Emily and I met while I was working for the Navy in Norfolk, Virginia. She was a Lieutenant in the Navy and a project manager when I met her, which meant she worked long, hard hours and, though I had met her briefly, I didn’t see much of her for several months. Things changed when we were both relocated to a new department and when I had to choose where to sit in a room of empty cubicles, I picked the seat right next to hers. (I’m an introvert, but a social one; I don’t like to be alone.) I am almost certain that her first thought was what is this chick thinking, she’s totally invading my space. However, we bounded over several mutual interests, including good books, a love of dogs and a distaste for being bored.
Now we live at least 4 hours away from each other, but we still manage to keep in touch. I can truthfully say that Emily is one of my closest friends, and I am incredibly grateful for the relationship that we’ve developed. We manage to see each other when she comes home to Baltimore to visit her family, and did a girls weekend light (meaning my boys were in tow) at the beach in Ocean City. We were having a phone catch up session this spring when she first mentioned maternity photos. She said, “I probably wouldn’t even consider doing maternity photos if it weren’t for you being a photographer.”
I was ecstatic. I was also a little nervous, only because her husband, Mike, would be deployed at the time, and I was worried about getting enough variety in a mom-only maternity session. (Apparently, I quickly forget that I have actually done mom-only maternity photos before and had no problem getting a variety.) It was a dream to take photos of one of my closest friends during such a special time in her life.
We decided to do them while she was in Baltimore for her baby shower, the morning of the shower. Emily did some location scouting and we decided on North Point State Park, which had a nice variety of beach, woods and fields and an old abandoned mill that was going to add a nice dose of creativity to her maternity photos. As the weekend approached, the forecast was looking questionable. It was going to come down to a last minute decision as to whether we would be able to do her photos, so I set the alarm for extra early and we planned to touch base at 6am. In the morning, it still was questionable, but Emily said that if I was up for it, she would still like to make this happen. I loaded my equipment in the car, and left in time to make a quick Target run for a red umbrella that would add a nice, fun pop of color to her photos if the weather wasn’t going to cooperate.
We got lucky! We moved from location to location in North Point State Park, and other than maybe a little mist, the rain held out. (Of course, we still had to make use of that fun red umbrella.) We took some interesting photos inside the abandoned old mill (it was a little creepy), strolled through the woods, and enjoyed each others’ company, spending time catching up, while we documented Emily’s journey to motherhood. We wrapped up the session by incorporating some special items that had meaning to Emily and Mike’s families. Emily had brought along Mike’s very first hiking boots (spending time outdoors is a major part of their lives) and her favorite childhood book. One of my favorite things to do, particularly with maternity and newborn photos, is to incorporate something with special meaning to the family. I’m not big on props, but when they are something specific to the family, it can bring many more emotions up when they look at their photos now and for many years to come.
I am truly honored that Emily allowed me to capture her maternity photos. I love everything about them, I love Emily, and I am so excited to watch her blossom into the incredible mother that I know she is bound to be.