7 Things to Do When Preparing for Your Maternity Shoot

Last week, I finally had the courage, and time to have my maternity shoot. 😀

It was such a surreal experience; it was a first time for everyone! My hair and makeup artist, the photo and video team, my husband, and of course, me!

I know it can be unnecessary, since we have so much to prepare for birth and the days after that, but I definitely wanted to push this idea to document this wonderful miracle while I can. And of course, it won’t be possible for me not to write about it here. Teehee!

So I’d like to share some tips and a guide on what you need to do just in case you’ll be holding your own momma-shoot!

  1. Find a Comfortable Venue

I was 35 weeks when I had this shoot, and according to some of my readings, the best weeks to hold this photoshoot is when you are between your 28th to 35th. In this time, at least your tummy is showy enough to be captured, and at the same time, safer. We don’t want to be bothered by the fact that you can give birth any minute while posing for the camera, do we?

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Photo Credit: http://sanrafaelriveradventure.com/

I tried looking for studios, and a good AirBNB place, but all the places I’ve looked for are either too cramped, doesn’t allow photoshoots, or are waaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive!

Good thing, I stumbled upon a post in my feed about this cute getaway place in Bulacan. It’s called San Rafael River Adventure, and the place actually looks divine! 😀

They have a lot of fun activities that you can use for other types of shoots, like the prenup. But since I will just be using the entire accommodation, this should be enough.

It is highly important that you feel comfortable with the location or your venue, because of our condition. This is not the shoot where we can be adventurous. Leave it to the prenups and getaway trips! 😀

I booked the Glass Stilt Cottage, which is newly constructed by the way. I can’t believe I have a view of the lake in front of me! They have a comfy bed, and a jacuzzi. The space outside was enough to cater at least 6 people. There was a hammock, a sliding sofa, good lighting and a breezy weather to top it off. The air condition was good inside as well, plus the windows were perfect for those silhouette shots I was eyeing. Plus I thought that their rainy season promo was just perfect! So, what does a pregnant girl got to do? Book it right away of course! 😀

I am happy that the resort was very quick to reply, and I was given the available dates. I made a group chat, and voila, scheduled it right away together with the available dates of my team! 😀

2. Create Your Mood Board

I am a very bad pregnant-person-slash-client. Grr. I bash myself.

Oh well, I know I have to prepare for this weeks ago, but I was only able to send this to my team two days prior to our shooting day. I was too busy with some other things that I rarely had time to browse Pinterest or create a mood board.

But being the good crammer that I am, I was able to whip one just in time. Hehe 😀

Since I got a really good deal with Grid Studio too, (they are our civil wedding photo and video team by the way); they offered me unlimited shots, so yeah I want to maximize that. 😀

I thought about 5 sets and took inspiration from the things I found online, and of course with the available props and wardrobe that I have.

a. Whimsical Woman

I bought this pink ensemble way back in May, thinking it could be a good alternative for a bridal robe for my church wedding. But turns out, it could serve its purpose at an earlier date!

I also bought these flower crowns in SM. I couldn’t decide which one I like more, so I got them both. Haha Ayoko na pahirapan sarili ko! (I don’t want to have the burden of thinking which one is better!)

b. Simple and Laidback Mom + Hubby

I saw a lot of simples, and laidback shots that are perfect to include baby things, and the husband too. It looks soft on the eyes, very loving, and “very family”.

c. Boss Mama

This one is credited to my working-productive-self! Even though I’m pregnant, I am still very hands-on in my business especially that it’s new and the brand is just starting to pick up.

I always tell myself, I will not lose my identity and individuality just because of the new role that motherhood could bring; more so, it will be a big improvement. I will be a much better version because I’m adding a new role in my resume.

d. Boudoir

I actually wanted one before prior to getting married, but due to time constraints and indecisiveness, I wasn’t able to come up with one. Hopefully, when I get my body back post-pregnancy!

So in the meantime, I thought why not have one while expecting? It’s a totally new form because for once in my life I am not skinny, and I’ve got a few extra curves to flaunt. 😀

I can’t wait to share the silhouette photos! 😀

e. Summertime

Since I love wearing a bikini, and there was a Jacuzzi in our venue, there was no way I would pass on the opportunity of wearing one.

It was very funny too, because for once in my life, I have to buy an extra-large bikini! Haha 😀 I was pretty sad when I didn’t get the color I wanted because I was too big for the available Large size. Goodie, they have this red one that can fit my baby bump.

Which reminds me, I actually had a mini shoot wearing a bikini when I was in Bataan. I was 18 weeks here, and you could see how I just look ‘busog’.

3. Find a Good Maternity Shoot Team

This was easy. I was able to establish a really good relationship with my civil wedding photo-video-HMU team that I thought about them instantly. They actually haven’t done any maternity shoots, so this made the whole experience more exciting.

