Friday 6 November 2015

Pregnancy Photoshoot

Photo by Laura Donohoe Photography
Hi Everyone!!

Remember me?!

It’s been waaaaay too long and I’ve very much missed you all. As you all know I am currently pregnant (38 weeks + 4 days) and it’s not been an easy ride by any means. I thought being pregnant wouldn’t affect me at all but how wrong I was. Pregnancy hasn’t been easy. As you may be aware I had a very tough time in the beginning for at least the first 4 months. Over the last few months I’ve grown rapidly. With the extra weight and pelvis/joints softening I have developed a very bad left hip and lower back. I’ve been having physiotherapy and need to use crutches a lot of the time. I’ve unfortunately started having anxiety attacks which I have never had before. They are truly horrible and not something to experience. To add to the pile of complaints I’ve had blurry and spotted vision, exhaustion, no sleep at all, infections plus other minor bits and bobs. So in true form I had a few months from hell…then I felt much better and now I’m heading downhill but it’s only getting harder because it’s getting nearer to his arrival so no bad thing!!
Photo by Laura Donohoe

I am really looking forward to meeting this little man who has been causing all this trouble! I’m trying to stay myself, still go out, see people, and be social but it’s very hard to do. There’s been a break from the blog purely because of everything going on however there are lots of posts I want to share with you all. I worked up until 36 weeks so I am finally on maternity leave. I am house bound pretty much as I won’t drive anymore due to my size and back/hip problems. I still have a lot to prep for the baby’s arrival and I am still nesting away however I want to use some time to get back behind the computer (although I can hardly reach it) and keep in touch with you all!

I haven’t been in front of the camera this year which I have been gutted about especially as I started my own personal modelling project last year. When your pregnant and experiencing a lot of body change and complaints the effort of getting dolled up for a shoot, travel, and the general exhaustion of the shoot itself seemed like too much to handle. I knew if I was going to do anything I wanted a very definite ‘bump’ on display to show me and my ‘wriggler’ as I call him to the best I can.

Looking back I would have liked a few studio shoots in different ways possibly documenting the various stages with different styles of image but of course it’s not something on your mind at certain points in time during pregnancy. I ultimately knew I wanted something outdoors, natural, with autumnal scenery showing off the time of year he will be born and how I am at a late stage. At such a late stage of pregnancy when most people are not thinking about photoshoots at all I needed to keep it local, short and easy.

Photo by Laura Donohoe
I used local photographer to myself Laura Donohoe Photography. You may recognise the name as I have used Laura for previous burlesque shows to take pictures for me. She does some very interesting work, make sure you check out her Facebook page to see more of what she does. I managed without crutches that day and I was able to take my things to her house and go on location from there. Luckily the location chosen was just a few minutes’ walk away. Laura understood I wanted something more casual and natural and how I wanted it to represent the time of year, some images I wanted more glam looking and some more casual looking to capture a few sides of me and how I have been throughout this time. Having not taken any pics all year I felt very out of practice trying to model…plus I’ve never done this before with what feels like a heavy beach ball/baby elephant strapped to my front so make posing etc interesting! I was just myself and posed in the minimal ways I could do being my usual self.

I was driven to the shoot and picked up by my other half and he even stayed for a while and got a few images with me which was nice to have and it was good to have him around at the beginning to help ease me into the shoot.

I was very happy with the outcome. We took these photos on Halloween and I feel with the various back drops we chose meant that we got images that look autumnal, very Halloween fitting with the colours and almost wintery in some too.

Photo by Laura Donohoe
Following the shoot I went home and after a very quick outfit change, touched up my make-up and
pulled my hair which had dropped its curl and got windswept into a clip on the side and sprayed away with hair spray and backcombed I then went back out to go to a Halloween masquerade ball and a local posh hotel at Oakley Hall with some girlfriends. I enjoyed the 4 course dinner and seeing friends however by 10.30pm I was picked and taken home for much needed rest. It’s safe to say I spent a couple of days recovering from such a busy day but I am very glad I did it all.

I have been planning new born photoshoots for my little arrival as it’s been said how it is always good to get images within the first few weeks as it will show them off at their smallest when they are brand new. I’ve got some ideas of how to do this and of course will do the shoots at home to make things easier.

