maternity photography

My bump // Faust Park // St. Louis, MO

Hey ya'll. Did you know I was pregnant? Well, I am... and he (yes, another he!) is coming soon! He just happens to be due 3 years and 3 days to the day of Finn's due date. Finn arrived two weeks late, so there is a big chance this guy won't share Finn's birthday. So we think. 

I was determined to get some maternity shots since I didn't do my monthly bump update like I did with Finn (check my instagram feed for the orange wall series of my growing bump with Finn). I really wanted to do the photoshoot at 6 months pregnant, but you know how life just slips away in a whirlwind. I finally got our family motivated to get it done at 7 months pregnant.. so here I am, in all my third trimester glory! I recruited my Dear Husband to take the photos at Faust Park, just outside of St. Louis, MO. It is an adorable rural park, with barns and open land. Thank goodness Tom is an artist/designer/art director and has experience with photography as well. Don't you think he did a pretty kick as job? I art directed him, set up the camera for him, and he took over from there.

Photo credit to Tom White (the photos with me in them). The ones with all three of us are thanks to my nifty new MeFOTO tripod (I got the green one). The ones with me not in them are of course by me!

So here I am letting you know that I will be on maternity leave from now until about March 1st, just in time for spring blossoms. I will be slaving away for (and snuggling with) my second baby boy all winter. I am excited to be surrounded by boys... I was never a girly girl. So, bring on more trucks, cars, trains, buses and legos! I am so excited & will of course post photos of Baby #2 as soon as I can.


Girls rule // Maternity shoot // Northern VA

Sorry guys, but you are officially outnumbered. This adorable family that I have been photographing for almost three years now, just welcomed a baby girl into their home two weeks ago. I was thrilled to do the maternity shoot for them a month ago, before the Little One arrived. You will have to come back to see the photos of Emmaline, which I will be posting soon. But for now, I hope you enjoy these special photos of the family anticipating her arrival.

More than anything, I am excited for Ellie, who will be a big sister. My family dynamic is the same as this bunch, with the boy as the oldest, followed by two sisters. I had the pleasure of being the youngest sister in my family–and was pretty much obsessed with my big sister. Sure, we fought a lot, but I don't know where I would be without her! I still call her daily for advice! She is my one constant friend. My best friend. And having a big brother to look out for both of us was extremely comforting. He really didn't give us a hard time that often either. He tried his best to avoid our girl drama ;)

So ladies, you rule the roost. Men of the house, be prepared for a house filled with a lot of nail polish, curling irons and Barbie dolls. And I hope you have your own bathroom. Because even if one sister is more of a tomboy, the other one could very well be a girly-girl. But I'll guarantee you this: that little Emmaline is going to be smitten over her big sister, regardless of her interests. She might try to dance like Ellie, run like Ellie and play sports like Ellie. She will carve her own path in the end, but she will always be grateful for that big sister who helped her find her way.

Jessie & John + 1 // Maternity shoot // Los Angeles, CA

You know how there are certain people in your life that you feel like you've know before? As in, from another lifetime? Well, Jessie is one of those people. She is a kindred sister for sure. I feel like we're related, even though we obviously aren't. We can say whatever is on our mind and have no judgement, regardless of how crazy it sounds. So when I started having dreams that she was pregnant.. and I mean multiple dreams.. I knew it was going to happen soon. When Jessie told me that she was expecting a baby, I was not surprised one bit! Jessie is genuine, loving, artistic, driven and super-duper sweet. She giggles a lot. This baby has no idea how lucky s/he is to have her as a Mommy. It goes without being said that John will be an incredible Dad as well. I see the way Jessie gazes at him, clearly as madly in love with him now as she was years ago. With a love that strong, this child is bound to be surrounded with love. I am so, SO excited for these two!

So here is a little story that I want to share with you all…
Jessie and I had dinner with each other and our hubbies the night before the shoot. Jessie told me that she wanted to bring a watermelon to the shoot, and incorporate it somehow. Most women that have been pregnant know that you can go online and see what "fruit" size your baby is that month. It's actually a lot of fun– I got obsessed with it when I was pregnant with Finn. John teased her about it, and I scrambled to come up with poses in my head of a pregnant woman holding a huge watermelon (it turned out super cute!).

