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When I was pregnant with our first son, Isaiah, I mentioned to a family member that I was planning on having maternity pictures taken. Their response was, “People do that? Why?” I was surprised by this reaction. As a photographer, pictures mean so much to me. Why wouldn’t I want this precious time of my life captured on camera? 

maternity02Photo taken by Elise Mickelson

Maternity pictures are something of a new trend. If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen maternity pictures or pregnancy announcement pictures. I think it is a wonderful idea for expecting parents to have pictures taken. Why?

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You are probably tired and feeling anything but beautiful. I get that. I felt that way, too. But there are those moments when you think, “There’s a baby inside of me. A new life.” Those quite moments of excitement and joy are what make the months of exhaustion, the extra weight, and the stretch marks worth it. And it’s those moments that I try to capture in maternity sessions.

The picture above is my mom, pregnant with my sixth sibling. She would be the first to tell you that pregnancies in her forties were more exhausting and physically taxing. But I love this peaceful, prayerful moment that we captured. She told me the other day that she still loves her maternity portraits.

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It’s scary to be pregnant. It’s not easy and life only gets more challenging after the baby is born. But it’s also a grand adventure! It’s exciting! My husband and I like to view our family as an adventure. There are ups and downs, but it’s interesting and meaningful. We know that God wants to use the ‘todays’ of parenting to shape the ‘tomorrows’ of our boys’ lives. We want to parent with that mindset. 

I love this image of the mother and father looking into the distance. It’s an image of anticipation and excitement for what God has in store.

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For some couples this is a time of their life that is the culmination of months or years of waiting. Pregnancy is not easy but sometimes getting pregnant is even harder. I have personally known far too many friends and family members that have endured infertility, miscarriages, or infant loss. My husband and I experienced a small taste of the painfulness of infertility. We waited and hoped for eighteen months before we were pregnant with our first son. That is very short compared to many families, but it seemed like a very long road to me at the time. Whatever your story might be, this is a time of your life that is precious. It can’t be taken for granted. 

The picture above represents a journey of over four years. For this couple, maternity pictures can be a visual reminder that God is faithful.

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A new baby means your family is changing. You might be pregnant with your first child or your fifth, but adding a new family member will mean a big change. Preparing older siblings to welcome the new baby might be part of your routine right now, or simply preparing your own heart and mind. A growing family is a blessing and each new addition is a blessing!

maternity06

Some of my favorite pictures of my husband and I together are from our maternity sessions. It’s a precious time of life for a couple and those are memories worth keeping! 

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I love being able to capture the relationship between a mother and father during maternity pictures. There is a sweetness and tenderness when they look at each other or at her baby bump. 

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Why should you get maternity pictures taken? Because you’re beautiful. You may not see it or feel it, but I can see it. You may hear the dumbest comments from random strangers (‘Wow, you’re so big!’, ‘Are you sure you’re not pregnant with twins?’, ‘You look like you’re ready to pop!’), but trust me, you are amazing. Your body is changing in ways that make you cringe, but you are preparing a new life to enter this world. That is a time of your life to remember. 

maternity11Photo taken by Kylie Steiner

I gained more weight with my second son. I felt less ‘glow-y’, less energetic, and less pretty. My sweet photographer made me feel more. More beautiful, more excited, and more amazed with God’s abundant gifts.

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I use pictures as a way to document the times in my family’s life. I remember things more clearly when I can look at pictures while I’m reminiscing. There are pictures that make me smile and there are some that make me want to cry. But in every picture I can see God shaping our family’s adventure. 

 

Rachel Gnagy

Rachel Gnagy is a wife, mother, photographer, coffee lover, and book nerd. She and her husband, Samuel, have four precious children, two boys and two girls. Rachel is a work-from-home-mom, running a small photography and graphic design business. She has been writing for Her View From Home since 2012 and loves the opportunity to communicate with other women. http://www.inscribedphotography.com/ https://www.facebook.com/InscribedPhotography

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