Why I Love Capturing Maternity Portraits

Why i love maternity photos

Why I love capturing maternity portraits: Maternity sessions are one of my favorite to capture because this season of life is nothing short of magic; the beauty of a women’s body growing as she nurtures life inside her, her wonder and joy, the excitement and anticipation of the parents as they await the arrival of their tiny miracle, the strengthening bond between couples. My passion is to capture love. And bringing a new child into the world is, undoubtedly, love in its purest form.

maternity portraits on the beach

Pregnancy is Sacred

One of the most holy and amazing chapters in a woman’s life is the season as life takes shape inside her. Pregnancy is sacred, it is beautiful, and it is a miracle. Every momma-in-waiting deserves this chapter of her story captured in a stunning way that savors the beauty and feeling during her journey of motherhood.

beautiful mom to be with floral crown in field
daughter hugging mom's belly

Luxurious Stress-Free Maternity Session

My ultimate goal as a San Diego maternity photographer is to not only produce stunning images, but to also provide a luxurious, stress-free experience and a timeless and tangible way for moms to remember what that moment in time felt like. That fierce love and connection she had with the baby growing in her belly. The beauty, power, and femininity of pregnancy. The joy of the soon to be big brother and sister as they giddily await baby’s arrival. The growing bond and anticipation between parents as they begin a life more beautiful than they could ever imagine. The last moments when you only had one child to love. I want a mom to look back on the images captured and relive the feeling of her incredible journey.

maternity photo at Windandsea beach
glowing mom to be on the beach
dad snuggling mom to be in field


Ready to book your maternity or newborn session? Contact me for more details or to begin planning your maternity portrait session today!
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Natural Newborn And Maternity Photography – San Diego

pregnant mom and daughter snuggling

I just photographed this family’s new sweet baby boy, and cannot wait to upload that gallery to the blog! This maternity session was all about connecting and being together before their family turned into four. Adding a second child to your tribe is such a wonderful time to celebrate! But those last few weeks as a family of three – all you’ve ever known – is something to be cherished and treasured.

Your baby is turning into a big sibling, you’re about to experience that sweet newborn stage all over again, and your hearts are about to grow with double the love. These pictures are ones that will always remind you of that special bond between you and your first child.

black and white family close up
mom and daughter hugging moms belly
family of three walking in field
dad holding daughter on shoulder while kissing mom
pregnant mom holding big sister

Let Kids Be Kids

Rowan loved snuggling her mama’s belly and exploring in the field finding bugs and snails. Kids thrive when they are able to just be themselves in a natural environment – I will guide families into natural and candid moments so that every image I capture is at your most natural and comfortable.

The best shots are when you’ve forgotten about all that’s around you, and you’re locked in the moment of being present and enjoying that wonderful quality time with your family. So let your kids wander our location, let them pick up sticks and play in the grass. Their natural smiles will come out, they will entertain themselves, and the result will product the most memorable images of their childhood.

mom laughing holding daughter
little girl in flower crown looking at camera
dad smiling with little girl in arms
mom carrying daughter

Capturing Memories At Every Stage

This family, like many of my clients, are part of my Collective Membership Program – so I will get to capture Henry’s baby milestones as well! It’s so important to me to document all that life you experience with your little ones while they grow. Especially during the first year, all mamas want to do is soak in every single moment with their babies and connect with their growing family. Being present during that time is what makes your motherhood journey so memorable! Having those Collective Membership sessions scheduled (newborn, 6 months, first birthday) will guarantee images that wonderfully capture your sweet babe’s budding personality as they grow.

man holding pregnant wife's belly
family of three in field hugging
maternity photo in field
pregnant woman in field

Turning Your Dreams For Your Photos Into Reality

When we chatted about mom’s hopes for the session she told me she wanted “the perfect mommy daughter photo, and to capture this point in time when I’m still her favorite. For the three of us, capturing the natural family connection, smiles and laughter. All with that perfect lighting!” I always love to hear what clients envision for their portrait session before we work together. It gives me a sense of the memories and emotion you’d most love to capture! This way every image you receive is exactly what you pictured – beautiful, natural, and organic images of you and your precious family.

girl holding moms bely pregnant


Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.
HMUA: @uniqueandflawless
Floral Crown: @flowersbykendra

Contact me for more details or to begin planning your family or maternity portrait session today!

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Creating a Stress Free & Enjoyable Maternity Session

Luxury Portrait Experience

My ultimate goal as a maternity photographer is to not only produce stunning images, but to also provide a stress free & enjoyable maternity session. For this reason, a maternity portrait session with Michelle Popp Photography is designed to create a luxury experience for you and your family from beginning to end.

Personalized Styling & Client Wardrobe Collection

Hands down, choosing what to wear is the most stressful part of photos. I take the stress away by styling my clients in the perfect wardrobe. All clients have access to my beautiful client wardrobe collection taking pressure off of them to find something to wear. I have carefully curated wardrobe with maternity clients in mind knowing what will photograph beautifully; soft colors, delicate textures, beautiful details, and a perfect fit to compliment and accentuate a growing belly.  

curated dresses in Client Wardrobe Collection

Slow Down, Relax, and Soak it All In 

More often than not, couples expecting a baby are extremely busy. Meticulously planning for their little one’s arrival if it’s their first, chasing around and taking care of another little one if it’s their second, third, or fourth…I strongly believe that in order to capture raw emotions and love, I have to help clients slow down and relax.

