Approximately 2 1/2 weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting my very first maternity photo session. This was a huge deal for me, especially since this is something I would like to continue to do. I am extremely grateful that my friends Sharon and Mike gave me the opportunity to capture this special time in their lives. The fact that they put their trust and faith in me to do a good job really does mean the world to me. Before I took their photos, I didn't really have anything to show since I primarily shoot nature and travel type photography these days, so they were going off the fact that they like my other photos and believed that I could produce something just as well for them. Just thinking about that makes me all warm and fuzzy.
I did my absolute best to be as prepared as I could possibly be, because I definitely didn't want to let them down. The weeks leading up to the big shoot had me scouring the internet for posing ideas. I even drove by their house around 6pm (the time we planned to shoot) to get an idea of where the light was hitting and what areas around their home we could use for backdrops. I felt pretty stealthy doing my drive-by, good thing neighbors didn't see me passing through three different times back-to-back. The many ideas I generated prior to the shoot were all written down, so I wouldn't forget anything. Even with the loads of preparation I did before the shoot, the worst problem to overcome were my fears of not leaving the shoot with images that they would love.
I reminded myself over and over that I know how to use my camera and that I am pretty adept at how to utilize light to my advantage, but I still felt slightly overwhelmed by the fact that these precious memories were in my hands. I imagined the process step-by-step, how I would guide them, where we would go and I comforted myself with the notion that they would probably be just as nervous as I was. What made the process a little easier was the fact that they were my friends and I already knew them as a couple. However, that still didn't change the fact that I had some major emotional hurdles to overcome.
The night before the shoot, I gathered all my gear, made sure my lenses were clean and my batteries were charged. I planned the following day to be as stress-less as I possibly could, so that I wouldn't be all worked up come the appointment time. Cody was an exceptionally wonderful cheerleader throughout this whole process as well. I'm a lucky lady to have a Cody :D
For the most part, I felt pretty calm and relaxed when I arrived at their home for the photo shoot. Once they were all ready we went outside where I lead them to one of the locations I had scouted out a few days before. I held back with the crazy shooting and really tried to carefully consider exactly what I was capturing before clicking the shutter. Seriously, I didn't want to leave there with 500 pictures to sort through!
While I may have felt apprehensive about telling them how to pose and where to move this hand or that hand, I definitely found my groove and tried to keep things moving. It was also my goal to keep them happy and laughing throughout the course of the shoot as well. They were a lot of fun to work with, as I knew they would be. I really couldn't have asked for a better couple to work with for my first time.
All in all, I ended up with approximately 14 photos to present them with that I was very proud to share. It was quite an experience to say the least, one that I hope to have the opportunity to do again in the very near future. Even though I over-prepared for this photo shoot, I still learned quite a lot during and after shooting that no amount of preparation could have taught me. My preparation beforehand made things so much easier, though, and I felt like some things could have spiraled out of control very easily had I not done so. It was an extremely scary, but deeply fulfilling experience that will definitely help me going forward when the next person decides to place their faith in me.
I must have done something right, because I was invited back 2 1/2 weeks later to take pictures of their precious newborn baby! The newborn photo session was this past Friday and it went splendidly, too. I'm feeling pretty official since he christened me with his urine. Yup, I got peed on. It was awesome :D haha Newborn photos coming soon (maybe tomorrow)!