Last fall, Sarah, Bill, and Liam chose Browning Photo to share their MAJOR news with their friends and family. See pictures from their epic announcement HERE!
I was so excited when Sarah wanted to do a family photo shoot / maternity portraits at home / nursery pictures. Whatever you want to call it, I think we got some adorable photos. Here is my very favorite.
This picture of Bill and Sarah kissing Liam melts my heart. I snapped the first photo and Liam's arms were down by his side. He naturally put his hands up to draw his parents' faces closer to his and WOW, it was perfect. Sometimes I get an overwhelming sense when it all comes together for a shot and know that image is going to be a winner.
Liam's sweet gesture towards Mom and Dad made all the difference in their photo. It looks like such a blissful image, but I found myself tearing up when I was processing this shot, knowing that he cradled his mom and dad's heads out of comfort and love and instinct, not from directions from me but out of the bond he shares with them.
For Sarah's maternity photos, we hung out in the master bedroom and played with different lighting and then brought in the rest of the family. I knew I'd want all three of them in the master for this barefoot shot, to which I added the text in Photoshop later. It came out even better than I had hoped!
While we were in the bedroom I wasn't sure if this would work, but they were all game and it came out great! Liam was such a trooper. He was probably wondering why on earth I had him lying flat next to his parents with the camera nowhere near them. I love the result of his cooperation!
Maternity photos at home are really special because your future child gets to see 1) what Mom looked like when she was pregnant and 2) what the nursery looked like and 3) what the rest of the house looked like.
Babies won't remember what their nursery looked like, and with people moving for jobs or for various reasons, there's a good chance your baby won't know what his first house looked like. And even if you stay in the same home, your child will want a different decor after his toddler years and later won't remember what his bedroom looked like when it was his nursery.
Sarah showed me the babies' nursery. Those flags (are they called bunting, maybe? I see that term on Pinterest a lot) with the twins' names on them are great. I had my own son's name in his nursery, too - I've wondered if maybe the trend of putting the name on the nursery wall is to help sleep-deprived parents remember what they've named the newborn.
(Half the time I still call our son by our dog's name, so it didn't help in my case.)
If you're self-conscious about your pregnant body, BELIEVE ME, I understand. I've been there. Look at gorgeous Sarah. Some of it is lighting, some of it is that pregnant glow, and some of it is me working hard to get the pose just right. We set out to just make it a family shoot and if we got some good shots of her, then great. We tried a lot of different angles and created family pictures she loves!
Having never set foot in their house before, I had no idea what to expect. I came equipped with everything I owned, just in case I needed something. I brought with me every lens I own, every piece of lighting equipment, safety pins, even painter's tape - because you never know when a lamp cord is in the shot or the chain of a ceiling fan dangles too low and is in the way of an otherwise ideal shot. I ended up not using hardly anything but my go-to lens for indoor sessions. That's all I really need anyway - my 35 mm and a sense of adventure.
This is Liam listening closely to his baby brother talking to him.
That's a really fun part of doing these maternity photos at home - I love that I don't know what I'm walking into so I don't know exactly which shots will work and which will not, and Sarah and Bill had some awesome ideas that made for great photos. Not only do they know their house better than anyone, but they get to show off where they are most comfortable. For these indoor shoots it's a lot of trial and error. That's why I take pictures from all different angles with different poses and different sources of lighting.
I'll leave you with some photos but check back soon, because in a future blog post I'll share some sweet dog pictures. I LOVE when dogs get in the picture because they're definitely part of the family. Better yet, to make sure you don't miss anything, sign up for the Browning Photo newsletter at the bottom of this page!
This picture of Liam hugging Sarah was totally impromptu. Liam had been playing with a Valentine's Day toy and ran into the nursery to show us and gave his mom a fast hug before darting out again.
For all we do as moms, with the daily struggles of raising a child, the fierce sweet hugs from our babies make it so worth it.
UPDATE: Sarah and Bill had me back to take newborn portraits of their twins - see them HERE!