I always remind clients at the start of the session that the whole purpose of the maternity session is not only to create beautiful images, but to be fully present in the moment and connect with each another with no distractions. Forget about everything else for that hour and just be present. It’s about soaking in those last moments together when it is just the two of you, or those last moments before your family of three becomes a family of four. It’s about being present in this moment before your world is forever changed and you soon forget what this prior life was like.

I recently had a client who was pregnant with her second baby boy say to me during her maternity session, “This is so nice to enjoy this time together as a family and really connect before we become a busy family of four. This is the first time I have actually been able to slow down and really soak in this moment.” That made my heart sing! THIS is a huge part of my passion of photography; and if a mama-to-be can be present and embrace this short time with me, it will forever be alive for her in the moments I capture.

dad kissing mom to be on forehead in maternity photo

Day of Pampering With Professional Hair & Make-up

Pregnant mamas deserve to be pampered, especially the day of their session. I offer hair & make-up services to all clients. The artists I partner with specialize in enhancing your natural beauty to make you look & feel gorgeous in front of the camera. She travels to your home the day of the session making it super convenient.

Hair & Make-up artist doing client's make-up

Heirloom Artwork

I make it so easy to enjoy your beautiful images so they don’t only make an appearance on social media for a day or sit their on your computer. After your session we meet for an ordering appointment where you will view your images in print for the first time and choose the heirloom artwork you love.

heirloom album

Ready to book your maternity or newborn session?  I typically book 2-3 months in advance, but sometimes I have last minute availability. Contact me for more details or to begin planning your portrait session today!

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How to choose the best location for your newborn portrait session

In-Home Session vs. In-Studio Session

One you’re back home from the hospital and your baby is settled into their new nursery, it’s time to capture those first sweet images of your newborn baby! You might wonder where the best location is to capture those priceless images – should you do them at home? Should you go into a studio? What about props? Where will baby (and you!) be most comfortable? Today I would love to share what the biggest differences and benefits are between having in-studio and in-home portraits done!

mom sitting on bed with new baby
new parents holding baby boy in swaddle
black and white hands on baby
baby boy looking at camera with eyes open
mom and dad holding new baby

Why book a newborn portrait session?

The purpose of your newborn portrait session is to capture sweet details and priceless moments of your babe’s first expressions, movements, and tiny newborn details. These are sacred images you will forever treasure and thank yourself for capturing – they’re only so tiny and little for such a short amount of time. With newborn imagery, you get to bottle up those fleeting moments with stunning and organic images you can frame, or put into an album.

newborn baby with eyes open on white bed
mom in dress nursing infant

Newborn Photos Done In-Studio

I love to photograph out of my home, where I have a luxuriously designed in-home studio full of everything you’d need to capture the best imagery of your new little one. Warm, natural light pours in all throughout the morning, the room is kept warm and cozy (babies get cold easily), and all props are readily available to easily grab and use. My in-home studio provides clients with the best of both worlds: a comfortable, relaxed, and natural home setting designed for capturing a wide variety of stunning imagery of your babe.

newborn girl wrapped in a brown swaddle
up close of mom and baby girl snuggling
baby girl in white headband and white swaddle

Having your portraits done in-studio is also less stressful for mama and baby, since you wont have to worry about clutter or noise coming in to disturb our session. I allow for plenty of time during the session to nurse, interact with baby, get those perfect natural-newborn poses, and to calm baby if there’s any fussing.

close up of dads hands holding babys head
mom holding new baby on shoulder

For their portraits, I will carefully lead your baby into natural, soft, and comfortable poses on a bean bag to give more of a variety for baby’s solo images. Photographing in-studio provides beautifully controlled imagery in a cozy environment designed to pamper both mom and babe.

mom in pink dress holding baby boy in white swaddle
newborn baby boy in blue onesie

Newborn Photos Done In Your Home and Baby’s Nursery

Your home and baby’s nursery is naturally a comfortable environment for baby since the smells, sounds, and environment are most familiar. It’s a sacred and special place, because it’s where you first brought home your little bundle! At a newborn session done in your own home, we will begin by grabbing a few shots of baby by themselves. But typically these portraits are done while mom holds baby in her arms, or with them lying on the bed/in their crib.

parents on bed with two kids laughing
mom holding two kids on bed
details of nursery for baby girl

I always bring along a few neutral and cozy swaddle blankets to in-home sessions, so that the imagery reflects my light and airy photographic style. I do however require at least one room in your home where there is ample natural lighting and the wall color is neutral. Normally this is a room where the soft and indirect sunlight keeps it well lit throughout the morning.

mom nuzzling newborn baby girls nose
big brother on bed with newborn sister

We will also capture images of beautiful details of your baby’s belongings! This includes room decor, heirloom items/toys, and any other detail you would want included in these portraits. In-home sessions are typically more lifestyle-focused, where mom and dad (and siblings of course) are invited to interact with baby as they would if I was not there.

