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Week 31: Why I chose to take family maternity photos

When I was pregnant the first time around we were certainly preparing for a big family change, but then my family was made up of myself, my husband and our miniature schnauzer. Even though we’d be losing sleep and making sacrifices, having this baby was a choice that we made joyfully, and we had excitement...

Photo by Eric McFarland Photography

Photo by Eric McFarland Photography


When I was pregnant the first time around we were certainly preparing for a big family change, but then my family was made up of myself, my husband and our miniature schnauzer. Even though we’d be losing sleep and making sacrifices, having this baby was a choice that we made joyfully, and we had excitement and anticipation about the changes ahead. Now that I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my second, I am thinking through all of the ways that life will be different for our daughter. She has been the center of our world for the last 18 months, and that will soon be changing. That’s why it was important to me to take family maternity photos to remember this special time in our lives where it was just the three of us.
I knew that I wanted maternity photos of course, but rather than focusing on getting pampered and making myself look like a pregnant goddess, I decided to focus on capturing our family of three. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because most things with a strong-willed toddler are not. So instead of making things super formal and having crazy expectations, we enlisted one of my best friends and her husband, who happen to be photographers, to take our photos. We all grabbed a quick dinner before hand and headed up to a local outdoor location with both of our families. That not only included our toddler, but also their toddler and their newborn. It ended up being perfect, and I’m so glad we chose to do it that way.
There were plenty of times that Elouise was clearly uninterested in posing with mama and daddy. Understandably so since we were in an outdoor wonderland filled with her current favorite toy: rocks. Having two extra adults besides myself and my husband made the process go so much smoother, but again I think keeping our expectations realistic was key. I wanted to capture our family just as it is right now, wild toddler and all. So rather than having a hundred photos of myself posed perfectly in my fancy dress with matching accessories, we have glimpses into what it’s like to be “the Cannons” as a party of three. Of course we did manage to snag a few pictures of just this mama in all of her pregnant glory, but it was in no way our main focus.
The results were even more lovely than I ever could have imagined. When I opened the photos I was speechless because each one captured exactly what I had hoped for. It was us. We were laughing, walking, holding hands, giving snuggles and playing together. It was us, just as we are in life right now. So I may not have the perfectly Pinterest-styled shots wading in the ocean or lounging in a milk bath with rose petals, but I have something so much better. I have memories of what life is like for us right now, so that someday I can show Elouise and share with her all about how it was when she was our only child. That to me is priceless.