Olympia Maternity Photographer
These sweet folks came to me for some family and maternity portraits. Such a beautiful family and big sister undeniably won over my heart, and camera, with her curly locks and precious smile.
Plan your session well in advance. We recommend that you have your maternity photos taken between 27 an 34 weeks. Every woman, and every pregnancy is different, but ideally you want your belly to be distinctly showing yet you don't want to be so far along that your are uncomfortable and miserable. Between the 27th and 34th week most women have a distinguishable, and beautifully round belly but haven't started to experience the swelling and weight gain that is typical of the end of pregnancy. Keep an eye on your body and if you are showing early (are you having multiples?!?) then we can definitely discuss scheduling your session sooner.
Plan your session on a day you won't have to rush. Your maternity session will take between one and two hours depending on the package you have chosen and if you have an event to get to right after you will be checking the time over and over and not having fun. Maternity sessions capture such a magical time in a woman's life and the experience should be fun and relaxing. My specialty is capturing those candid moments where you are relaxed and wearing your true emotions, if you are rushed with other events on your mind then it will show.
Bring your loved ones! Your significant other, older siblings and even the grandma to be are all great additions to these memories. Not only will they help you relax and enjoy your session but the photos will be extra special and a great memory for you, them and your child.
Mentally prepare for your session. You may be in a tight fitting dress or a dress where your belly is exposed and many pregnant women feel self-conscious about their changing bodies. Change of shape, swelling or extra weight and stretch marks are all normal parts of pregnancy and deserve to be documented! Love your body and own it - it is working hard to create and house a tiny life so it deserves to be celebrated. If you are uncomfortable it will show in your images, just relax and try to remember that not only is this a special time that needs to be documented but that it will eventually pass and believe it or not you may miss it.....
Tight clothing can leave marks on your belly so skip them for a few hours before your session.
Wear Comfortable Clothes that show off your belly. After all that is why you're having your photos taken!
Bring nude underwear! I know this sounds weird but we have a closet full of maternity dresses available to our clients and if you decide there is one you love you'll need those nude underwear.
Bring some props, one or two special items to customize your maternity session and document those special items for your baby's baby book.
Show up well rested and hydrated. I know, I know .. easy for the non-pregnant woman to say and after three pregnancies I know how hard it is to get sleep but try your best to get some extra rest before you shoot. Pregnant women have a beautiful glow to their skin and adequate sleep and staying hydrated will ensure you and your skin look amazing!!!
Lotion! Speaking of skin...dry scaly skin is a NORMAL side effect of pregnancy. Slather up before your session to add to that glow we discussed.
Bonus Tip: RELAX!!! Relax and have fun. Pregnancy is such a special time in life and creating positive memories during it will enhance your experience. Relax.... and let's do this, let's create something epic that you can't wait to hang on your wall!
YES! Maternity boudoir and milk baths are an option! Book a traditional session, book a boudoir session or ask about the special for booking both together!
Percival Landing, Olympia - If you like Urban Portraits then downtown Olympia is a great option for you. We can walk along the water at Percival Landing and capture images with the soft neutrals of the Sound. On the way back we can cut through downtown Olympia to catch some funky, colorful and fun portraits. From brightly colored doors, cool architecture, beautiful murals and the boardwalk with the Sound behind it, Olympia is a very nice location to have your portraits taken! There is even a fun farmers market to shoot, a tower, docks, a playground, a neat bridge and so much more! I also love downtown Olympia for all it's little coffee shops and restaurants! A couples session in a coffee shop is just plain adorable and fun! Some free parking near the Olympia Farmers Market, street parking and most lots are paid.
The Capitol Building, Olympia - Not far from Percival landing is the regal and structurally impressive Capitol building. From elegant stairs, giant pillar, beautiful fences, massive intricate doors and a rose garden there is lots of great variety at the Capitol Building. Can you guess the best perk about the Capitol building? If you were going to say easy parking (in the evenings) or the great view of the lake you were close but those aren't the best! The best perk of shooting your portraits at the Capitol building is it's located within walking distance of one of my favorite bakeries! Wagner's European Bakery & Cafe has an excellent selection of baked good and they make stunning wedding cakes (they made mine!) Parking is fairly easy to find and is only free during the evening and weekends.
