Maternity Photography

for the Monterey Bay

~ Packages ~

All collections include a personal consultation, styling guidance, and my absolute dedication to getting your dream images.

Photoshoots for up to 5 people.

FAQs

ABOUT COVID-19

While I’m confident that this crisis will eventually pass, it might be a while before everyone can go back to life the way it used to be. For that reason, all of my clients are required to follow social distancing guidelines:

  • 6ft + distance from all clients at all times.
  • verbal prompts for posing vs. close contact posing.
  • all clients are required to have face coverings available if needed.
  • if you are not attaining to any social distancing guidelines, I cannot be your photographer.

WHAT DO YOU EDIT IN EVERY PHOTO?

Editing represents the most important part of my work as a photographer. After your photoshoot, I will carefully select the best images to professionally edit them to be consistent with the quality of my work as shown in my portfolio.

Full editing covers the following:

  • Skin imperfections
  • Color correction
  • Removal of distracting objects in the background
  • Double Chins
  • Teeth whitening
  • Lightening up of subjects
  • Highlights manipulation

NOTE: My regular editing process does NOT include full retouching such as slimming, composites, tattoo removal, photoshopping of sunsets in the background (when the weather does not cooperate), removal of logos, head swapping, full wrinkle elimination, etc.

Full retouching is available for an additional fee of $35 per image.

You can view a better description of what my full retouching services can cover here.

For any more specific requests, please get in touch with me.

WHAT WILL THE EXPERIENCE BE LIKE?

Your pregnant body is a miracle, your baby will never be as close to your heart.

I understand this is one of the most important moments in your life and I want to freeze it in time for you.

To make sure you get the images you’ve dreamed of, the process is broken down as follows:

  1. Phone consultation to customize your images. You are unique, you deserve to have your images designed just for you. This consultation will help me know you. We will talk about your expectations, taste, location, clothing, and style.
  2. Outdoors photo-shoot with social distancing taken into account.
  3. After the session, I will email you an online proof gallery for you to select the images you want me to fully retouch and which ones should be lightly edited.
  4. Once your images are fully retouched, you will receive an updated gallery that will allow you to order products from my professional lab or to download.

DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS TO OUR LOCAL HEROES?

OF COURSE!!!

I am so grateful to anyone that serves our community. For that reason, I offer 10% off all sessions to:

  • Military families
  • Police officers
  • Nurses
  • Firefighters
  • UPS personnel

* Proper ID should be provided.

If you are a local hero and you need a headshot, please get in touch with me to discuss your options.

WHAT DOES FULL RETOUCHING COVER?

Fully retouched images are a step above edited images and are normally requested at my client’s discretion. The work put into each fully retouched photo can vary anywhere between 30-60 min. Some examples of full retouching services are:

  • Tattoo Removal.
  • Back, arm, and side fat rolls.
  • Overall slimming.
  • Hair covering a large part of the face.
  • Photoshopped skies.
  • Composites and head swapping (merge two different images into one).
  • Removal of logos or distracting elements in clothing.
  • Removal of major objects or crowds in the background.
  • Specific requests made by the client that are not including in my regular editing process.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR MY MATERNITY SESSION?

Dress comfortably! I want you to feel and look like yourself, if something doesn’t feel good, you’ll probably reflect that on the pictures.

MATERNITY

While I encourage pregnant women to avoid harsh colors and patterns, some soft floral patterns and one bright color option might be a good idea ONLY if that’s the kind of thing you like. However, I strongly suggest avoiding stripes and plaid fabrics. Knit tops and lacey textures are very welcome! Just make sure that the color choices for you and your partner are complimentary.

If you are going to wear a maternity gown, I suggest that you bring a change of clothes for a more “normal” look of yourself. Wearing a bathing suit underneath can help you change outfits easily.

