Featured Maternity Portrait Session: Autumn at Taughannock Falls

This super sweet family from Binghamton, NY contacted me for their maternity portraits after seeing my website and wanting something special to celebrate carrying their first child into the world. They drove up for a consultation, and we began brainstorming wardrobe and location ideas, over tea and developed a lovely plan.

Peggy’s dream maternity portrait session involved both in studio and on location at a waterfall. Being from Binghamton, they had only visited a few of the local waterfalls and were seeking my guidance as to which one would be most suitable for a 8 month pregnant mama to be photographed in front of in the middle of autumn. I showed them three different options which offered easy accessibility, some more private than others. When they saw a phone pic of Taughannock Falls, there mind was instantly made up. And so, Taughannock Falls State Park it was!

I sent Peggy home that day with several wardrobe ideas, a how to prepare for your portrait session information guide and arranged for hair and makeup artistry to arrive on the day of the shoot. She arrived the day of her shoot well rested, hydrated and excited!

Her first hour was spent in the hands of my Hair and Makeup Artist Jesse Jean. What I love about collaborating with Jessie is that she has a really great eye for color and can coordinate makeup/hair with the vibe of the shoot we’re going for. She decided on loose waves to give Peggy’s hair a little extra body, and applied some gorgeous BeautyCounter eye makeup shades that went perfectly with the dresses she would be wearing throughout her session.

Once she was ready to roll, we went into the studio and started with a white seamless backdrop. Peggy brought a very personal Yukata to her maternity session as a way to honor her Malaysian heritage where they are often worn.

While the main focus would be on how absolutely radiant Peggy was in her pregnant mama glow, it was also important that I somehow coaxed her open minded, albeit super shy husband in front of the camera as well.

Once we had created some magic with the Yukata, we switched wardrobe to another white top and skirt that she had brought along with her. As happens with many skirts a pregnant mama tries on, they don’t always fit, even when they did a week ago. Thankfully I had a backup newborn cloth in my studio that we turned into a makeshift “skirt” by wrapping it over the top of her jeans. You’d never know the difference unless i mentioned it. ha!

We decided to tone things down some and move on to trying a black backdrop and switched wardrobe to coordinate. I am a HUGE fan of black on black as a way to accentuate that gorgeous belly!

Her once reluctant husband’s nervousness and initial shyness was now a lifetime away, and as we talked about all of their plans as parents, we created some super sweet images of their love and connection.

Once our time in the studio was complete, we drove out to Taughannock Falls for the remainder of the portrait session. I came prepared with sparkling water and snacks and we had a bite to eat before we made the walk out to the base of the falls. Peggy changed into her dress, and we helped her by carrying the train on the way towards the falls. She certainly was feeling like a queen for the day!

The base of the falls was exceptionally low flowing for mid October, but the plus side for us was that it was also very quiet, barely a soul in sight. We were able to play for a longer time than expected, which was lovely being in such a gorgeous location.

They even wanted to dip their toes in for a bit! Watching their 15yr love and connection culminate into such tangible, playful, union before my lens was a truly magical experience for me. I imaged them coming back in a few years with their toddler son and playing in the water just the same.

With wet toes and cold feet, we all headed back towards the car to end our session. En route, Peggy’s husband commented that the large trees along the path reminded him of the bamboo forests in Malaysia where they’re from. Of course we had to stop and document them so he could show his family back home.

What an awesome way to end a maternity portrait session! While hiking with Peggy and her husband, I learned that her husband manages a sushi restaurant in the Binghamton area. And so I decided that after their Gallery Reveal appointment I would deliver their album and wall art to their home and then go eat myself some sushi!!!! If you’re ever in the area, you should check them out!

upstate, ny fine art maternity photographer

Leave a Comment