOR A MATERNITY PHOTO SHOOT
You are counting down the days until the arrival of your little one which is a truly magical experience and you might be considering having a maternity photo shoot. However you may feel unsure about this because of the changes to your body and even possibly the cost.
In this blog I will go through the seven reasons for a maternity photo shoot….there are of course more than seven! But these are the one I feel are the most important.
DOCUMENTS YOUR JOURNEY INTO MOTHERHOOD
A maternity photo shoot is about documenting the incredible journey that pregnancy is and allows you to focus on the new life your body is creating. This is a moment you won’t get back whether you’ve been pregnant before or plan to have more. Each pregnancy can be different and bring its own set of challenges. This photoshoot is about your own journey into motherhood and will remind you of the excitement and joy that comes with pregnancy.
TIME FOR YOU TO FEEL FABULOUS
Often during pregnancy you might not feel your best. The changes to your body and hormones can really have an effect on how you feel about yourself. Maternity photoshoots are the perfect reason to do your hair and makeup and spend some time for you to revel in the beauty of your body and all the amazing work it’s been doing! So many ladies come in and tell me they don’t feel beautiful, but by the time we are finished the shoot every single one has left feeling fabulous!
QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR PARTNER
Another reason for a maternity photo shoot is that it’s a great opportunity to spend time with your partner and to reflect on the life you have created together. So much will change once your baby arrives so getting a photograph of your family before, is a beautiful memory to capture. A maternity photo shoot with your partner is a real bonding experience and gives you time to focus on each other.
REVEAL THE GENDER
A maternity photo shoot can be a fun way to reveal the gender of your baby. There are so many fun ways to announce your little ones gender and it’s become increasingly popular. You can be as creative as you like with the photos. You could even use the images as a way to reveal the baby’s name or your due date.
CAPTURE THE JOY AND ANTICIPATION
Having a maternity photo shoot is a never ending reminder of those feelings of excitement, joy and anticipation of waiting for the arrival of your little one. Once baby is here we can easily forget how we looked or how we felt during pregnancy (well we always remember the hard parts, like nausea, back pain etc!) son maternity shoot capture you as a reminder of all the amazing things your body did. You will never regret having a photograph of this moment. After all most women only experience pregnancy a few times.
YOU CAN SHOW THEM TO YOUR CHILD IN THE FUTURE
In a few years your child will ask you about where they came from. This is a great reason to have a maternity photo shoot because it gives you beautiful images to show your child of them growing inside you. They will be able to see the love and excitement that you felt when you were expecting them and gives them a connection to that time in your life. The couple in the images below are Harry Potter fans and used this as a theme at their wedding and they wanted to continue with this at their maternity shoot.
IMAGES WORTH DISPLAYING
I am a firm believer that getting your photos printed is so important. It is an everlasting tangible moment and memory captured in time to be treasured forever. Having a professional maternity photo shoot when you are pregnant will give you images worth hanging on your walls or printing in an album as a legacy to pass down to future generations. You can check out my maternity portfolio here.
I really hope that this has helped you with reasons to have a maternity photo shoot. I would love to be part of your pregnancy journey so if you have any questions or would like to book a photo shoot get in touch.
xX Fiona Xx
Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer | Maternity Session
When I first got a message from Sabrina about her pregnancy and ideas for her bump to baby shoot I was most excited! Sabrina wanted to engage in a soft, woodland theme for both sessions, tying in nature as the studio whilst including her partner Olly and their daughter, Winter.
Our first stop was to research the location and discuss what props we would be using. We decided on Brandyhole Copse in Chichester. It was still in bloom with bluebells and had a variety of other foliage spots within a small area, making walking with a small child and a variety of props not too challenging!
Whilst taking a moment with Sabrina and Olly, I chanced a look behind me at Winter who was making herself very comfortable on our luggage of props and photographic equipment! I couldn’t resist the behind the scenes shot!
As a Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer I find myself looking around at shapes…. Natural or man made, abstract or symmetrical it doesn’t matter. I find the beauty of life around us fascinating! Brandyhole Copse is no exception. Nature is it’s own artist.
