This charming studio + beach maternity session is a beautiful display of love, joy, and anticipation of the arrival of a second child to Monique and Jon’s family. Incorporating two locations added variety and two separate feels to their family maternity session, one more refined and the other relaxed and fun. The perfect blend to document such a wonderful time in their lives!
Like many expectant mothers, Monique expressed insecurities about stepping in front of my camera, but the camera only captures the raw beauty of an expectant mother. Monique was a picture of grace, and I wanted to emphasize her beauty with a minimalistic and intimate maternity session using my hand-painted backdrops. My photography goal is to make every woman look and feel like a goddess they are regardless of their age, size, or skin color. These painted backdrops create a soft, timeless, elegant look, emphasizing the queen that Monique is. The chamomile flowers serve as a reminder of the chamomile tea she frequently has during this pregnancy for insomnia. It’s not often she gets to be in pictures with her child, so she particularly loved the photos of the raw candid emotions captured of her holding her firstborn son during the session; the way he laughs when she tips him upside down, the way he puts his snacks in her belly button and the way he buries his face into mommy’s embrace when he needs a hug. Monique has this superpower of turning Olly’s frown into a smile within seconds. These are sweet, special moments that represent who they are in this season of life. We then finished off the session with a mini outdoor family photoshoot on the beach in Gold Coast, Australia. I also particularly loved the way Jon (husband) looks at Monique with awe and admiration even after 11 years. Monique described the beach session as “chaotic” with a wet dress, wet dog and a wet toddler but Olly (son) was having the time of his life, in his element, wading in water and building sand castles. The beauty of lifestyle photography is telling client’s stories exactly as they are; motherhood is messy but it is beautiful in every way. -Hikari Lifestyle Photography
What’s your favorite family pastime together? Our favorite family pastime are the simple things; enjoying dinner altogether, taking a walk to the playground and relaxing in the living room in the evenings. Because my husband works long hours, we take advantage of the time being able to spend time as a family.
Any lessons you learned as a family through the last year? Time management. Becoming parents was like a light switch. In a moment, everything changed for us. Timing is of the essence, we have to plan out our days from morning to night to ensure we make the most of our time with Olly – one that we’re still learning today.
Tell us a fun or silly story that happened to your family recently! We recently went on a family trip to Tasmania and visited the MONA museum for the day. After a long morning, we needed to change Olly’s diaper as it was quite full so I sent the husband off to do so as they had no family bathrooms available. 10mins later, Jon comes up all flustered and tells me we need to go NOW! Worried, I chased after him and later he told me it was because as he stripped Olly, he peed twice all over the bathroom floor (shoes and pants too) as he couldn’t get the nappy on fast enough.
What does family mean to you? Family to me doesn’t mean it has to be blood related. It includes my dearest friends who have always been there for me through thick and thin. Those that cherish you, understand you and help you grow as we age.
What have you recently done to put family as a major focus in your life? Taking a step back in my career would be definitely be the answer to this question. Becoming a parent meant that we wanted to ensure Olly had parental presence in his daily life. Growing up, I have such fond memories of my parents spending as much time as they could with my brother and I, and it showed me how important the value of family was. Connecting with us and being present in the moment taught us the meaning of love and time and it’s one I want to teach Olly back.
What are the best things you’ve learned from each other? Becoming parents taught us the true meaning of love. It’s something intangible that can never be replaced and will always be apart of you. It also taught us the strength we have for one another. Wanting to do more, provide more and strive more not just to our kid but to one another as husband and wife.
If you had one piece of advice for other families, what would it be? Don’t compare and do what’s best for you! Every family is different and it’s so easy to say “the grass is greener on the other side”!