Maternity Photos | Why Spend the Money?

You might be one of those people that despises getting your picture taken, like me, and prefers to spend time behind the camera. Or maybe, you are convinced that the pictures you take of yourself are the best.

Sure, the Instagram progress pics you take of your belly growing and the funny moments you share with your Facebook friends through home video are cute & quirky, but are you at all considering having professional maternity photos done?

Many women contemplate having maternity photos taken at some point in their pregnancy. Their partner may even join in on the idea and brainstorm. However, a lot of couples reason that maternity photos are a waste of money when “Cousin Cindy is pretty good with a camera” or “Mom is probably gonna get some next to her prized roses in the backyard”. Though, those photos are likely precious to your family members and can easily be taken during the convenience of a baby shower or family bbq, they don’t really lend to the intimacy & quality that having your photos done by someone experienced can give.

Setting up a time/place that means something to you, choosing something special to wear that showcases maternal beauty, having your older kids involved, and focusing on letting the unity & bonding with your new addition stream into your still-frames is an irreplaceable experience.

I know some of you are thinking ‘The experience is worth the time and effort, but what about the money?’ My response to you in that regard is:

  • FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT FITS YOUR NEEDS. Not every photographer will charge you an arm and a leg for an hour of shots and a disc of them afterward. Do research on photographers in your area. Find out who is most cost effective and if their prices are higher than you think they should be make sure you ask why.
  • KNOW WHAT YOU DO AND DO NOT WANT FROM YOUR SESSION. If their are specific products and services that you know are offered by most photographers, such as canvas prints, coffee table/storybooks…etc. decide up front if you are interested in these promotions/special features. Also, if there are products and services you would like to have provided, such as printable pregnancy announcements or birth photography, ask in advance if these can be worked into your photo package or if you will need to take care of the customization and cost on your own later. Knowing details like this will save you, and your photographer, time & energy!
  • DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. When you succeed in finding a photographer that you “click with” to take your maternity photos, book them as soon as possible. Think ahead. I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan when it comes to getting the best, quality photos. Even if you are only 8 weeks pregnant while looking into photographers, take the time to consider how you might feel- both emotionally and physically- by the time you are 32-36 weeks pregnant. Also, think about who should be involved in your session. Do you have older children already? Would you like to just a mommy and baby shoot, or will your significant other join in? The more insight you can provide to your photographer, the better your experience will be!
  • DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE PICKY; GET COMFORTABLE. Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to have poses, colors, outfits, locations…etc. in mind before the date of your session. Granted, it isn’t necessary to go overboard worrying about every little detail, but if you are a little obsessive compulsive about wanting your photos to look “just so” make sure you let your photographer be aware of that aspect of your personality. Ask s/he if they mind you emailing them examples of things you found and like, questions if you have a concern…etc. Being comfortable with your photographer is #1 and if you can’t confirm the weather report with them 3 times in a week before your session, just because that’s who you are, they might not be the photographer for you.

Saving money is often a key objective when you are saving to have a new little life join yours. However, saving on memories is something we all regret doing at one point or another. The weeks and moments right before you bring your bundle of love into the world are some of the most priceless… Capture as many as you can🙂

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Maternity Leave: February 15th- April 30th

 

I am both thrilled and saddened to announce that I am (as of this posting) on maternity leave from doing photo shoots. If you are waiting for photos/contracts/invoices from me, please be patient as I am still working on these things. I am having to be patient myself, as I still have some file transfers from our old computer pending.

Also, please keep in mind, I am still booking sessions for anytime May 1st through January 2014. Brides-to-be will be my main focus while I am off, but if you are interesting in a family session…etc, please email me as soon as possible so I can get your session on the books and forward you the information you will need to complete the booking process. 

My husband and I will be spending the next couple of months, not only spending time consolidating the Laughing Lark Photography website, blog, and galleries- which I cannot wait til unveil to you all!- but, we will also be spending quality time as a family. Hubby has taken a slight bit of a paternity leave from traveling for work so, we will be enjoying all the time that the 4 of us (my step-son is so excited to be a big brother!) can get.

I am absolutely busting with excitement to share photos of our new son with you whenever he decides to arrive in this world. Be expecting pic heavy Facebook posts and also updates on any and all services being offered. I am strongly considering birth photography and will be letting you know details later this spring to see how widely this will be received.

If you have comments, suggestions, or inquires I am always available at laughinglarkphotography@gmail.com … Who knows, with a newborn I may even be up in the middle of the night answering emails!