One of the reasons for planning a shoot in advance is to get an idea for what the client wants from their pictures. Sabrina was very open to me unleashing my creativity with her to capture the memory of her with her blossoming bump. While Winter had a cheeky chocolate break, Sabrina kindly braved the fragrant pond while I sought reflections and symmetry!
I think we may also have invented “Extreme Maternity Photography”. On walking around a log bridge, we all walked under, around and past this log, our conversation going from: “we shouldn’t”, “should we”, “oh no, I can’t ask a pregnant woman to do that” to “maybe, though, it could work” and “let’s do it”. No pregnant women were harmed in the making of this shot!!
Another prop that was included for this shoot was a small teepee, bought with the intention of being used on both shoots. Settling Winter into her new den we embarked on the final stage of this maternity session, with the last of the bluebells and homemade bunting decorating the scene.
Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer | Newborn Session
After what seemed like a few short weeks, I was reunited with Sabrina, Olly and Winter. This time, they had Baby Sky in arms and an extra name on the bunting! In keeping with the theme and styling of the maternity session, we embraced the changing textures of Brandyhole Copse and set about creating some newborn images of Sky, as well as some natural, lifestyle portraits of the four of them.
Giving Winter some time to introduce me to her baby sister was lovely. She was incredibly in to her sister, then as young children often are, easily distracted by treats and snacks in the next moment! We worked with the mood of the little ones as ultimately it needs to be fun for them. Snuggles and cuddles while Sky was awake. Hunting for Fairies when Winter was playful. Baskets and textures when Sky was asleep.
Going back to the theme of using nature as the studio, while Sky was being changed and fed I set up a basket ready to hold her. We soon discovered that Sky wasn’t a swaddler… Not in the woods on a warm day anyway!
Within my role as a Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer, when working with babies, it is always my objective to work in a safe and secure manner, ensuring baby is safe from harm, comfortable and has it’s needs met. This may mean that the shoot takes longer than a normal portrait session, it may also mean that some planned shots don’t happen. It’s baby first throughout. We were very lucky that Sky was comfortable in the fresh air and snuggled into the the natural basket as planned.
Bringing in the teepee again, we took a few moments to capture some images within it’s folds once Winter had a little nose to see what her sister was up to in her basket!
Sabrina, it was most lovely meeting you and your family and engaging in a Bump to Baby shoot out in the fresh air surrounded by beautiful nature. I hope your family is growing well and that we shall see each other soon for the next portrait session
FionaMillsArt | Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer | Sabrina & Family | Brandyhole Copse
West Sussex Photographer | Natasha & Neale Petworth Park
Natasha and I met at a wedding fair about a year or so ago. We’ve been back and forth a number of times creating plans, timelines, looking at album ideas and generally getting plans ready for their wedding day. It wasn’t until I met Neale further down the line that we realised that Neale had been Best Man at a wedding I shot some 6 or 7 years ago (long before I started blogging!)
When planning their test shoot, Natasha said she’d really like to have it at Petworth Park, as it was one of those places they often visit together. I’m all for experiencing locations I’ve not seen before and I’m very glad to have made the trip.
One of the main aims for me when meeting a couple for their pre-wedding shoot is to increase their comfort and confidence in front of the camera (and me!) Wedding days are so busy with your guests all wanting to talk, drink, dance and be with you I would much rather spend less time on the “formal” portraits enabling their day to flow and be enjoyed with minimal interruptions by me. Having this time means I really can spend 10-15 mins here and there on your wedding day creating your portraits as you will have already learnt posing tips and got over touching each other in public (unless you love a bit of a PDA, then you’ll have no probs!)
One thing I loved about shooting Natasha and Neale is that they are sooo comfortable with one another. I often shoot from a distance, so I have no way of knowing what they are saying, but I just loved how much they laugh together!
As a West Sussex Photographer, I cannot believe I had not visited Petworth Park before. The views are incredible. When Neale said there would be deer, I didn’t realise he meant HUNDREDS of deer. Herds of the things, seemingly oblivious to us traipsing through their home trying to capture them in the background. Be warned, with hundreds of deer come thousands of deer-poop (not good for a photographer who likes to lay on the ground a lot!
Natasha and Neale make such a gorgeous couple together. Despite Neales best efforts to not look at the camera EVER he managed a grand job of looking natural and relaxed. Natasha will make the most stunning bride, I cannot wait to see her in her wedding dress as she prepares to marry Neale at Farbridge Wedding Venue this summer.
