Ocean Beach Maternity Session | Bay Area Maternity Photography | San Francisco, CA

Lately, photo sessions at TeAirra Mitchell Photography have been a little slow. The weather has been gloomy and stormy so on location photography isn’t the most popular around this time of year. But the weather is starting to warm up, the days are beginning to get longer, and mamas are announcing their pregnancies left and right.

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When Jasmine emailed me about a maternity session, I was over the moon! I’ve so missed seeing that special maternal glow, the way dad’s smile at the woman carrying their little ones, and the excitement from the anticipation of it all. Finally, I get to work gorgeous mamas and their baby bellies! And imagine my excitement when I found out that this mama was expecting two little girls—there are no words.© TeAirra Mitchell Photography - Jasmine-17

Throughout the whole week of the shoot, we were worried about the storm that was due to roll in on the day of our shoot. Luckily, the storm decided to come a day later, leaving us with breathtaking skies and clouds during the shoot; sunset shoot, at Ocean Beach, over Sutro Baths with a beautiful couple waiting on their first-born twin girls, simply perfection! The weather wasn’t too cool, the wind didn’t give us a hard time, and everything was perfect, down to the dress Jasmine brought in for her portraits.

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I can only imagine what carrying twins must feel like, carrying one baby isn’t exactly a walk along the beach as it is, but Jasmine made it all seem so effortless and graceful. In the beginning she admitted she felt awkward taking pictures and being pregnant with twins (although she looked flawless), but she never once complained of discomfort either, and shared some pretty loving moments with Dad. They were both great to work with, and their gallery is my favorite maternity shoot to date.

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So, message to the all the mamas out there, even the ones carrying multiples:

Although you might feel larger that you care for, your belly feels like it might burst if those little people keep pushing around in there, and you just don’t feel as confident as you’d like, you’re beautiful despite it all. You’re creating the most precious little beings who are our future, and your maternity portraits will be an amazing part of your family’s legacy, so don’t let a few discomforts keep you from capturing this timeless moment in your family’s history. Find a photographer, find a dress you love, and get out there and have fun! Then enjoy the beautiful portraits that will result, that’s all there is to it.

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For more information on Maternity Sessions by TeAirra Mitchell Photography, please visit our website and send us a contact form, we’d love to get in touch with you. Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!

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RESTART (and some BTS)

When I started my business, I wanted to give people an experience. I didn’t just want to shoot and burn, but really give my clients something to look forward to, get excited about, and enjoy as much as I did.

I wanted sessions to be booked in person, over tea and coffee, and great conversation.

I wanted to have an amazing time at the sessions; creating portraits, and having fun with my clients.

I wanted to deliver images that made my clients so overcome with joy, they said, “I love it!”

I wanted to build relationships with my clients.

I wanted to send birthday cards to the kids, anniversary gifts to my brides and grooms, and baby gifts to my belly mamas.

I wanted my clients to have a beautiful portrait experience with the images to match.

And somewhere, I lost that vision.

I don’t know if it was the pressure to have outstanding work. Or maybe my desire to make everyone happy. Or even the longing of being recognized in the photography community as a truly great photographer, and not just a “mom with a camera” who shoots and burns.

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve started my portrait business, and although that isn’t much time, I feel like I’ve been around the world with all the experiences I’ve had during this journey.

The more I tried to fit in, the more I lost myself and what I wanted my business to stand for.

Tough times reveal who a person really is. And making it this far has been tough– to say the least. But you know what would have made it easier? Staying true to myself and the vision for my business.

Is my work the greatest out there? I wouldn’t say so, but it’s not too bad for someone who’s only been at it for a year.

Can I make everyone happy? Highly doubtful. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on how I can spread happiness through my photography.

Will I ever be recognized as a great photographer in the photography community? Who knows. But I’ll die trying.

I’ve come to the realization that this is who I really am, and I have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. And I’ll never get where I want to be trying to tag along for everyone else’s journey.

After a year of trying to figure this whole photography business thing out, I still don’t have all the answers (and trust me, I’ve searched high and low), and I probably never will.

I will, however, get better with time. I can promise that.

I’m done trying to do this to please everyone.

I started this because I had a vision. A vision to make time standstill in 1/250th of a second, so that one moment could last forever.

So that someday, a child could sit in their grandparent’s lap, point to a photo and say, “Who is this?” and hear story after story of all the amazing things accomplished in their family.

I fell in love with photography because it was the easiest way to share a specific moment in time with people.

Everyone knows it: a picture speaks a thousand words. And those words can be anything the photographer wants them to be, all with one click: BOOM. Magic.

It’s that simple to me. And I never should have complicated its simplicity.

Temporarily, I lost touch with myself. But after some reflection, I’m pleased to say I’m back– and I don’t plan to let anyone tell me what I see ever again.

Enjoy these behind the scenes snapshots of me doing some of what I really love: BEACH MATERNITY SESSION!

Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell
Behind the scenes snapshot of a beach maternity session by Bay Area Portrait photographer TeAirra Mitchell

Why Should I Hire a Photographer?

Anyone could walk into a store, and buy a camera. Even smartphones have exceptionally powerful cameras.

So why would you need to hire a photographer?

And with so many people purchasing cameras, making business cards, and calling themselves photographers, how are you supposed to know who is really a professional?