My personal pregnancy photoshoot advice:
  • Document your pregnancy at different stages so you don’t miss anything, this doesn’t happen every day.
  • Have a shoot at the latest stage you can manage to show off your proud baby bump.
  • If you do shoot at a late stage like I did then get someone else to do your hair and make-up – it will make things so much quicker and easier and save some energy for the shoot itself. As you know in pregnancy the little normal daily things can feel like epic tasks and that very much includes things like hair and make-up.
  •  If on location plan close by spots to shoot in with minimal walking between places.
  • Remember if you are on location then think where you will change, lack of mirrors etc. I had a vest top on and leggings under everything so I could change outside however not glamourous or easy at this size plus no full length mirrors etc to sort hair, make up in between plus wind etc to contend with so be prepared.
  •  If shooting outdoors then 11am is a good time. Ideal lighting seems to be slightly overcast not in direct sunlight. If your ghostly pale like me then bright sun can wash you out even more and be a pain to work with. Unfortunately due to how slow I was I totally underestimated how long I would take getting sorted and getting out on location that shooting in the afternoon meant fighting with the weather.
  • Speaking of weather…location shoots are unpredictable especially this time of year. You’ll have to be flexible as if you wake up on the day of the shoot and its pouring with rain then you may need to postpone. However if it’s just very cold you have may be to prepared to work with what you have as time is against you late in pregnancy.
  • Remember that at a late stage of pregnancy posing in many different ways isn’t easy at all so make sure if you do have earlier shoots you get all your craziness out then when bump is smaller and your energy levels and body can manage it.
  • Clothing for maternity available in shops is appalling (blog post for another time in detail). Everything is the same, boring, dull, basic. There aren’t many places that offer you a chance to keep your personality, make you feel glam and good about yourself. Also the amount of shops that actually sell maternity ranges are very small. Try to think outside the box and look early for outfit ideas.
  • Keep it simple – what you want to show off is your baby and you. Not distract people with a jazzy print/pattern on your dress or by wearing a tonne of accessories. You want the focus to be right on you and your bump. I decided to keep the outfits minimal, quite plain colours, no big accessories, hats, props etc and the only things to draw attention that I used was some red lippy but alot girls feel more glam with a red lip on!
  • Be prepared to prepare – I knew for a shoot I would need some preparation but actually it was a good general confidence boost and pamper excuse too. I got my hair freshly coloured and had a few inches chopped off. I had a manicure and pedicure. I had my eyebrows tinted and waxed and made sure I attempted to curl my hair on the day, use false eyelashes and put on a little more make up than the daily average. Nothing major, no crazy diets, body wraps, fake tans, facials etc, just a few things to keep myself in check and to help by little boy meet a more well-kept mama!
  •  Be accepting – I personally struggle with my weight and own body image a lot of the time. When your pregnant your body is no longer your own. It’s out of control and that’s hard to accept and it makes you appreciate when you will be in control again. At the beginning for me everything changed, bad skin, bad hair, weight gain not just with bump appearing but all over in general, my worst concern of double chin appearance, all sorts. As things have progressed my skin cleared up, hair growth spurted and it still now feels thick and long even with a few inched chopped away to keep it looking healthy. My nails are growing well. My big problem is my weight and my stretch marks gained. However all strong independent women will tell you to embrace your tiger stripes and your body as it is as you are currently doing something pretty incredible and difficult growing another life inside you which of course will change things. Everyone is different in body shape and size normally and just the same in pregnancy everyone is different with how their body changes and how the react to that. I would usually scrutinise over how my body looks and it’s been hard to accept the changes however I am happy with how I look in the pictures. It’s you, 100% you, pregnant at a late stage and you should be proud and happy and looking forward to what’s to come, 9 months of pregnancy then it’s all over. Yes it won’t be easy at all to loose gained weight, things won’t be easy in the beginning once he is here however ultimately you’ll have some control and know you went through everything for a good reason. I accept I am pregnant and don’t feel great, however I also accept I am being as fabulous with it as I can, and will be super fabulous again after!

Photo by Laura Donohoe Photography

I recommend every pregnant mama to be to get some photos done that make you smile when you look back at them. You may look back and think how good the pics made you look but that you not necessarily felt good at the time/were suffering behind the make-up but a least you can see yourself at such a special time. I’d also thoroughly recommend a local photographer who you trust to do what you want. I’d recommend anyone to Laura for various styles of photos so again check her out for yourself.

Photo by Laura Donohoe Photography
I’ll be back soon with more posts to catch you all up on the last few months!


1 comment:

  1. You look so beautiful! I hate that you've had such a hard time in this pregnancy but it's nearly over. I can't wait to meet the little bugger, and start the journey of gathering embarrassing stories to tell when he becomes a teen! Pay back shall be fun ;)

    Zoe. xxx