When you book a photography session on location you get to enjoy beautiful places in locations that make stunning backdrops to your portraits. Alternatively you can just revisit the beach where as a student you feasted on a bargain bucket from KFC. Personally speaking, the proximity of a KFC to any beach would be more than enough to make me want to return there, but because Adam is a romantic sort of chap, having eaten finger-lickin chicken on West Wittering beach was not the only reason it was chosen for their maternity session.
Emily and Adam were students down by the coast before they were friends, before they were married and before they were expecting. Adam rustled up all his powers of romantic endeavour to make his marriage proposal to Emily on the beach – complete with table, chairs and dinner for two. Not bad eh? I think Emily has bagged a good un. Since they’ve managed to cook up their little bean (the little person hiding in Emily’s super sweet bump), they can’t wait to make their family complete this November.
I love to be given as a gift, so it was wonderful to hear my maternity&baby session had been given by an old friend of mine to new friends of his. Blair told me I would enjoy the session, that they were great people and always laughing. He was right. Not only were they brilliant fun and beautiful they were a joy to photograph. I never begrudge picking the sand out of my camera when I enjoy a session so much.
Standing, sitting or lying down, it was so obvious how very, very happy these two are. He can’t keep his hands off her – in a totally PG pre-watershed sort of way. And the way he looks at her – I’d often have to remind him to look at the camera for me. But then if your options are a slightly off-balance photographer who keeps stepping on sharp driftwood and sea debris, or your gorgeous, glowing pregnant wife, which would you choose?
It was one of those unique experiences where you feel very lucky to be sharing such a wonderful moment in the lives of other people. Here is daddy, holding his wife and then cuddling the bump. I think the little bean will be in safe hands.
During a break in the session, Adam was telling me about how he loved to see Emily on the beach, smiling, blissfully happy with the wind whipping her hair. No problemo. Here she is giving you all that and a cuddle.
There were times, with the sun setting behind them, that I couldn’t help thinking about that little baby to come, how happy they would all be together, and how wonderful it was to be a small part of this new family in the making.
Now Emily is a slight little lady, even when 31 weeks pregnant so it is at this point that I burst the bubble of Adam being perfect. He found it difficult to pick Emily up and swing her round. Perhaps it is because his chosen sport is Hockey and not something else that requires a bit more strength in the upper body. He assures me that Hockey is actually a very manly, butch game. I believe him.
Sometimes you don’t have to have the bump in sight to capture a maternity picture that melts your heart a little. Here they both are, loved up, windswept and showing off that engagement ring that brought us all back down to West Wittering.
I’m not a props type of photographer. You’ll see from my portfolio and the other sessions on my blog that I love to capture honest, natural interactions between people – but sometimes it is lovely to include something in a shoot that has meaning to the people in the image. It might be the favourite toy of a child, or a special blanket they’ve had since birth. Or it could be the first book that daddy read to you, before you were even born, when you were just the little bean and mummy got to listen in too.
Look at that mum to be. So beautiful, so ready to welcome baby into the world. Silly gorgeous really.
And when that baby arrives, this is what it will remember from being just a bump: caterpillars and butterflies, mummy laughing at daddy, a lot of giggling in fact, the odd rude joke, and many lovely things being whispered into mummy’s ear. I’m a firm believer that they get to know you before they’re born, so this little bean will arrive smiling, I’m sure.
Feeling inspired to capture your bump on the beach? Or up a hill, in the woods, along a river. Or how about at home? If you have something or someone special you want to capture in a photograph, let’s chat. I’d love to hear about you and your family.