If you haven’t already noticed, I am BIG on capturing memories via photographs and video. I am the person who constantly takes pictures whilst living in the moments (yes, I can do both simultaneously for the most part). If there is one thing I am always willing to invest in, it’s my photos.
Once Keith and I met Jessica Blaine Smith in spring 2016, I knew that my search for someone who would deliver quality photos and service had come to an end. Jessica took our engagement and wedding photos and so, it was only right for us to have her take my maternity photos. There is an old saying that says “New broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows the corners”. Keith and I loved Jessica’s vibe from the time we met and I dubbed her our “milestone photographer” because I knew she would be the person I would want to work with for special occasions in the near future.
I messaged Jessica with a number of questions back in January. Her response, as usual, was filled with warmth and delivered in a timely manner. After congratulating me (I could see her smiling in my head) she sent me a PDF file of her services. She told me that the best time to shoot these photos would be when I was around 8 months pregnant because that is when the belly is nice and big. Ouu, the yummy baby bump! I decided to go with the Baby Bundle package as I knew I wanted her to capture my pregnancy, Baby Reid at six months and then, when she turned one year!
As usual, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration but I also left lots of room for spur of the moment creativity. If there is one thing Jessica has helped me appreciate more it would be authenticity. Of course, I wanted beautiful photos but I also wanted to be able to recognize myself in them. Jessica doesn’t believe in relying heavily on Photoshop and I love her for it! The photos she takes are both raw and real. Many women back out of taking maternity photos because they aren’t happy with how they look as they get closer to the end of their pregnancy but I decided that whether I felt like I looked beautiful or not, my body was able to grow a human being and if for nothing else, that alone was worth capturing and showing our daughter when she is older. Yes, this waddling woman was able to grow a human being and that in and of itself is a blessing.
My maternity photo shoot featuring Keith and The Bump was scheduled for Friday June 16th near mid-day. The shoot took approximately two hours and it was to take place outdoors and indoors.
Side Bar: My girlfriend, K, came through in the early morning to do a light make-up application for me and my hair was styled in a chunky crown braid style by my hairstylist Tiffany Dawn the night before! I used a Zara hair accessory that I should’ve worn on my wedding day to add a little OOMPH to the hairstyle.
Once we met with Jessica we strolled over to the greenery by The Steam Whistle in downtown Toronto and started our session. We took photos by the trains and then we crossed the road and took a couple of photos by Ripley’s Aquarium. We wrapped up the session by doing a milk bath in my favourite tub in our hotel room where my husband works.
Details: For the first hour, I wore a lovely light pale pink Zara maxi dress that had a crochet halter top and a long flowy linen skirt. I had bought the dress during Zara’s Christmas sales with the thought that it would’ve been great to wear if I was to be pregnant or at least, attending someone’s Baby Shower. Funny how I seemed to have spoken it into existence! I paired this with my trusty old $10 brown sandals that I bought from Call It Spring back in 2013 . Keith wore a light blue print short sleeve dress shirt with navy Zara dress pants and navy high-cut boots that I bought in the States.
For the second look, I changed into my bridal lingerie (surprisingly it still fit) and put on a lace v-neck long sleeve maxi dress that I purchased from Amazon for $17. Keith changed into a plain v-neck t-shirt and left on the same bottoms. We did do a couple of boudoir style shots but sorry folks, that’s for our viewing pleasure only.
The milk bath was created using milk, warm water and faux flowers picked out at Michael’s Craft Store.
Jessica literally sent me a sneek peak of the session within an hour or so of leaving us and my heart soared. Although she had various projects going on, Jessica came through a week later with the photos from the maternity shoot. Because she was so diligent and processed our photos so quickly, I was able to implement the photos into my baby shower.
I would like to thank Jessica publicly for her work, professionalism and authenticity. You always know how to make one feel beautiful and relaxed. Thank-you for capturing these special moments and for not saturating them with unrealistic Photoshop filters. Our photo shoots are always enjoyable and I would recommend you as a photographer at the drop of a hat. Three photoshoots down and many more to go!