Jessie and I really wanted to get up early the next day and head to the beach in Santa Monica to catch the delicious, golden morning light (the Golden Hour that I recently posted about). Since I was visiting Los Angeles, and was still on East Coast time, waking up early was effortless. I woke up to the sunrise and checked my phone. No Jessie. So I got up and started packing up my gear, taking my time eating breakfast and hydrating. Jessie soon texted, "Sorry but I'm running late! I should be there in 15". I had this strong urge to keep her calm and not rush her. Who cares if we aren't in that Golden Light? I know from enough shoots, that going with the flow is the best method. So I said, "Take your time, there is NO rush! We have all morning". I then sent my hubby, Tom out to get me coffee. She arrived a bit later and said, "You'll never believe this accident that I saw on the 405! A car flipped over! I was one of the first cars to arrive. There was another car or two, but I must have just missed it. What is really crazy is that if I didn't stop to get this watermelon, who knows if I would have been in that accident". I got chills. "Geeze, Jessie, that is NUTS! And you were so set on using it in the shoot! I am so glad that you got that damn watermelon. Clearly it was meant to be in the shoot."

So the craziest part of this story is something that I never shared with Jessie. We got so caught up in the excitement of the shoot, that it didn't even enter my mind. I dear friend of mine lost someone who meant a great deal to her earlier this year in a car accident. And they had this inside joke about watermelons. She has been seeing watermelons and watermelon paraphernalia all over the place since he passed. You could say it gives her peace when she sees watermelons. The days leading up to–and while in LA, I had some odd watermelon sightings. Like driving past a pickup truck on the highway, with a guy in the back loading a bunch of watermelons that had fallen out. I didn't think to tell Jessie about all of these watermelons that were entering my life, hers included. 

I heard once that if you are heading out the door, and something prevents you from trying to leave yet (like losing your keys, or stubbing your toe, or having to go change your baby's poopy diaper), that it is your guardian angel preventing anything bad from happening to you (like getting into an accident). So whenever I get pissed off and impatient because I have to run inside multiple times, or I'm waiting on my slow husband and child that poops every time we head out the door… I stop, smile, and think to myself that it is just a little help from a friend. 

I know Jessie has a lot of angels around her. And clearly so does her baby. And one of them really likes watermelon. 

firecracker ford + bump

I am sooo excited to do this post. I was lucky enough to get out of town a couple weeks ago to attend my dear friend, Keri's baby shower in Atlanta. She is pregnant with her first baby (a boy!), and I couldn't be more excited! t hadn't seen her since MY baby shower nearly two years prior! She helped my sister and Mom do an AMAZING job decorating my shower. It seriously was out of a magazine. And these were the days before Pinterest! Anyways, it was my turn to help her Mom and sister with the shower. It was such a blast, and turned out as perfectly as we hoped. Keri's family took me in as one of their own that weekend, never making me feel out of place. I couldn't stop laughing all weekend with this high-energy New Jersey, super-Italian family. 

Keri is one of those people that lights up a room as soon as she walks in. I love that she was born with these amazingly bright, blue eyes.. but her parents both have brown eyes. Apparently they came from her Great Grandfather (I think?). It's as if her spirit was so bright– that when she was born, her eyes had no choice but to be sparkling blue. She came into my life like a beam of light, when I was surrounded by darkness. Isn't it funny how some people walk into your life when you need them most? We are two crazy wackadoos when we get together, talking a mile a minute and making the most ridiculous expressions to support our dramatic stories (usually about our husbands). We always felt like we knew each other from another lifetime. Kindred spirits you could say. 

Mrs. Keri Lynn Ford inspires me in so many ways, aside from her infectious energy. She has MADE things happen in her life through her determination, passion and hard work. She started her very own company, IgniteGirls® Fitness, which is a fitness program that offers KICKass workouts, nutrition plans and guided support towards your goals (and the support of a community of women in the same boat). Go see for yourself. She is SO INCREDIBLY photogenic. Did I tell you she also does fitness modeling? So getting in front of the camera was like 10 cups of coffee for her. And how ADORABLE is she?? She was doing planks and push-ups in no time– showing off her crazy-pregnant-strength. Keri is a prime example of a doer, a go-getter, a make-it-happen-because-there-is-no-plan b. She has always been one of my biggest supporters, and for that and a million other things, I am forever grateful. She is SO thoughtful, caring and hilarious. She is extremely nurturing to everyone. She is the Momma dukes of her company! She takes all of these women under her wing and guides them to a better lifestyle. But she also doesn't. take. shit. So, dear sweet little Peyton Michael Ford, look out. You have one tough Momma that won't let you get away with sh&t. She will however, make you giggle your socks off. 

She is going to be one. amazing. Momma. 

Keri's husband, Dave is the perfect man behind this incredible woman's story. He is her rock. A total goofball without trying. A true gentleman with a huge heart. And he is pretty obsessed with Jeeps. Peyton is going to have such a blast with these two!!! 

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