Category Archives: motherhood

Stepping out of my comfort zone [Maternity]-Wilmington NC Photographer

A good friend of mine was pregnant this winter and as her belly grew, I decided to photograph this moment for her. She had already had a boy, and it wasn’t documented so I wanted her to remember this pregnancy. She was having a girl. Regardless of your child’s sex, any pregnancy is important and these life moments should always be remembered. Even if its the most basic snapshot, a photo is something to be treasured when your mind doesn’t recall certain moments.

I’m a portrait photographer and I don’t necessarily offer this type of photography. I also don’t favor what is considered “traditional maternity” photos.  Initially, I looked through some examples of maternity photos and I decided I wanted to create something different. I wanted something soft, feminine and also that evoked a feeling when she would look back at these photos. If anything I wanted her to remember the kicks, the extra warmth she felt, and the feeling she felt as she had two heartbeats beating as one. Childbirth is one of the most miraculous things I have ever been able to witness. I wanted to create photos that would show how beautiful a pregnant woman is.  I’m not a mother but I think I can respect the process of being pregnant and respect the amount of love that is needed to follow through on those 9 months.

With that said, we woke early and did a sunrise session. I had explained to Joanna that the colors would be gorgeous at this time of the day, and we could play with the colors as showcasing what sex of the child would be. Lucky for us the sky was a pretty cotton pink and definitely related back to her having a girl.

The morning was brisk and windy and we definitely did everything possible to keep warm. We brought a bundle of blankets for her to nestle in and she dressed in layers for us to create different looks.  I was so worried that she would go into labor, but luckily she was warm.  Although it was very cold that morning Joanna was very comfortable as  I moved her into posing.

maternity black and white portrait in fort fisher, north carolina

Maternity Fine Art

maternity sunrise portrait in fort fisher, north carolina

Maternity fine art sunrise


This session allowed me to try new posing and focus on showcasing a subject that wasn’t necessarily present. I learned that with maternity there are few posing that you can do because the emphasis is the belly and the connection of the mom with her child. Without there being a physical being to hold and to have expressions to bounce off, I decided to showcase her body’s natural movement and shape.  Also picking a background to help create an artistic image for her to hold on to. (A soft canvas of nature with her as the main focus.) I hope that these images showcased her pregnancy in the purest and beautiful way.
pregnancy photos at kure beach in the winter sunrise winter maternity photo session in wilmington,nc sunrise at fort fisher maternity photographerfort fisher sunrise pregnancy photo shoot winter maternity photo shoot with a coat and scarves in wilmington,nc fort fisher maternity photo in the winter

Motherhood Portraits+ Wrightsville Beach, NC- Lifestyle family photography

Driving through Wrightsville beach on a Sunday at 6pm, I thought to myself, “hey it’s not going to be crowded at this point in time”.  Boy, was I wrong. I had planned for an evening shoot with a mom and her children this particular evening.

I had a vision of fine art black and whites that captured the soul of all three participants. I wanted something that evoked emotion and also evoked your senses. I wanted essentially something she could treasure forever…

Photographing children in family portraits is completely different from what I got to do with this family. I isolated just her and her two kids, in a setting that was definitely their norm, especially for the summer time. When we finally reached our destination we set up near Shell Island Resort.

This area is really pretty and distinctive in Wrightsville Beach. You have the luxury of sitting by the ocean and you have the option to stroll near the sound. The sound is filled with lush greens, and on a bright day, nice clear water.


We strolled near the sound at about two hours before sunset would start. The light was so magical and invigorating for a photographer. I watched Cat play with her two kids Gage and Charlotte and just photographed them being in their element.

The water was calm, and the sun was warm on their skin. This was a beautiful setting to produce the quality of images that I wanted and also to get those beautiful moments that a mom would want to look back upon.

mom playing with daughter in water

 They splashed, they laughed, we saw some fish, they felt the mud between their toes, and we ended the session with some pouts that we got as the kids did not want to leave the water.

Who wouldn’t just want to just float around all afternoon into the sunset.

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I have already shown Catherine “Cat” some of her images, and I was so delighted by her reaction and her want for these images to be printed. Not only did I get the reaction I wanted, but I was able to hand her something that will bring her back to the days of when her kids were smaller, life was a little easier, and the innocence of childhood was there.

I know kids grow up super fast, being a past kid myself, so I know that these images will be held to a high regard and will definitely be kept for many years to come.

I look back at the work of this session, and am so excited that I got to photograph such a special bond between mom and their kids. I only wish that my own mom and I had these types of photographs of each other.

fine art portrait of mom with her kids, black and white portrait of mom and her son, mom and son portrait, mom and son in wrightsville beach


So, don’t let yourself become the I WISH I Had, but the ones that take the leap and just do it. Don’t wait till your smaller, or feel prettier, or let life’s obstacles stop you from photographing yourself with your kids.

The time is too precious and too short, and at the end of the day, all that matters is how you felt that day, and what you can feel and remember when looking back at those photos.

[Wilmington, NC Photographer, Wilmington, NC Wedding Photographer, Wilmington, NC Senior photographer, and Lifestyle; NC wedding photographer] [Florida Commercial Photographer, Florida Lifestyle Photographer, Florida Wedding Photographer]

Paula Andrea

Wilmington, North Carolina Portrait Photographer

Specializing in Editorial/Commercial and Portrait work

(Personal Branding Photographer)

-Available for domestic & international travel-