The other thing I ask couples to practise is *THE KISS* Swooping kisses, lifting kisses, looking-at-each-other-almost-there kisses. They all rock! Not that I’m a secret voyeur, I’m usually looking away or at a safe distance with my long lens, but that newly married kiss you’re gonna do at the end of the aisle in front of your guests is totally worth practising, right?!
This was an ace pre-wedding shoot. I can’t wait for the real deal!
FionaMillsArt | West Sussex Photographer | Natasha & Neale Petworth Park
Lifestyle Family Photographer | West Sussex
For those that say “I don’t like having my picture taken,” or “Studio portraits just aren’t for us” when considering a family portrait session, perhaps you should look into booking a Lifestyle Family Photographer. Portraiture isn’t all studio lighting and sitting on boxes while someone gives your hair a boost and you stare longingly into the lens. One of my favourite types of family photography is “lifestyle”. This is all about capturing you and yours doing what you do, where you do it. As a wedding and portrait photographer based in Chichester, West Sussex I have the pleasure of travelling around much of the South Coast for these sessions….Brighton, Worthing, Horsham, Arundel, Portsmouth and further. I just love exploring new locations!
Yasmyn and her family suggested we head up to Rackham, a small village near Amberley, West Sussex for their session. Their kids are so familiar and comfortable with this place it was a perfect pick.
How better to capture kids being kids than by letting be, well….kids! Climbing sand mountains and heading into the woods is a great adventure! This area was so quiet, it was as if we were the only ones there!
When your location has perfectly created dens built by previous adventurers, and caves carved over time into the hill, you can’t help but get swept away with the fun that is being had. Is now the time to admit I made sure I was wearing my Dr Martens to ensure no creepy spiders made their way over my toes or ankles!!
I am so thankful to Yasmyn and her partner Chris for sharing this place with me, I now have a new spot to take my kids. They absolutely love it!! We must make sure to keep it quiet mind you, otherwise everyone will want to go!
If you would like to book a Lifestyle Portrait session, do get in touch. These usually happen in the great outdoors, setting a back-up date should we get heavy rain! Here’s the prices and more info.
FionaMillsArt | Lifestyle Family Photographer | West Sussex
Commercial Photographer Chichester, Sussex
This year I’ve been so busy with my usual wedding and portrait photography work, I haven’t had much opportunity for shooting my other love: Bands and music. I’m very lucky to have a husband who works in the music industry. It makes my access to great music and gigs much easier. The downside of course, is we need more babysitters to go on these gigs together!
A recent Arkyard Tour featuring the great Rivers and Robots, Josh Gauton and Tom McConnell saw me hanging out in small, quirky venues. The Green Door Club in Brighton and Mole in Bath. If possible I love to structure a portrait of a band or musician before their gig as well as capturing the live action.
As a commercial photographer in Chichester and Sussex, I come across a whole range of industries requiring products or people photographed for commercial purposes, but I do think the music industry has to be my favourite. The sounds, smells and visuals all combined to capture moments shared by hundreds of others, hopefully taking them right back to that moment when they see the images. I like to play with both Colour and Black & White photography. Sometimes by choice, sometimes due to the colour of stage lighting beaming down on someones face. I do love atmospheric lighting…add a smoke machine too for an absolute winner!
Here’s some moments captured of Housefires from their recent UK tour put on by The Big Church Live. The venue in Bristol was filled to the brim, tickets sold out. The atmosphere in the venue was incredible, and to top it off, they were the most lovely band too. A real honour to be up close and personal with these guys.
I’m so thankful to have been able to meet and shoot these fantastic musicians this year, and we’re only in the first quarter! I’m looking forward to what the rest of the year entails for me as I fly the flag for capturing the Music Industry as a commercial photographer Chichester.
FionaMillsArt | Commercial Photographer Chichester, Sussex
Rustington Newborn Photographer | Baby Flora
You may remember Matt and Jen from my recent blog about their September wedding in Pulborough, or even their LIve Proposal? Those with eagle eyes may have also clocked a very graceful bump that Jen was sporting under that Grecian wedding dress? Here’s a quick reminder….
