It was not long after a decent Midwest snowfall that I approached this Momma about taking #wintermaternity photos. Without hesitation, she agreed and was already ordering her dress options online. We scheduled her session for the following week, realizing that the day before her session we were to expect another crazy Chicago winter storm (surprise, surprise). I think us Chicagoans are used to this unexpected weather by now! We do our best to cope with it at least. And this Momma is no exception, she braved the bad roads and unplowed state park to get these beautiful images I envisioned! I had this vision in my mind of what #wintermaternityphotos would look like, and let me tell you, this session was 100% in line with my vision.
Jessica is expecting her 2nd child in just 6 short weeks! I know what you're thinking, she looks 20 weeks pregnant and our minds are playing tricks on us...And better yet, she didn't find out the sex and it will be a SURPRISE!! I'm always excited for those that choose to keep the sex a secret, but I am too much of a planner to do that. I could probably make it through until month 7 and then I would cave and beg my Doctor to tell me the sex so I can get my life together. Jessica doesn't seem to mind the element of surprise, like you wouldn't know she is wearing heavy duty knee high snow boots under that dress would ya? She needed a way to get over those 5-6' snow banks to get to the pathways to get "the shot"!
I, on the other hand, did not get the memo and decided to wear short ankle boots and spent the rest of the afternoon with frost bite on my calves! Ha! Lesson learned and I will now wear my rain boots to every session that involves any weather element. Okay, but seriously, everything about this session was on POINT. This Momma styled her outfit and it looked fabulous. I gave her a few ideas for wardrobe and she nailed the style I was looking for. I mean come ON, her lipstick matched her hair and dress. It doesn't get anymore coordinated than that folks. The colors, the location, the Momma, everything about this session was awesome!
Lets not ignore the fact that we were among the few brave travelers who were willing to be on the road at this point. It literally stopped snowing maybe 30 minutes before the start of the session. The State Park did a pretty good job of keeping up with the snowfall and plowing the roads. However, they were still in the process of clearing the roadways and parking lots when we arrived. We may or may not have had to follow snow plows into the parking lots as they cleared a path for us. I told you we were troopers! Actually, the bridge shown below was a bit of a short hike to get to.
Again, not once did Jessica complain about anything! I was constantly asking "are you cold" or "do you want to go warm up in the car"? (I left my car running at each spot we stopped at to make sure it was warm for us). Each stop we spent just a short time at, but there was one last stop on the way out of the park that I was determined to shoot at. It was at the top of a hill with no parking nearby, at a trail just set off the road. I'm not even sure if this trail was part of the walking path or the horse trail for horseback riding. I told Jessica to follow my car to the top of the hill, put on our hazards on the side of the road and run to the trail. (Or briskly walk as fast as we could). We may or may not have got yelled at by the Park Staff, but it was SO worth it!
The more I study and practice photography, the more I gain an appreciation for life and the little things. I never used to look out the windows when driving and think, "that prairie filled with dandelions would make a great spot for photos". Or go to the Store and ask the Clerks "can you fit a baby in here?" (You won't believe how many weird looks I get after asking that question). What started as a hobby quickly turned into a passion that opened my eyes to beauty I would've never seen before. Take this State Park that we photographed at for instance. I have been to this State Park numerous times and have never seen it the way I had through my camera lens the day we photographed Jessica's #maternityphotos. Everything about this shoot was simply stunning, from the way the snow lightly coated every snow branch on the trees to the way this pretty Momma shined!
If you are hesitant to document your maternity journey, don't be. There is nothing more beautiful than the glow an expecting Momma gives as she cradles her adorable baby bump. It is truly an honor to share these memories with expecting Mommas and be able to look back as we are taking your little one's newborn photos on the journey getting there.