Love to you all, Quin 

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Birth Sessions: Yay or Nay?

 

BrittanyG Photography of Highlands, Utah first grabbed my attention when it came to photos of giving birth.

If you’d have asked me a few years ago if I would even attempt to give birth I would’ve said no, let alone the idea of someone photographing me doing it. And even now that I’m pregnant, sometimes when I think about it makes me a little jumpy; I might end up punching the poor photographer in the face. Plus, being a photographer myself, I know just how much the pressure would be on. 

When I first started thinking about having a baby, I was always looking at maternity, newborn, and quirky post-natal items I thought where cool. (Click here to see my ‘bump starter’ pinterest board) In the process, I came across these amazing pictures of baby Wil’s birth story. None of the photos were invasive, graphic, or offensive and it made me look at the delivery process in an entirely new light.


Now that the birth of our little booger is getting nearer I keep thinking more and more about how much I would like documentation of that day. Nothing distasteful or gross… 

I think the entire idea is becoming a bit more trendy and accepted, as I’ve seen a number of photographers in my area and all over the country offering sessions like this. I would love to offer a session like this!! Especially after I give birth to my own child and know the ins and outs of the progression.

Hubby is a bit weirded out by the entire thought of having someone in the room and would rather just set up a camcorder in the corner. I don’t like that idea because at least when you review your photos it’s SILENT and you don’t have to hear all of the pain you went through to get your little miracle. There are so many tender moments that a family shares in welcoming their new addition into the world; how sentimental it would be to look back on those prized possessions years later! 

A friend of mine told me to remember it on the little camcorder in my head, haha. But, I’m such a sucker and driven by emotion… I can’t imagine how tear-jerking and nostalgic those pictures would be… Still-frames will always be my favorite way to capture a moment. No black & white memory could ever do the moment you meet your new son/daughter justice. Or the small instant when your first child realizes they are a brother/sister and hold their new sibling for the first time.

Ahhh! I don’t really think you guys understand the crazy adrenaline running through me as I write this! Regardless, of whether I can talk Jon into doing it or not, or how much it costs… I will ALWAYS think this is a good idea. 
I’ve watched quite a number of birth videos, and read experiences, and heard true life stories from family/friends; I feel like this is a personal choice like everything is. Just like having a midwife or a doula, or having your baby at home vs a birthing center vs a hospital. But, it’s definitely a once in a lifetime adventure.❤Image

The Mast Farm Inn • A North Carolina Treasure

mast farm inn

Hidden away in the small, mountain community of Valle Crucis, North Carolina people live quiet lives and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. Nature peeks in on each unsuspecting visitor and the air smells a bit sweeter than the summer air … Continue reading

The Tucci Family | Girls in their Glory

 Susan contacted me after she saw the photos I did of her friend, Malissa’s, wedding in April. I was

overjoyed that she wanted family photos done and couldn’t wait to scope out a new location for her and her two daughters.

We never got to meet in person before the photoshoot, so when I showed up I was blown away by absolutely gorgeous this family of three lovely women was. They were also willing to try anything, and were very easy going.

I seem to have the best fortune when it comes to picking locations (sarcasm). I always choose somewhere with plenty of mosquitos or burrs…etc. to make the shooting time interesting. In this particular location, we even found a bubbling “quick sand” effect in the nearby creek. But the exploration, made the experience memorable and we had a great time going from one photogenic spot to another.

I think I may start hiring Susan’s daughters as my official pose critics! They came up with a lot of their own creative ideas and executed them perfectly. I really hope that I have opportunity to work with this lovely family again in the future & get to see these young ones grow up into fine young ladies.

If you would like to see more of their wonderful photos, please click the photo below.🙂

Benjamin | Child Portrait

Benjamin | Child Portrait

Benjamin | Child Portrait

Benjamin just graduated from pre-school and his mom got a hold of my about doing a mini-session for him. I’ve known this family for quite a while now, and thought that it would be so fun to take photos of their adorable son.

Ben’s laugh is infectious, his brows are contemplative, and his nature is sweet. We had a great time hob-nobbin’ around the park and having fun. Ben’s mom, Stefanie, helped out a lot!! She can make him laugh or smile on a dime and I really feel like that’s why I got so many great shots!

In some of the photos you can see him holding onto her hand because he was nervous or scared. I didn’t edit this out of the pictures because it just looked so cute… You only get those memories for a little while. Kids grow up in the blink of an eye.