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is an organization dedicated to teaching photographers how to be a true professional photographer. PPA members have access to hundreds of classes and workshops that teach everything from lighting, posing, and retouching, to pricing, ensuring quality products, and providing great customer service—and that’s just to name a few!

I’m proud to say that I am a PPA member, and have grown immensely from being one. I’m on my way to becoming a Certified Professional Photographer, and am super excited about the journey!

But what does that mean for you?

Look at these samples provided by the PPA, and see how a professional photographer can take control of everyday situations and turn them into amazing photo opportunities!

 Avoiding Unflattering Shadows

SF Bay Area Professional Photographer
SF Bay Area Professional Photographer

 

Understanding Natural Light

SF Bay Area Professional Photographer
SF Bay Area Professional Photographer

 Manipulating Available Light

Bay Area Professional Photographer
Bay Area Professional Photographer

Professional photographer can take control of any situation to produce gorgeous images, all why staying true to their style, and creating unique images for you!

Still need more convincing? Email me at info@teairramitchell.com to book your free consultation, where you can ask as many questions as you like. I’m always happy to help.

Also, check out this video provided by my friends at the PPA.

PPA: See the Difference

 

To receive more free advice on photography services, click here.

Maternity Session: Heaven’s Little Surprises – Bay Area Photographer

In the midst of trying to build a portfolio, my amazing husband offers a lady he saw while at work everyday a photo session. She said she was interested, he passed my info to her, we talked, set a date, and had a session. I was so excited for this session because I had a vision in mind. I ordered a gown from the TAoPAN Store, made a floral crown, and brought along a few other effects to make the session pop. Little did I know, this mama-to-be would have a truly beautiful story to tell.

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As a photographer, I like to connect with whoever I’m working with. Making these connections not only help the overall outcome of the images, but it’s one of the things I enjoy most about my job; I have the potential to form bonds with new people! So, while talking to this mama, I asked if her and her husband had been trying long to conceive. Her story literally brought tears to my eyes

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Her and her  husband had been together  over 10 years (including the years before marriage), and they are clearly in love. The two of them together reminded me a lot of me and my husband together, actually. Both of our pregnancies, in fact, were a surprise, except we weren’t trying to conceive… hehe. This Mama and her husband, on the other hand, had been trying, and they’d been trying for a very long time with no luck. Mama said she’d given up hope and decided that if they were unable to conceive a child naturally, they’d adopt a child rather than artificial fertilization.

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She’d gone in to the doctor, requesting a fertility test and a flu shot because she’d been feeling a little sick.   The nurses told her they were unable to give patients the flu shot if they were already having symptoms, and that they’d also have to test for pregnancy because they really couldn’t give the shot if she was pregnant. Of course, she took the test, thinking it’d be negative, but God had decided to bless her and her husband with the baby they’d been praying for. I was floored by this testimony, and literally had to stop shooting for a bit to smile and take the time to share in the joy she was feeling.

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We had a good time during the session. Our husbands got along, she and I got along, and we kept in touch during her waiting-for-baby-to-arrive period. The baby is here, and he is happy and healthy! His birth story is a whole different blog post, one I hope will come with his newborn photos. Well, enough of the jibber-jabber, here are the images!

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MODEL CALL: Maternity July 2014

I’ve decided I’d like to focus on maternity and newborn for my first portfolio project. By the end of fall, I’m hoping to have 12 strong maternity images.

Currently, I’m casting a model call for Mamas who’d like to model this dress:

Dress by Sew Trendy Accessories  Image by "Cherish this Photography by Ashley"
Dress by Sew Trendy Accessories
Image by “Cherish this Photography by Ashley”

 

The dress, by Sew Trendy Accessories, is just stunning to me, and truly fits the style I’m hoping to accomplish. The image, by “Cherish This Photography by Ashley”, is quite similar to the style of photography I’m aiming to accomplish.

Are you a Mama-to-Be and loving this look? Or maybe you know a Mama that might like this look? Read on for info!

    • Models must agree and sign the contract as is, which mentions that your images may be used for publications as I see fit, including publications over social media.
    • Models must have a visible belly, and willing to show your belly; I’m asking potential models to send a side and front view of their belly to ensure their belly is indeed showing. For these photos I’m not asking for a boudoir styled model, just the belly to be shown.
    • As a model, you’ll have your make up done by a professional make up artist, receive an online gallery of 10 images, lowres and watermarked files of entire gallery, and 10% off print products. You also have the option to upgrade to a full gallery at 20% off. No purchase is required. 
    • Models will wear the dress displayed in the model call image, designed and made by Sew Trendy Accessories, along with other accessories I will provide.
    • You must be able to have transportation to and from the shooting location, which will be in the Bay Area
    • Models must attend the date assigned to them (assignment dates are currently TBA, but during the last two weeks of July); once you’re date is set, you are obligated to be present or will be charged the amount of a  full maternity session
    • You are not expected, nor will you be asked, to do anything to risk injury or harm to you or your pregnancy.

 

If you are interested, send an email to teairramitchell@gmail.com with your name, due date, and front and side view images of your belly. No more than 3 models will be chosen for this look, but applicants may book a session at a one-time, discounted price for this look only. If you think someone you know might be interested in modeling, pass the info on to them so that they may apply.
I look forward to hearing from all the Mamas, and hope to be able to work with all of you!
Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!