newborn baby girl on blue sheet with dog lying next to her
mom lying on bed with newborn baby girl
mom in cream dress holding newborn baby girl
dad holding baby girl in arms

The Benefits of A Newborn Portrait Session

At both the studio and in-home, you will have the chance to interact, snuggle, and bond with your new baby! I will lead you into organic and candid moments in order to capture the best most natural poses of you and your new little one together. This portrait session is all about celebrating the new life you’ve created, capturing their tiny details and hints of personality, and enjoying the bond you’re creating.

newborn baby girl in white headband
mom and dad holding newborn baby girl on pink bed
mom and dad holding newborn baby girl
newborn baby in white swaddle looking at camera

Wardrobe and outfit styling for your baby’s newborn session

Your little babe will be in a soft, neutral swaddle for their portraits, as well as wearing tiny accessories such as simple headbands or bonnets if you wish. They don’t need much else! But what about mama? I provide all of my clients with a gorgeous, hand-picked selection of beautiful gowns and dresses from my Client Wardrobe Collection to wear for your shoot!

mom in white dress holding newborn baby

I have a wide selection of designer dresses for mamas of every shape and size, and plenty of outfits for babies up to age 5. My curated collection includes a variety of neutral tones and soft patterns that all flow perfectly well together, making it a breeze to choose your outfits for your portraits. Almost everything I have is nursing friendly, for those moms who want that intimate bonding time captured with their babes. There is also an option to add on hair and make-up, so that you can look and feel completely stunning and refreshed for these special photos.

Ready to book your newborn photos? Let’s Chat!

Prior to our portrait session, we will meet for an initial consultation to discuss the little details. where your portrait session will take place – in your own home, or in the studio – and then decide on wardrobe styling for you and baby (and siblings, if they will be in any of the photos).

black and white of baby lips
black and white of baby hair
black and white of baby fingers
black and white of newborn sleeping on dad's chest

Approximately 2-3 weeks after our session we will meet at my home studio in San Elijo Hills for your custom ordering & design appointment where you will view and hold your images in print for the first time! You will be able to touch & feel the beautiful heirloom quality pieces I offer. During this time, I help you design your images into tangible memories that perfectly flow with your family style and home decor. This is also when you choose and pay for digital files, framed fine art prints, and/or an heirloom album. 

Typically newborn sessions are done within the first two weeks earth side, to best photograph them at their sleepiest and squishiest. Send me a message to book your consultation session so we can talk due date, location of choice, and plan your precious babe’s first portraits!

newborn baby girl on bed in white swaddle
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Outdoor Family Photography in Rancho Penasquitos

Getting The Most Out Of Family Photos

Choosing the right photographer for your family portraits is a process, but when you find your perfect match for your style, that’s when magic happens! That close relationship that builds throughout the duration of your portrait sessions cannot be paralleled.

I’ve been photographing this family for the last two years and absolutely treasure when clients become friends, as they have. So far we have captured the maternity, newborn, 6 month and 1 year milestones through my Collective Membership Program! I will also be seeing them again at my annual Motherhood Event in a few short weeks.

Father Son Bonding Time

Dawson and his daddy have such a sweet and special relationship! He loves his dad, and they were both all smiles the entire time. I love when I get to photograph dads blissfully playing and enjoying their babies – family portraits are such an amazing opportunity to capture those organic and natural moments together!

Raw, Real, And Candid Imagery

Having family photos done can be intimidating at first, wondering how to pose and whether or not you’ll look “natural.” I am drawn to totally organic and candid imagery, and rarely pose my clients (or even have them constantly look at the camera and smile!).

The images that bring out your most raw and real selves are the ones where you’re focused on each other and simply being you. I will guide you into natural and effortless moments, where you can engage with one another and forget I’m there. Our goal together is to create memories that last a lifetime through professional imagery. You will see nothing but love, laughter, and happiness through the photos we take!

How To Dress For Family Photos

Part of my services include offering a complete Client Wardrobe that is available to all mamas and babies up to age 5. I carefully and thoughtfully select each clothing item for each client based on our location, your style, fit, and color theme!

For dads, I always recommend wearing neutrals to compliment – khakis, earth tones, light blues, creams, and whites are always best choices. You deserve to be completely stress-free when planning your family portraits, and in my opinion planning your coordinating outfits is the hardest, most stressful part. I love being able to take care of wardrobe styling for my clients!

Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.
Hair and Make-Up: Unique and Flawless. 

Let’s Capture Your Family Memories Together

Natural, bright, and timeless family photography that evokes emotion, sweet memories, and overwhelming joy every time you look at your beautiful imagery is an investment. Working with me is not just another portrait session to check off every year – it’s an immersive and luxurious memory-making experience you will never forget! Mother’s Day is coming up soon, and what better gift to receive than the gift of priceless and gorgeous images of your precious family? I would love to work with you to begin planning your beautiful and luxurious family portrait session just in time for those summer memories to happen. Contact me ASAP to book your portrait planning consultation.

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The quality of Michelle’s work has been widely recognized by clients and top publications

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