This isn’t the post I had planned for today, but after a super successful maternity photo shoot last week, I just couldn’t wait to share them with you! I am SO in love with how they turned out. I had been wanting to do maternity photos for a while now, but being so uncomfortable in my body, I’ve been putting it off. This week I decided to do birthday photos for my 25th birthday next week so while we were at it, we decided to do some maternity photos too.
I am super thankful for my friend Brittany who spent the entire day with me getting ready for the shoot and then spending over an hour outside in the hot sun taking the photos for me. She’s a rockstar!
We started our day rather early or (early for us anyways) at 9 o’clock. I had actually woken up around 5 o’clock that morning when Zack left for work and then never went back to sleep. I was in my office by 7:30 and then showered and out the door by 9. So it was a successful start to my day. I then met up with Brittany at IHOP about 30 minutes later for some breakfast. I woke up that morning DYING for some pancakes so it was a given that we’d have to start the day with some food before we did anything else. Breakfast was delicious as always and then we made our way over to the mall to start looking for some dresses I could wear for the shoot.
First and foremost, we picked up some Starbucks. It was 10:30 at that point, I had been up for over 5 hours and we still had way too many hours left in our day. So there was no way we could make it through the day without it. After picking up our coffee and making a quick stop at Sephora, we finally began dress hunting.
I had a couple dresses at home that I had originally wanted to wear, but I just didn’t feel very comfortable in them. They fit no problem, but I really wanted something fresh that I’d never worn before. So we first checked out H&M which I was super excited for because I miss H&M from Maine a lot. I had yet to go since moving here and Brittany had never been in one. So it was a first for her. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in the location we went into here. They had next to nothing and the store was super small as well. I never thought I’d actually miss the Maine Mall, but in that moment, I missed it a lot.
We then went next door to Forever 21 and started skimming the racks. I had four dresses in my hands before I even got halfway through the store and I ended up with about six or seven options that I tried on in the dressing room. My biggest issue was that I needed a dress that screamed ’25th birthday’ but also worked for maternity photos. I’ve had my 25th birthday pictures planned out for a while now so I already knew the look I was going for: fun, flirty, and sexy. But the dresses I wanted for this look just didn’t fit a pregnant body and they just weren’t “appropriate” for maternity photos either. So I had a couple emotional moments while trying them on.
After comparing all my options, I ended up buying two dresses: a little black dress and this longer strapless dress. They both looked super cute with my bump, but as you can see, I ended up going with the long maxi dress instead. It was perfect for this shoot!
Once the dress had been picked, I then had to complete the look. I had no idea how long it would take me to pick out a dress so I decided to hold off on my hair until we were ready to do the pictures. By the time we left the house again, I was feeling a million times better than I did when I woke up that morning or when I was in the dressing room at Forever 21. I felt pretty and 25! But we had just one more stop to make before we went off in search of the perfect photo shoot location…I needed balloons.
You don’t see them in these photos, but I needed balloons for the birthday half of my photo session. Big, gold, numbered balloons. Like you see on Pinterest! I had been waiting for the perfect birthday to do a photo shoot with balloons and this was it. So I proudly (and excitedly) walked into Party City to get them. I’ve never bought balloons before so for some reason I felt a little clueless when I was asking for them. But thankfully she knew just what I was talking about. And they weren’t nearly as expensive as I had anticipated either. For some reason my anxiety was telling me I’d be spending an arm and a leg on them. But it’s my birthday week so it would have been worth it either way. I wasn’t leaving there without my balloons.
Walking through the park 30 minutes later, I felt a little ridiculous with these big giant balloons blowing in the wind, but I couldn’t have been more excited to have them. Those balloons alone made my entire day. No joke. I was that excited about them.
Taking pictures with balloons was a lot more challenging than Pinterest makes it look. Actually, it was pretty horrible. The wind didn’t want to work with us and the balloons didn’t want to cooperate either. Thankfully we did get in some great birthday shots before the #5 decided to break off from the group and leave us. I was a bit sad at first because I was looking forward to putting them in my office, but I ended up letting the other balloon go as well. There was no sense in taking home just one balloon at that point. But it was fun while it lasted!
The next hour consisted of these gorgeous photos. Aren’t they amazing?! I think she should start her own business or something. I’m rather impressed with how they came out.
I think Brittany was more excited about the maternity photos that I was. Seriously. It wasn’t something I ever thought I’d feel the need to have done during my pregnancy simply because of how I’ve been feeling about my body. I don’t feel that I look my best right now at all. And half the time during the shoot, I felt a little uncomfortable as well. But looking back on these images, I couldn’t be more in love with them and I am SO happy I did them. I’m already wanting to set up another shoot before the baby comes. I think I want a few with Zack and then some cute bump pictures on the beach. So stay tuned for those!
While this pregnancy has been really hard for me from a mental health perspective, I couldn’t be more thankful to have been able to experience pregnancy. I always knew it would be more challenging for me than it is for most women, but I wouldn’t trade these past 8 months for anything!
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