36 weeks pregnant with my fourth child during COVID-19, I struggled to keep the promise I had made to myself to finally have a maternity session.
I am a huge pregnant lady compared to my usual self. Babies number 1 and 2 were on the large size of normal weighing 7lb 14oz and 8lb 5oz respectively. Babies 3 and 4 were huge 9lbs 15oz and 9lbs 7oz. To me, for the first three pregnancies, feeling large was reason enough to not have my maternity photographs done. After all, as a photographer I'm more comfortable on the other side of the camera.
When I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child, Alexander, I promised myself that this time would be different. I WOULD finally have maternity photographs taken to remember the ups and downs of pregnancy. After all, I have client after client come through my Richardson, TX studio and tell me that the experience and photographs make them feel beautiful - many for the first time their entire pregnancy. Other women are uplifted and empowered by their portraits, shouldn't I give it a try?
Then COVID hit. After all my careful planning, selecting a photographer and makeup and hair artist, buying a fantastic dress that I had had my eye on since before I was pregnant, I had to contend with COVID restrictions. Alexander was a May 2020 baby, so I reached the 36 week threshold right in the middle of the Texas shutdown. Photographers weren't operating, hair stylist and makeup artists were not able to work. Even my studio wasn't open due to the restrictions. I felt absolutely deflated, I had been so excited for these portraits.
But there was still that promise that I'd made to myself, and with Alexander expected to be the last of our clan, I didn't feel like I should put it off. I had the advantage of being a photographer and knew I needed to experience Maternity photography for myself.
My 8 year old to the rescue...
I have a timer and a sync button on my camera, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to get the angles right with just a tripod so I enlisted my first born, Henry, to take the photographs. It was chaos, but so special. I set up the backdrop, lighting, got myself dressed + hair + makeup, and had Henry stand on a step-stool to shoot these portraits. I posed myself from memory of what I have my maternity clients do and found out that getting the right angle is MUCH easier when I'm behind the camera than it is when my son is operating it for me.
It wasn't the session I had dreamed of, but I had the same empowering experience as my clients in the end. I couldn't believe in the beginning that I could look anything near pretty pregnant and in the end I had these special portraits that I felt confident sharing with family and friends. Let me tell you, as a mom who never has pictures of herself, my friends came out of the woodwork to complement me. It felt so good in the midst of feeling enormous, lazy, and sick in my 3rd trimester.
If God decides to bless us with a fifth, I would totally do it again just to feel beautiful for an hour or two during pregnancy.
This dress is available in my client closet. It has an amazing train and also looks spectacular on women who are not pregnant.
Kristian Hutchings is a Photographer in Richardson, TX who specializes in Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family photography. I have been professionally photographing families since 2012. My home studio is located in the Richardson "panhandle" within 2 miles of Garland, TX, Sacshe, TX, Wylie, Tx, Murphy, TX and Plano, TX. I serve the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and have been honored by many out of state families who come to have sessions with me.
My philosophy is that family sessions should be fun and truly show the beautiful relationships between parents, children and siblings. I also love to shoot individual portraits and create timeless images for the next generation. I pour my heart into making sure your session is extra special and that everyone enjoys themselves. I have four little people myself, so I have plenty of tricks for making sure we capture JOY.
You can contact me here or call or text 214-356-8643