Well, Baby Flora was born a few weeks early just before Christmas. It was lovely to go back to see Matt, Jen and Stanley as they welcomed the new baby and set up her very first photoshoot at 14 days old!
Most babies are still very sleepy at this age and as a Rustington Newborn Photographer, I often find them easily (but slowly and gently) manipulated into comfortable curled up and cutesy sleeping positions in baskets and wraps… Flora however was mostly raring to go. Awake for much of the session, she seemed to want to know what was happening around her! She was also a “stretcher”…. after the confines of the womb, some babies just love to stretch out! The suitcases worked well for this as she had room to move!
Matt and Jen have an awesome feature wall, so understandably I was eager to work this into the shots. Stanley and Flora snuggled nicely while the cat looked on… whether interested in the new family member or the smell of treats placed nearby, who knows, but I loved him featuring in the fold. Stanley’s ever changing expressions I just adored too 🙂
I love both colour and black and white when planning my newborn photography sessions, and as you can see here, they both work very well.
To finish their collection, Matt and Jen received a lovely Baby Book by Graphistudio. Handmade in Italy, with soft to touch box and book covers in a colour theme chosen by them, the images are printed on Tintoretto paper which complements the soft feel of a newborn session.
What an honour to have captured so many poignant memories in the last year with them. I’m really looking forward to seeing this family grow (and maybe even finish their house?!!)
FionaMillsArt | Rustington Newborn Photographer
Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer | Arundel, Swanbourne Lake
After a false start or two with heavy rain, Chris, Vanya and I managed to find a dry day to embark on their maternity shoot. As a Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer I feel most lucky with our local surroundings. Arundel being one. Off we headed with our scarves and hats to trek around Swanbourne Lake on a sunny, Autumn morning.
Vanya, like me, is Bulgarian (well, half really. Scotland claims the other half of me), but as I’m out of practise with my lingo it was great to dust off the mother-tongue for a couple of hours during our session… but not all the time, that wouldn’t have been fair on Chris! Swanbourne Lake in Autumn was looking so photogenic. As a West Sussex Photographer, I should use it far more than I do. The colours as we walked around the lake were just breathtaking!
As you can see, Vanya carries her pregnancy beautifully. It is clear from the adoration in Chris’ eyes that they are very much in love. I loved the bareness of the trees as we walked round Swanbourne Lake. I found myself reminded of old film black and whites photos that I used to take before we all went digital mad! The images below really lent themselves to a vintage-film-look.
After one lap we detoured back to theirs to finish off the shoot in a slightly warmer environment. Being a Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer means I’m always on the lookout for interesting backgrounds, alternative shots and humorous moments (Chris certainly didn’t fail to disappoint with the humour!) The striking red wood panelling was incredible (I love those lines!) The simplicity of bare walls and clear space was a perfect contrast to the twisting chaos of the woodland shots from earlier.
I’m looking forward to hearing the news of a new baby soon so we can embark on the next stage…. the newborn shoot, where I get to cuddle a teeny one!!
FionaMillsArt | Chichester Bump to Baby Photographer
West Sussex Photographer | Autumn Portrait Sessions.
As a wedding and portrait photographer based in West Sussex, I feel very lucky to have some beautiful local landscapes to choose from as my backdrop to a shoot. From beaches to woodland, open fields, castles and cities, the list goes on. One of my favourite times to shoot is definitely Autumn. Being very visual by character, the vibrant transformations nature goes through during the Autumn captivates me every time! Just this morning, as I was driving along the South Downs to meet a client, I was easily distracted by the rolling mist traversing through the hills and valleys with shocking reds and auburns peeping through the last of the green.
I love that look as Eva realises who’s responsible for all the leaves falling on her!!
As I was in the middle of an Autumn Portrait Promotion I jumped at the chance to do one right on my doorstep in Hotham Park. John and Inna and their family of three children came geared up and ready to play. The day was mild and clear and colours vivid! John being a very popular wedding and portrait photographer himself had his trained eye tracking the light pockets and dappled spots with me! (Trust me, it’s almost impossible to switch that gift off!).
Mixing kids with fallen leaves, open space and their parents for company is just asking for fun and laughter. Mikey, Georgie and Eva took great glee in playing and leaf bombing, jumping and swinging. Children were born to play, and they just love it if their parents are playing too, they almost forget they’re on a photoshoot!