Other very flattering clothing items are:

  • Tight-fitting clothes that will show your curvy and beautiful pregnant body.
  • A maxi skirt with a short top always looks amazing and simple.
  • Tight-fitting dress with some flare at the bottom.
  • Unzipped old jeans. Believe it or not, your pre-pregnancy jeans can be a great way to display your belly in a very sexy way (if you are into that sort of thing).
  • Man-sized button up shirts. Bring your partner’s favorite cami or a button up sweater to take some belly revealing photos.
  • Change it up by bringing a cardigan or one change of clothes if they come on easily.

Of course, if you can’t make up your mind from several options, feel free to shoot me a text, call, or email to ask.

WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY PREGNANCY SESSION?

It is always a good idea to get in touch with me as soon as you know you are pregnant to discuss your options for the exact timing and my availability.

Normally I schedule women between 20 and 38 weeks depending on each client’s preference: how big do you want your belly to look? how comfortable are you feeling? etc.

However, I do encourage all expectant parents to get their point and shoot cameras out and take amazing pictures since day 1 (or when you just found out), until the moment they give birth, here are some tips to help.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A BEACH PHOTOSHOOT AND WHAT TO EXPECT

Expect to get barefoot, a bit sandy, dip your feet in the water, and to have LOTS of fun!

Here are some important recommendations to help  you get the most of your session:

  1. Kids always do a lot better when well fed and rested so make sure to plan accordingly (bringing a snack for the little ones is always a good idea).
  2. Even on warm days, it can get a little chilly by the end of the session, so make sure to bring warm layers.
  3. A change of clothes for everyone.  I always encourage families to get barefoot and play on the water’s edge. It is a good idea to bring an extra pair of pants for mommy and daddy and an extra set of clothes for the kids.
  4. Bring a towel.  Even if you don’t get wet, beach photos are a lot better if you are barefoot, a towel to clean sandy feet before getting back in the car is ideal.
  5. To comply with the ongoing social distancing rules, it is important that everyone in your family has face coverings just in case we walk through narrow paths.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY PHOTOS?

About a week after your photoshoot, an online proof gallery will be shared with you via email. The images in this gallery will all be watermarked with a “not for public use” legend on it.  From this gallery, you’ll be able to select the photos you want to keep as part of your package.

Once you submit your selection as per the instructions, it takes one to two weeks (depending on how busy I am) for you to receive your finished photos.

Make sure to book your session at least one month in advance if you need any printed materials by a certain date (especially during holiday season).

HOW WILL MY PHOTOS BE USED?

I am proud of my work and I like to occasionally post photos from my clients on my Facebook page or website portfolio. As per my photographer contract, I may use your images to promote my business. Breastfeeding and naked photos will never be used. Besides that, I do not share or sell your photos to anyone.

MY CHILD WON’T STAY STILL, WILL THAT BE A PROBLEM?

It is extremely rare for a child to stay still for a session, I don’t want them to! I like to portray who they are and get those genuine giggles. However a well rested and well fed baby/child does a lot better in front of the camera.

Please, fill out my contact form to ask any questions or to request a booking. 

Take your own pregnancy photos

10 fundamental tips to do it (almost) like a pro

Best maternity photography

 

Just like you, I am taking the safety of my family and my community very seriously. While I would LOVE to see you for such an important milestone in your life, the current circumstances are forcing us all into finding creative ways to live a somewhat normal life. 

With that said, I’ve put together a quick guide for you to take your own maternity photos that will be worthy of your walls. 

 

1. Lighting

Probably the most important ingredient for a good photo is lighting.  Most would think that a gorgeous sunny warm afternoon is the best time for great photos.  However, as nice as those days are, they are not ideal for photos.

The best time to take pictures is sunset. During the early afternoon, the sun is directly above your head or somewhere high up enough to create harsh shadows; these shadows are strong enough to hinder all softness in an image and will make you frown.

At sunset time, the sun is right in front of you (as long as you are facing west), filling every feature and detail of your face with tender light.

Even better are the 20 minutes after sunset.  By then the light is pinkish, soft, nostalgic, and most importantly, you won’t be frowning.  Forget the flash and let this soft light do the magic!

An overcast day is also great option if you want to take photos earlier in the day and not worry about the sun’s position.  Cloudy days don’t create as many shadows as sunny days do.