I actually thought of getting other suppliers, but I realized I will still get a better deal if I get my original team. I also saw some studios offering maternity shoots. Sure they are cheaper, but what I didn’t like is that they don’t give raw files of the photos, and they will only release like 5 to 10 shots, printed and edited. Plus there was no video too.

Grid Studio offered me unlimited shots, a video, printed photos and raw files, plus we can shoot anywhere I like, so yes, there was nothing left to discuss.

Elaine Cordova Makeup Artistry is such a good find too. She has done my makeup for a blog photoshoot and at my actual wedding, and I am really satisfied. She has great skills, plus I don’t have to burn holes in my pockets just to avail her airbush makeup. Elaine is also very instinctive, she knows what you want, asks for your makeup pegs, and deliberately retouches you every now and then, without you even asking.

4. Know Your Poses

Expect a lot of dreamy looks and belly-touching poses on a maternity shoot. So be sure your nails are polished! If you gain some weight and some extra chubbs in your face like I do, be sure you know your angles so you can still achieve the looks you want.

It’s also good to research poses with your husband/partner so things could go on smoothly. I am so happy that Rose and Michael of Grid Studio are very directive when it comes to poses. It was amazing how they handled and directed us even though it was also their first to cover a maternity shoot.

5. Prepare Your Props

We weren’t able to buy a lot of props, but good thing I was able to nick some of the random shopping baby finds we had. Plus it is so helpful that friends and family also gave their baby gifts earlier! Haha More props for us!

Here is the list of the props I think would help add more character to a maternity shoot:

  1. Baby clothes
  2. Baby shoes (Be gender specific)
  3. Baby socks
  4. Baby toys
  5. Ultrasound Photos
  6. Baby book / Storybook
  7. Pregnancy book
  8. Stuffed toy (I had a kangaroo with a little joey in its pouch)
  9. A figure of the first letter of baby’s name (We didn’t have time to find one. Sad. )

6. Get a Good Night Sleep The Day Before

Please do! It’s good for your skin, and to rid those circles under your eyes. Plus it helps you to have good energy for the entire day!

I only had an hour’s sleep though. I was finishing bulk orders ready for delivery the next day, that’s why. I think my strong desire and excitement for the shoot to happen are what sustained me to last the whole day! 😀

7. Enjoy Being Gorgeously Pregnant and Pose the Belly Away

Honestly, I was extra weary that I won’t look great in this shoot, because I’m fat, my skin is dry, my belly button is protruding, my linea nigra is so apparent, my face feels like it’s going to burst, etc.

But hey, I am a walking miracle! That should be enough to keep me happy and make me feel beautiful. So I just accepted all these flaws that I have in my head, after all, these are all normal for a pregnant woman, duh?

So I just prepared myself that I won’t get the usual results in this photoshoot, unlike the past ones. I have to accept that early on. I will look different. Very different. But there’s a growing life inside me, and this little one is going to change my life forever. And being able to document that in a maternity shoot is already a blessing. Truly, something I would treasure for the years to come.

If you are thinking of having one too, I highly recommend it! It doesn’t have to put a big dent on your wallet though. You can always have the kind of shoot you want, whether in your home, studio, in a DIY setup, on the beach, or anywhere you find it comfortable doing. You just have to do your research, and be resourceful!

Go my mermom merfriends! 😀 Be confident and strut that baby bump soon! 😀 You only get pregnant once, or twice, or thrice! Haha 😀 Whatever the frequency is, it would be a great keepsake for your family to remember by, and a great photo to show the little one once he is outside too!

I will share my final shots when I get them!

Enjoy your pregnancy! I’m popping soon!

**, Via

How to Achieve Your Korean Drama-Inspired Prenup Photoshoot

One of the best things about pulling off a Kdrama-inspired photoshoot is that it is sooo affordable!

If you’re a budgetarian bride like me, you would agree that shooting indoors saves you much more money than its other contemporaries.

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With only 28 days for my civil wedding preparation, I knew I had to cut costs, let go the unnecessaries and focus more on the essentials.

While a prenup photoshoot may be unnecessary, I still tried and convinced my then-fiance into having one. I just think it would be a good keepsake for us as we embark on this new chapter of our lives.

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He just said I have to source suppliers that are within our budget. So, being the matyaga and kuripot that I am, I was in no way letting my talent go to waste in finding the perfect wedding suppliers.

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It was also a good bait to tell John that I was planning to have a K-drama-inspired prenup! He is such a HUGE fan! Oh my, huge may even be an understatement! But nevertheless, this seemingly-too-much-information can be the main reason why my prenup dreams are finally coming true!

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So here are my tips and tricks on how you can achieve yours too!

