A phrase that I'm sure you've heard before! We use this phrase all the time to describe perfection, or at least the image of it, down to the minute detail. This is something that started being used in the early 20th century to describe wedding photographs where every single aspect of the pictures were planned to perfection.
This idealization of the "perfect" bleeds into so many different aspects of our lives, including pregnancy. As a woman in general we are constantly inundated with images of the "ideal" figure. During pregnancy you're surrounded by images and information on what the ideal pregnancy should be, what the "perfect" bump looks like, even down to what we should be feeling. It's incredibly easy to see all of these images and then look at ourselves and just feel...less than. It's so easy to feel that what we are experiencing isn't normal, isn't right, isn't perfect. The problem with that is that NOTHING is perfect! The term "picture perfect" itself was a term that came about in the early 20th century that had been used in reference to old Eduardian wedding photos, and guess what? It wasn't even popular!
So, is there even such a thing as the "perfect" belly bump? The answer, of course, is a RESOUNDING no. However, I don't expect you to take my word for it!
Meet Missie Lafrenz!
Missie is a photographer out of Iowa who knows a thing or two about capturing that beautiful belly shot. She's been in the business for 14 years and has a knack for capturing authentic and incredibly beautiful moments. I had the absolute privilege of getting to sit down and chat with her recently about what brought her to love maternity photography, some of her favorite stories in the biz, and what she thinks makes the "perfect" belly shot. She also had a few tips and tricks to getting that perfect glow in your maternity pics. Here are some of my favorite questions and answers from our chat!
“What first piqued your interest in Maternity Photography, what led you to the world of Maternity Photography over other forms of Photography?"
A: I love capturing the beauty of pregnancy and the joy that a new mother feels. I am a mother of 3 and know how wonderful being pregnant is. I capture all different types of people, but maternity is by far my favorite. I can be more artistic with maternity, and women are more willing to show off and be in the spotlight when they are pregnant, which allows me to show them how beautiful they are!
“What is your favorite aspect of Maternity Photography?"
A: I love that women are more confident when they are pregnant, which means they are more outgoing and accepting of themselves for pictures! I get to capture them in a way they have never seen themselves before and hopefully they carry that confidence with them past the pregnancy!
“Have you ever had any mama's nervous about showing their bump? How do you approach making your mamas comfortable and at ease during a photoshoot?"
A: More and more women are wanting to show skin, which is wonderful! Gone are the timid days and bagging dresses...stretch mark and varicose veins are more accepted and that allows women to be more confident! I definitely don't push anyone out of their comfort zone...but pampering yourself before the session will help with the nerves and will make you feel more confident.