Pioneer Park, Tumwater - Pioneer Park is beautiful and big enough so you don't have to wait for other people to clear the area for your shots! As a Pacific Northwest Portrait Photographer a variety of rich green backgrounds, cool grey paths/ground, fields of tall flowers and quite a few interesting logs to sit on is the 'cat's meow' of variety for little local parks and Pioneer Park has it all. I also love this location because it has a little patch of foliage that provides coverage if it starts to sprinkle! We all know how important that is in Washington state! Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter - this location provides interesting backgrounds which makes it a great choice all year round. There is plenty of parking at this location, although during the summer when there are sports it can be pretty packed. No Parking Fees.
Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, Lacey - Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is a bit of a walk but worth it for some beautiful images! There are wooden walkways, two old white barns, fields of tall grass and a fun long pathway that creates beautiful leading lines for your images. As a bonus, you can't walk through without seeing wildlife. We frequently see frogs, deer and a variety of birds (depending on the season) during our sessions at NWR. Please note that there is a small entrance fee for this location, there is a drop box for payment at the main building and is done on the honor system.
Tolmie State Park, Lacey - Tolmie State Park is a fun little beachy location that can yield some stunning photos! It has an amazing bridge, lots of trails with rich green backgrounds and an amazing beach that works well for both posed and candid portraits. Please note that a Discover Pass is needed to park at this location. During limited summer hours you can purchase on site but to be safe I'd recommend purchasing one ahead of time.
Ft. Steilacoom, Lakewood - Ft Steilacoom Park may be my favorite local park to shoot in. Barns, dark green foliage, a lake, grassy fields, mossy woods, a long path, flowers in the spring, old ruins, an apple orchard.... Ft. Steilacoom has it ALL. On clear days there is even a view of Mt. Rainier! This location has plenty of parking and it's free! YAY!
Museum of Glass, Tacoma - Downtown Tacoma, near the Glass Museum is an urban portrait photographer's dream! It is possibly even my favorite location for urban portraits! The bridge to the Museum of Glass has visually pleasing art and some beautiful clean and neutral buildings behind it. There is a great selection of art, including a fountain, that makes for some interesting and unique portraits. One of my favorite locations to shoot there is an old brick apartment building with metal stairs. It can be really fun and diversify your session. I also love shooting portraits in downtown Tacoma near the Museum of Glass because it is within walking distance of so many great locations. The Spanish Steps, Fireman's Park, Opera Alley and all the funky downtown businesses and garage doors are a few examples. It is also a two minute car ride from the 11th Street bridge which is an AMAZING location to make you stand out, yet still have an interesting background in your portraits (for safety reasons we will need a spotter for this location so please let me know ahead of time if you are interested in shooting at the 11th Street bridge). Parking is hit or miss...mostly paid parking.
Pt. Defiance Park + Rose Garden, Tacoma - Pt. Defiance Park is a top spot for summer portraits due to the colorful and fun rose garden. There is also a Japanese Garden area that is beautiful to take portraits in. PDP is also a wedding destination - and a stunning one at that! This location can be fairly busy though, so I'd recommend weeknights or mornings when it isn't as crowded. Parking is free but limited - on busy days, don't bother. Pt. Defiance Park is also a few minutes drive from Owen Beach - Ask about how you can include both for your portrait session.
Owen Beach, Tacoma - Right down the road from Pt. Defiance Park is this little, not so hidden gem. Owen Beach is simply beautiful and can include beach pictures, woodsy pictures OR BOTH! Owen Beach can be very crowded though so I'd recommend a sunrise session here. Parking is free and there are plenty of parking spots on site.
Hello friends! So you're getting your picture taken! Let's talk about a few things to get you ready for our session!
Although we can schedule your session any time during the day, we try to schedule to take advantage of the best natural light. The hours after sunrise and before sunset are 'golden' times and have ideal lighting. The golden light of these hours are soft, flattering and BEAUTIFUL! Please make sure you specify one of these time slots if you are interested.
ASK QUESTIONS! We strive to create a custom experience for each of our clients. Feel free to ask questions including location advice, wardrobe, style, props and more! Below are a few guidelines to get you started.
Keep the attire simple, but coordinate colors for groups.
Solid colors are best... try to avoid large bold patterns and neon colors as they can take attention away from your face. If you do select an outfit with a pattern try to match that pattern to solid colors for the clothing of the other parties in the portrait.
