Charmaine’s husband, Sean, called the studio to ask about booking a maternity session as a surprise for his wife. He had looked through several websites and really loved what he saw on ours. He knew that we’d be the perfect fit for his family and his wife’s tastes. I always love when dads schedule a session as a surprise gift, and we’ve had many clients do this in the past few years. If you plan it far enough in advance, we can whip up a gift certificate to present to your partner.
Sean wanted his wife to dictate the location and actual session date, so he booked the session with us and told her he had a surprise for her. Caroline called Charmaine to go through the location options and talk about dates. After viewing the different locations, Charmaine fell in love with the field and was thrilled to hear that the location was just minutes from where they lived! Caroline scheduled a maternity fitting date with me at the studio for a couple of weeks before their scheduled date. We don’t schedule maternity fittings further than two weeks out because we want to ensure that there isn’t a really big growth spurt between the fitting and session. If a client chooses a dress that I’m concerned MIGHT not fit in two weeks, we have a backup option to that choice just in case. I’ve never had to default to that backup option, but you just never know.
Charmaine showed up for her maternity fitting, and I instantly liked her straightforward personality and cool South African accent. She and I both had a few things in common: we’re both business owners, we each have two daughters (who look very different from each other!) and we both choose to wait to find out what we are having until birth. If she has a boy as her third child, that’ll be another thing we have in common! After trying on several dresses, Charmaine opted for a blush pink lace off the shoulder dress with embroidery and a floral quarter length sleeved dress. Since her daughters did not attend the fitting with her, I showed her a few things we had in the studio for little girls and she eyeballed the size. I made a note of which dresses were possibilities to bring along with me to their session. Caroline also sent her our studio style guide to review when choosing her husband’s outfit, and we were all set! All clients receive our studio style guide which is short and easy to read. It’s super helpful when planning what to wear for the members of your family not utilizing the wardrobe. We’re here to provide as much assistance as you need with that if you want to run some options by us beforehand.
The evening of their session was absolutely gorgeous, and we were some of the only people there. It’s pretty rare for that to happen at this particular location, but you won’t hear me complaining. Charmaine asked if we could incorporate a family heirloom into their session and showed me this lovely lace parasol she had brought with her. I was thrilled to include it, and thought it was so perfect with what she had chosen to wear and the gorgeous sunlight in the background.
There is no set flow for a maternity session including a family. Kids sometimes lose interest for a bit, and I just work around who is up for participating. I definitely take advantage of fresh and ready to go kids right at the beginning. That way, if they lose all interest and just want to play, we’ve already gotten those family images. These little girls loved being with their parents and enjoyed walking and playing in the field together. The girls reminded me of my own, personality wise - my oldest is quite the camera ham and enjoys being photographed, while my middle daughter is more reserved and serious. We explored many areas of the field together, and had a lot of fun doing so.
When Charmaine looked through her proof gallery, she emailed saying how much she loved the images and how they had captured their family perfectly. She was amazed at how it truly looked like their family, and at how much fun the whole experience had been. So… she requested to book a newborn session for when baby #3 arrived! ;) Most clients book both their maternity and newborn sessions at the same time so they can be assured of a date when their baby arrives. We take a limited number of newborns each month to ensure the best level of service for our clients. Booking a newborn session in advance does not mean that we set an exact date for it. Babies are so unpredictable! I’ve had some of my clients deliver at 37 weeks and others at 42. When you book your newborn session, you are simply reserving one of our reserved spots. Once your baby arrives, you just let us know and we’ll get you on the studio calendar for your exact date after learning a bit about your baby’s stats and how you’re recovering. Typically, we schedule clients to come in between their baby’s first 8-16 days of life, but we’ve had plenty of newborns in the three week range too.
I can’t WAIT to find out if Charmaine and Sean have a boy or a girl and to see their awesome family again soon. In the meantime, enjoy a few of my favorites from their maternity session!
If you're expecting a baby or already a parent and looking for a newborn, maternity, or family photographer, I would love to work with you to create images that you will love for a lifetime. Watch this video to hear about my philosophy and see how I work in the studio so you can determine if I'm the right fit for you. I can't wait to meet you!
Lily Sophia Photography specializes in newborn, baby, maternity, and family photography in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding areas.