Back in April, I had the privilege of photographing Christavia and Dillon’s mellow studio Maternity Session in Richmond VA. I’m always thrilled when a couple chooses EmmiClaire Photography to capture such an exciting moment in their journey together. But this mellow studio maternity session was especially exciting because Christavia expressed to me that she wanted her photos to be more intimate than your run of the mill maternity session. “I want the session to be simple yet elegant,” she said, “with plenty of photos of my belly.”
Over the course of our time together, I would learn that this “simple yet elegant” approach to maternity was very much in keeping with Christavia & Dillon’s lifestyle. Consciously or not, these two seemed to understand that maternity is a meaningful experience no matter how big or small they chose to celebrate. There is exceptional beauty and quiet dignity in reveling in the small moments together without all the hoopla that we have come to expect these days from pregnancy announcements and gender reveals.
Christavia & Dillon’s Maternity Journey
Sharing the News
Like most women, Christavia discovered her pregnancy via two pink lines on a store bought pregnancy test. Faced with the task of delivering the news to her loving husband, Dillon, she knew she wanted to plan a sweet little surprise for him. “I bought a card, balloons, and a bunch of roses. I wrote something sweet in the card and placed the positive pregnancy test in the back of the envelope. He woke up to everything on the kitchen counter with a cup of coffee.”
I can almost imagine Dillon’s face, full of surprise, as he spotted the setup on the kitchen counter. Then the surprise as he opened the card to find the pregnancy test!
In lieu of a big announcement to the world that they were expecting, Christavia and Dillon chose a more intimate method of delivering the news to each of their friends and family members. “It just felt right to tell everyone individually,” says Christavia. In a world where we’re so focused on social media and making big events out of delivering news, this was a sweet little breath of fresh air, and in keeping with Christavia and Dillon’s mellow approach to impending parenthood.
When it came to knowing their sweet baby’s gender, Christavia and Dillon again took the quiet, dignified road. No gender reveal parties full of blue or pink confetti. No big gathering of family and friends. Just a loving mother and father alone together, holding hands and reading the results of a blood test from Christavia’s obstetrician. The results? A little girl! What a blessing.
The Pregnancy Experience
If you’ve ever been pregnant or known someone who has been pregnant, you know that the whole ordeal can be a strange experience full of weird aches and pains. Sometimes it feels like your body is not your own. It does things you could have never imagined. But pregnancy is also a thing of joy. “I was pretty sick the whole first trimester,” says Christavia. “That was miserable.” But at the end of her second trimester, Christavia would find that nausea replaced with the kicking and wiggling in her belly. “That part was probably my favorite. Our baby girl was so active.”
A Mellow Studio Maternity Session in Richmond VA
A lot of maternity sessions these days are full of nature and flowing gowns. Now, I am certainly not knocking that aesthetic. It’s lovely. But there is also something to be said for scaling things down, hearkening back to a simpler time and a singular focus – the people in front of the lens. That’s why Christavia and Dillon’s mellow studio maternity session worked so well.
When it came to planning her mellow studio maternity session, Christavia knew what she wanted. “I just knew I loved the studio vibes over everything else. I picked simple streetwear in shades of white because I’m drawn to the simplicity of that look. And I added a fun belly chain because I wanted to accentuate the most important part of the photos – the sweet girl growing inside of me!”
I am eternally grateful to Dillon and Christavia for entrusting me with the task of photographing their mellow studio maternity session. Whenever I photograph my clients, I take great care to make them comfortable. But never more so than when the subject matter is so incredibly personal as pregnancy.
I was in absolute awe of Christavia’s confidence and willingness to be vulnerable in front of the camera. She really wanted to show off her bare belly. That’s no easy feat when your body is going though so many changes, but Christavia managed quite well. “The whole shoot was so relaxing,” says Christavia. “Emily was great. She made good suggestions and overall she has a down to earth and fun personality. She made our maternity session a great experience.”
Interested in tips on staying comfortable for your maternity session, check out this post.
Looking Forward to Parenthood
First pregnancies are often a season of change, especially for the mother-to-be. It’s a time to put away the selfishness of our pasts and look forward to all the challenges and newness that parenthood will bring. “I’m most looking forward to watching my daughter grow into an amazing woman,” says Christavia, “and supporting her in anything and everything that she may do. I hope that she’s fearless. and that she goes after what she wants and lives her life to the fullest. I hope she is kind to others and that she knows that she has something beautiful to contribute to the world.”
The Arrival of Christavia and Dillon’s Baby Girl
Dillon and Christavia delivered their sweet baby girl, who they named Ana’Leah, at Johnston Willis Hospital not long after our mellow studio maternity session in Richmond VA.
“I guess you could say I’ve had her name picked out since high school,” said Christavia. “I’ve always liked the name Ana’Leah.”
Interested in viewing more maternity sessions by EmmiClaire Photography? Check out these blog posts:
Ready to book your maternity session? Contact EmmiClaire Photography today!