Part of the joy of being a West Sussex Photographer covering weddings in West Sussex and portraits is seeing families experiencing fun times together. Being able to freeze those moments in a picture to be treasured for years to come, reliving those warm, happy memories.
To take advantage of the beautiful Autumn season for your portraits, do get in touch 🙂
Brighton Family Photographer
When one of my oldest friends was talking about planning a photoshoot to capture their family of four I jumped at the chance…what a bonus that this shoot coincided with the completion of their new garden too! Diana and I went to school together, walking the long walk there and back, getting up to mischief *ahem* I mean dutifully studying and generally being teenage girls! I had the pleasure of Diana as one of my bridesmaids nearly 10 years ago too!! The road we have walked near and far has been with its own dramas of life, some of which are Di’s own stories to tell, but I cannot express the joy at seeing her meet Paul and bring two gorgeous children into the world.
Diana and Paul live in the steep valleys of Brighton, where after ensuring my handbrake was well and truly up, I took a tour of their brand new (completed the day before) landscaped garden. What a transformation, I mean, you could have rolled down this thing and built up speed and kept rolling to the sea if not caught by the fence…but now, a multi-tiered stunning mix of contemporary and modern landscaping with delightful green spaces, pergolas, man-caves and lush borders. I loved it, and judging by the way Jack was running around avoiding getting dressed when he stepped out there for the first time, he loved it too!
Leela was doing the classic female thing, arriving late for her own party (well, napping…) but this gave me some lovely time putting high-speed sports photography into training with trying to catch Jack! When Paul showed me around the garden and declared the lower level the “adult only” zone, I cannot say for sure whether it was my creative eye, or my rebellious nature that decided the steps in this child free zone would make a great spot for a family portrait! Being very forgiving, Paul allowed me to break his new rules within half a day of making them…I’m sure you would agree however, those steps are just awesome! Despite being a Brighton Family Photographer, I can certainly appreciate a good landscape or two!!
When Paul and Jack disappeared for a quick nappy change (which I was keen to avoid) I spent a few quality minutes with Diana to celebrate her new daughter, Leela. Such a stunning selection of mother/daughter shots…I know this is my friend and I am biased, but they truly look the epitome of happy!
Many people worry about the weather when planning a photoshoot, but I honestly believe that it really doesn’t matter, as a Brighton Family Photographer, I have to be ready whatever the weather. This day was cool and overcast, but it made for some lovely, bright shots. I mean, who’s even looking at the sky when you have a bubble machine, eh?! One of the things that kept making me laugh was Leela’s new trick….poking her tongue out…of course, our laughter ensured more tongue poking!
Diana had found a toy which her children have been captivated by that also happens to be a duplicate of something remembered from her own childhood…we made sure to capture a bit of this nostalgia!
One of the things I notice when photographing young children is that they often want to do their own thing…this is very normal in young children (they don’t really start engaging in play with others until about 3 or 4 years old, although they may play alongside others), it is a source of frustration for many parents who just want the elusive shot of their kids together! Rather than use Photoshop trickery, we use the far more simple method of favourite toys placed strategically close (oh, and food, always food treats up our sleeves!)
A photoshoot for anyone is pretty tiring, and especially so for children! We try and keep these sessions as fun, relaxed and natural as possible so the child doesn’t feel they have to perform. Instead they are spoiled with play and parent time! We detoured indoors for some final portraits, using the furniture and their rooms to bring the session to a close before the kids got ready for a nap.
As a passionate Brighton Family Photographer I really believe that seeing your portraits in print, to touch them and hold them is paramount to my service. As with all of my photoshoots, no session is complete without a bespoke album. Diana and Paul had noted there were no pictures up of them as a family of four, so we went for this brilliant, contemporary, handmade Italian album by Graphistudio called the GoBook. An album in a specially designed box that serves as a frame for the cover image, displaying your album within close reach….in their case, displaying their new garden steps…I mean, their family of four!!
I had such pleasure capturing Diana and her family, I am looking forward to photographing the next stage, their 2018 wedding!! As a Sussex based Wedding Photographer I really will be in my element (and blubbing away behind my cameras!). Watch this space for their wedding!