Posts tagged maternity
Is Pregnancy Ruining Your Self Image?
 @Jill Gearhart Photography |

Maternity Photos might be the last thing you WANT to do if you are still struggling to understand and embrace your changing body, but it might just be the best thing you can do for yourself in a time when every decision and thought goes toward the well being of your baby. Admittedly, I don’t usually LOVE taking maternity photos because I have never been pregnant myself so I am not fully comfortable with instructing and reassuring mama’s when I have never been in there suddenly-too-tight shoes. But. Sam changed everything for me and my perspective on maternity photos when she was sweetly transparent about her struggles and the unexpected problem I helped her solve with a quick bump session. I hope you are encouraged by her words, mamas!

Positive self-image and pregnancy are sort of like oil and water - they don’t exactly mix, at least in my case. Pre-pregnancy, I was a petite woman with abs and a very positive view of my body. But as I have edged closer to the end of my pregnancy, I have struggled to view myself as the beautiful pregnant goddess I wanted to emulate. My boobs are twice as big, stretch marks are my newest accessory, and I honestly feel like a walking Violet Beauregarde-blueberry-monster. Just being truthful here. Despite the encouraging comments from others saying I am “glowing” or “look incredible pregnant”, it has been hard for me to come to grips with the changes my body is making despite knowing they have a beautiful purpose. 

Getting high quality, professional photos by Jill is probably the last thing a 37-week pregnant, body conscious woman would ever think to do… but I did it anyway. After seeing the incredible photos that were taken of me and my husband, my perspective completely flipped. Despite what I felt, what I saw in the photos was a woman carrying the miracle of life in her 4’11” body. I saw a woman who carried a child with grace and beauty. I saw a completely different version of my body, yes, but I saw someone who is gorgeous despite what she may be telling herself. I am so thankful to my incredible husband who has constantly made me feel sexy even when I feel ugly and puffy. And I am so thankful to Jill who captured the essence of my beauty, helped to boost my confidence, and truly made me feel like that bad-ass pregnant goddess I truly am!

Winter Princess Inspired Maternity and Family Session | Indiana, PA Family Photographer
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Anyone ever see the movie Brave? Princess Merida is a smart, strong, and amazingly inspiring Disney princess, her head emblazoned with an impossible and majestic red curly puff of hair. One of my dear friends, Jackie from j.jae photography, is the closest thing to a real life Merida we will ever find. She is obviously heart-breakingly gorgeous (and that HAIR!), but she is every bit as smart, strong, and inspiring. I've had the blessing of working with her several times this year as her second shooter, and it makes my heart so happy that even though we both have photography businesses and literally live about 3 blocks apart, we can still be great friends and embrace the community over competition mindset.

Jackie is super talented, and has taught me a lot about lighting and gear, but the most valuable part of knowing this Indiana PA photographer is the friendship that has grown out of the collaborations. I am super excited to be working with her in late January on a very special project that we can't wait to share!

 For this fun family/maternity session, we had fun traveling down to Lake Rowena in Ebensburg, searching out a setting that was foresty and magical. Jackie looked incredible in her gown from Kartay Photography (shop the look here on Etsy!) and flower crown from The Flower Gallery. Her husband was such a great sport, driving us to and from the lake (and treating my husband and I to Chinese after the shoot!), and looked super sharp in his suit from the 700 shop. Soon to be big sister Penny was a trooper, taking a nasty bump on the head and cut on her eye like a champ just hours before that day. I don't know many two year olds that would still stand in the snow with a pretty bad boo boo and still smile! I hope you enjoy the photos from our super sweet afternoon spent together and with her adorable little (growing!) family!

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