I hope to get the opportunity to work with Benjamin, and his little sister, Corinne, (who I snuck a few shots of) in the future.
To view more of Ben’s photos click the picture at the top of this post.🙂

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Sofia & Brian • Reunited

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Sofia contacted me in early April of this year about taking vintage style photos of her and her husband, Brian, in May. He returned from deployment the day after I consulted with her at Starbucks and after meeting her, I knew that I wanted to be a part of their story.

The couple got married in Seattle, WA in July of 2011. Originally from Seattle, Sofia was very pleased to be able to plan the wedding by her sweetie’s side here on the east coast, while her family helped out on the west.
Brian & Sofia met through mutual friends while Brian was in the Air Force and kept in touch no matter where their journey’s took them. Eventually, while both residing in Washington, D.C., they took their friendship to the ‘next level’.

After a proposal in Napa Valley…what’s a girl to do?

Working with the couple really rekindled for me what the definition of true love is. They are like best friends and lifelong loves. Funny & playful and, not to mention, probably one of the most photogenic couples I have ever had the privilege of shooting.

While Brian continues serving, in the Marines, the two enjoy a cozy life in the beautiful town of Surf City, NC. A lovely place for photos!
I am hoping that in the future I will have the opportunity to work with them again.
Wishing them all the best!

(To see more of their gorgeous “Reunited” session photos please click the photo above.)

Ashley & Brandon | Expecting

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When I got a call from Ashley, I had JUST gotten off the phone from a cancellation. It just so happened that it was the exact date she needed. Ashley was referred to me by a good friend of hers and was desperate to find a photographer for her maternity shoot, because she is due very soon!

I didn’t get a chance to meet with her or her husband, Brandon, before the photoshoot because the couple was willing  to drive all the way down to Wilmington from Raleigh. But, with the help of email and texting we got all of the details worked out.

I was very nervous about the session because all week the weather said rain, rain, rain! And I’ll admit that it was even getting cloudy on my drive down to the beautiful Fort Fisher Beach, that they had chosen for location. I brought my hubby along because I knew he’s be a big help with Roscoe, their cute dog that was incorporated into some of the photos.

As soon as Ashley & Brandon stepped out of their car, I knew they would be a fun couple to work with! They were up for any original idea and with so many different spots to chose from at Fort Fisher we really had a great time. The way that they looked at each other, you can tell they have a wonderful relationship and I hope that I captured that well enough in the photos. A bond that brings about another human life is one that can be compared to no other.

The weather cleared up for our venture and the most gorgeous sunset peaked out from behind the clouds, casting a ton of beautiful colors across the sky.

They are expecting a little boy, Carter, mid-June and I will be traveling to their home to do his newborn photos. I am looking forward to working with them again.
To see more of their lovely maternity photos please click the photo above.

Malissa & John: So In Love

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I had the privilege of receiving an email from Malissa in January 2012. Although she and her fiance, John, had been planning their wedding for almost two years they found themselves in need of a photographer. Of course, I was delighted!
After meeting with them at Starbucks to go over the logistics of what their styles and expectations were, I knew they were my kind of couple!
The two met through Malissa’s friend who was looking for a room to rent. And guess who she ended up renting from? John. After hanging out with John and her friend, Malissa made the first move by stealing John’s number from her friend and calling him up. As it turned out, John was wanting to spend time with Malissa just as much.

After just a short time dating, Malissa become pregnant with their first child together. However, because of their similarities, experiences, and friendship they faced each obstacle together.

“Because of our journey we make a great team. We both have great patience and are very understanding. We enjoy watching movies together and eating different foods. Johns passion is videography and quit his job to pursue it and I’ve backed him 100% since day one”, states Malissa.

Photographing their plantation wedding on April 14th, 2012 was such a joy! A big congratulations to them and what a wonderful life they have ahead!
I will be shooting Malissa’s bridal portraits this weekend and can’t wait for the opportunity to work with her again.

To see the rest of this beautiful couple’s wedding photos, please click the photo above.

Quintana McConnell • The Mast Farm Inn

Quintana McConnell • The Mast Farm Inn

How grateful I am to be a featured photographer on The Mast Farm Inn‘s website! What a wonderful surprise to start the month off right!
Henri Deschamps & Marie-Henriette Deschamps are amazing and I am so looking forward to my time off in June; spending a lovely weekend in Valle Crucis.
Final edits to my page on the website (including a link to my blog and a few extra photos) will be available for viewing in the near future!🙂