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As a maternity and newborn photographer, my feed is full of radiant moms and seemingly tidy spaces in the families’ homes we work in. We always want you looking and feeling your best in your photos, and to avoid clutter that can distract from the beautiful moments we’re capturing.

An unfortunate side effect is that it creates the impression of perfection, which can be intimidating for anyone interested in booking a photography session. In our consultations, we frequently hear concerns from pregnant moms like, “I’ve gained so much weight,” “I have nothing to wear,” “My home is a mess,” or most commonly, “I’M a hot mess . . . there is no way I’ll be photo ready.”

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It’s such a shame to miss out on capturing this fleeting, huge milestone in your life because you’re hesitant to have a camera pointed in your face while you just don’t feel put together.

I get it, probably more than you know.

I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby, which you’d think I’d be shouting from the rooftops, but for 25 weeks I kept pretty quiet about it. I was scared to share positive news that could end in bad news. I was concerned about rubbing my pregnancy in anyone’s face who wanted a baby so badly, as I knew this feeling. I also completely lacked ANY energy to pull off even just one cute photo for a pregnancy announcement. I had all-day sickness for the first 15 weeks, a new apartment to move our family to, an elderly sick dog to care for, insomnia even when my three-year-old decided to miraculously sleep through the night, and somehow had to carry on running my business between running to the bathroom and looking after everyone else. My pregnancy has been wrought with anxiety over how I’m going to do it all once the baby actually arrives.

RELATED: You’re Not a Bad Mom if You Don’t Love Pregnancy

Finally, our amazing associate photographer Dani and I made an executive decision that she would come over to our new apartment, full of unpacked boxes, and capture my pregnancy. I would not style my hair, wear a cute outfit, or even lint roll the dog hair off my leggings. Why? Because I want to show anyone reading this that I understand pregnancy is not always easy, no matter how much we have longed for it, and that I will be the last person to judge YOU if you’re in a similar (or worse) condition when you choose me as your photographer.

I’ve also decided to practice what I preach and book a session for some nice, styled maternity photos in a few weeks.

Have things gotten easier and am I up for it now?

Not really. But I know that this pregnancy will be over before I know it, and as rough as I feel, creating life is still a beautiful thing. I deserve an evening of having my hair and makeup done, wearing a pretty dress, and having fun with my family while a photographer captures it all. I know that this is made easy by the business we have, with all of these aspects built into what we do.

RELATED: To the Pregnant Woman: Take the Picture

I can’t wait to show you those photos when they’re done, but for now, enjoy these captures of my real, imperfect, often struggling to get by, hot mess self.

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Originally published on the author’s blog

Kim Forrester

Kim is mom to a sweet little boy, dog mom to a gentle giant, former hospital photographer of over 1,000 babies, and international award-winning photographer. Having experienced a challenging introduction to new motherhood, she is passionate about creating a relaxing experience for new parents by giving them the peace of mind of working with a professional photographer while they stay comfy in their PJs. She is infant/toddler CPR-B/AED First Aid Certified and a member of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Kim also enjoys mentoring other photographers and collaborating with fellow creatives and women in business. Preserving these special moments for families means the world to Kim and is a job she pours her heart and soul into.

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