2. Learn about your camera ahead of time.

Most cameras, even if they are small point and shoots, have semi manual settings. Read about the basic settings for your camera and practice using them at home.  If you don’t have an instructions manual, try finding an online tutorial for your camera model.  What you want to achieve are good lighted photos without a flash.  The settings that would allow for this (if available) are:

ISO: a relatively high ISO will allow to take photos in poor light conditions without a flash and without blur.  Too high of an ISO can cause a lot of graininess, so there’s a middle ground to be had.

Aperture: The smaller the aperture number the more light will come in the image.

Shutter Speed: You want at least a shutter speed of 150 or higher.

Another super important feature to learn in your camera is the self-timer. This will allow you to set the camera on a tripod just the way you want it without help. Although for this I strongly recommend to get your partner involved, we don’t want a very pregnant belly running back and forth! Ask your partner to pose for you, set the photo frame where you want the photo, go stand next to your partner and make him/her be the one to push the button and rush back to pose.

3. Scope the location

The issue with the perfect lighting is that it lasts little (especially if you don’t have a professional camera). So you want to make sure you know what kind of shot you want and where. Scope the location ahead of time (we have so many in Santa Cruz), arrive an hour or so before sunset to make sure you get the photo-shoot going in the right direction and pick the best spots.

4. Get a tripod or ask a friend or relative to help (and make them read this)

Borrow a tripod if you don’t have one,  or ask a close friend or relative to help with the session. Make sure that they learn the basic settings for your camera and practice a bit before the photo-shoot.

5. Background and patience

Think your photo through. Look at the frame, do you really want those cars driving by on the background? or all those electric wires? or those tourists with visors? position yourself in a spot where you’ll have the least amount of non-photogenic or irrelevant elements and be patient, wait for the joggers to leave the frame, reposition if necessary, it’ll be worth it.

6. Respectfully refuse passers-by help

Perfect lighting by sunset doesn’t last long.  As sunset nears, respectfully avoid allowing kind passers-by to take your photo – you can thank them and explain that your are trying to learn how to use your camera. If you allow a stranger to take the photos, the most likely scenario is that they won’t know what they are doing other than pressing a button, you’ve put a lot more thought into this than anyone else so be confident.

7. Create a memory

Why do you want these photos?  As a mom, I know it wasn’t just because I felt like a gorgeous pregnant woman (which I was!) but because I wanted to look back to these moments, the story of the how most amazing person I’ve ever met (my son) got to this world.

Think about your reasons for the photos while you are taking them, look at your belly, think about “the day” as you look into the horizon, kiss your partner with all that love that brought you to this moment.

Make it a special day, if you have a partner take it as a date, go for dinner after sunset and enjoy the evening as much as  you can, you’ll value the memories when looking at the images.

If you don’t have a partner go with a very close friend, parents, or whoever is going to be an important part in your baby’s life.

8. Dimension

Most portraits are better when taken at chest height or lower. This gives the image a bit more perspective than a simple flat photo. Think about it, if you take the photo from face height or higher, you’ll probably miss the beautiful sky, showing mostly floor space on the back, you may also miss the pretty mountains, or the board walk rides! Plus these kind of sights are always a better contrast to the main object of the photos, you!

9. Clothing.

You are pregnant, you are beautiful, and every curvy line is too, you need to show that off! it won’t last much longer…wear clothes that show your curves, avoid loose fitting garments, show belly if necessary. Of course you want to be yourself, so make sure that whatever you wear feels like yourself.

10. Get inspired.

Go online and look for other maternity photos.  A great resource is pinterest. Make sure you limit yourself to only a few favorite shots.  Allow room for creativity though, use this as a tool to get inspired instead of trying to recreate someone else’s photo. Most importantly is to be realistic, maybe the shot you want doesn’t work with the location or lighting that you chose so be selective.

So go ahead and schedule your very own photo-shoot and have fun! check the weather though, you don’t want to end up shivering while trying to show off the belly. And please, if this helps you as much as I hope, share the outcome with with me!!!!