When selecting your wardrobe consider the location of your portrait session and match accordingly. For example, soft colors look great at the beach and avoid green in the forest so you don't blend in!
If you plan to hang a large print or canvas of your images consider the colors of your home when selecting your wardrobe.
Darker, solid colors appear more slimming than lighter colors.
Dress weather appropriate so you aren't too hot or cold.
Be sure to include the appropriate shoes, socks and stockings for your outfit. Plan your wardrobe from head to toe as full length poses are a part of your portrait session.
Bring an outfit change(s) to add variety to your sitting.
Wear clothing you are uncomfortable in. If you are uncomfortable it will show in your face and will be harder to relax and enjoy yourself.
Avoid baggy clothing as it can make you look big/boxy.
Eyeglasses can create glare that hides your eyes. We recommend wearing contacts if you have them or asking your optician if you can borrow a similar frame without lenses.
Remember to empty your pockets of cellphones, keys, chapstick etc so there aren't visible outlines.
Ladies!!! Take your hairbands off your wrists.
Feel free to bring a few props with you to add a unique touch to your portraits.
Bring a portable speaker and your favorite tunes! Music can create some great vibes and help you relax.
We highly recommend getting your hair and make-up done as professional stylists know how to apply makeup to best bring out your natural beauty! Besides, knowing you look fabulous and FEELING fabulous will help you be more relaxed and happy. Those natural smiles and real laughter are always my fave!
There are many talented Hair and Makeup artists in the area, if you'd like suggestions please contact one of the artists on our Wedding Resource Guide.
Bring snacks to avoid hangry 'tudes. Also good for bribery.
Bring a comfort item - stuffed animal, pacifier, blankey etc.
Make sure parents AND kids are both rested. You may be so focused on making sure your child is well rested that you forget about yourself. Children are very sensitive to their parents emotions and even the slightest bit of grump or frustration can affect their behavior. Bottom line, if you are happy and relaxed your kids will be too!
Allow for extra time to get to the location and prepare for your session. The events leading up to your session can set the tone of the day. Extra time = no stress about being late and time for your munchkins to look around and acclimate to the location.
Don't force them to smile! That's my job! Kids are much more relaxed and natural when you aren't telling them what to do and what not to do. Relax and have fun with them, your smiles and laughter will relax them and then their smiles will come naturally. I'll say it again - when you are stressed they are stressed, when you are relaxed they are relaxed!
Bring baby wipes! Cause boogers.
Today on the blog is one of my favorite sessions of 2016! This couple was so much fun and just look how adorable they are! Rachel had an idea to take some pictures in a white canopy so she brought some fabric with her and we made a cute little retreat for them to cuddle for photos. It went perfect with her GORGEOUS floral dress and Jordan's blue shirt. Rachel and Jordan are so amazing together, their love for each other just radiates around them and the look they get when they are with each other is just the sweetest. I can't wait to meet their baby girl - with so much love for each other their little girl will be loved beyond measure.
Did I mention how fun and hilarious this couple was??? My favorite is the one with Jordan's little kick while he goes in for a kiss haha! There were so many hilarious outtakes I had to add them in! Hope you get as big of a "kick" out of them as I did. :)
One of my absolute favorite session to date - Kenzi and Daniel's Rattlesnake Lake maternity was a dream!!! As a Pacific Northwest Maternity Photographer I live for the dreamy, moody PNW sessions. The rich colors of Rattlesnake Lake along with Kenzi's red hair was a perfect combination! This sweet couple just had their baby boy, join me in welcoming baby Everett!
Congrats Kenzi, Daniel and new big sis Olivia!!! - Can't wait to get your amazing little family in front of my camera again!
To see more of this amazing session click HERE.
This sweet couple, Heather + Curtis, are getting ready to welcome a little boy! Can't wait to see his chubby cheeks and cute little toes! Congrats to you two!
This girl is not only gorgeous but she ROCKED her session! I had so much fun shooting Alyssa's pin-up girl themed maternity and we got to explore downtown Olympia a bit.
oh, and thanks to the lady from the hair salon for letting me borrow her chair, the dude who's truck we used - we couldn't find him but I insisted we only pose near it and not touch it- and to the woman in the shop who let some crazy ladies pose in her window. Love you Oly!