  1. Indoor Venue

The good thing about this K-drama concept is that you don’t need an extravagant place to shoot! All you need is good lighting and soft color tones as your background.

You can even just rent an Airbnb! 🙂

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Ours was Maison Soleil in One Castilla Place. Peso Power:  P3,769.34

We were eyeing some good places as well, but our deciding factors were the price and the number of hours. As we would like to shoot more and be carefree with our poses, we didn’t want to be pained and rushed to the shoot with the limited time.

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Plus, the condo unit was such a convenience, because we had an instant dressing room already! 🙂

  1. Natural Korean Makeup

Since I was on a budget, I didn’t hire a professional makeup artist anymore. I found a nearby salon who was willing to do my hair makeup for only P1,000 .

I wasn’t expecting much since I do not need a super bonggang ayos. I instructed them to just make me look more like that of a Korean.

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I believe this is very crucial, especially if your Photo and Video team will also shoot for a Save-the-date video. I have seen Korean-inspired shoots that failed a notch lower because their makeup looked very Western.

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So just keep it clean, vibrant and youthful! Your beau may just even need a CC cream! 😊

  1. Matching Clothes

Pinterest is my bestfriend ever since I have been introduced to wedding planning. It’s so addicting, nakakapuyat! I have seen that Korean couples love matchy-matchy outfits, and sooooo… 😝

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We bought our grey sweaters from Uniqlo, and the colorful unicorn ones from H&M.

Since a pair of white rubber shoes is such a staple, and I happen to not own one  – I was just lucky enough to score a pair in Surplus Shop in SM North EDSA.

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Peso Power:  P499 (I know, such a steal!)

  1. Spontaneous and Quirky Poses

I believe the key to happy and vibrant photos are the good subject themselves. The photographers can only do so much, but it is the couple’s duty to look and appear enticing in the first place.

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Aside from well-researched couple poses, I believe these will come out naturally given that each person loves the other so much, and nobody would be feeling awkward towards the other anytime in the shoot unless they had a fight prior.. which I hope would never happen.

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You can usually just do your actual lambingan, tickling, smelling each other in weird places like the armpits or something. You can be crazy and fun! The rule here is to not be boring, and just be all pa-cute!

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Haha It really helps if you practice. Play some Korean or happy music to get you in the mood! 😀

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  1. A Good and Reliable Photo and Video Team

I was nearly hopeless about pushing an engagement shoot because I do not really know anyone who can pull off what I want with the budget I have.

But my prayers were answered, and I found Grid Studio! Contact No: 0906 617 2099

Peso Power: P12,500 (Originally P16,000)

Inclusions: Prenup Shoot, Save-the-Date video, Photo Coverage and Wedding Highlights

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I was sooooo shocked when they gave me their rates, and I had an additional 30% discount because my civil wedding will fall on a weekday!

They didn’t even charge me an out-of-town-fee, considering our shoot and wedding venue is in Quezon City, considering they are from Laguna. 🙂

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Talk about destiny and stars aligning to make my prenup dreams come true!

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I was just thinking of having decent photos in our wedding, nothing too stellar, because I know the price I’m paying for. But I was totally stunned with how good their editing was, and how they were able to capture the candid and lively tomfoolery John and I were doing during the shoot.

I also specifically instructed to use a dreamy and whimsical filter to suit the mood. 😉 And oh boy, how they did not disappoint!

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I can say we got more than what we paid for.

The team just got this talent and pure eye for detail. And I’m so grateful I stumbled upon Grid Studio’s page.

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So here are my five tips and tricks into achieving that Korean Drama- Inspired Photoshoot! I hope you learned a thing or two to get ready and say Saranghae to your Oppa in your photos!

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Kamsahamnida! 🙂

 

**, Via

7 Tips on How to Survive Your First Photoshoot

About a week ago, I had my first legit photoshoot for my brand, Versaheel. It felt surreal really! I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, considering I really don’t have any background on posing in a studio, or a strong experience in striking poses with a lot of people staring at you.

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“Who is this girl? “Why is her hair orange?”

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But I survived it! I mean them! I had a 2-day photoshoot, and they were magnificent!

I know, I started selling shoes way back 2009, with only a 2-megapixel camera phone and my too-tired set of feet from long hours of standing in nursing duties, I brave the traffic and sometimes rainy weather to go to the Marikina Market, and take photos of newly delivered shoes!

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It felt like a real treat for me! I remember dreaming for hours to pass by until dismissal so I can quickly pack my bags and head home, and oh, make a not-so-quick stop from my kind suppliers! 😀

There were also times when I console myself by cheating a self-promised 30-minute Multiply (the social media giant that time, Facebook wasn’t popular yet) posting and selling just so my wits will wake up amidst studying for the finals. The 30 minutes usually turn to 3 hours. 😀

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Fast forward to now, I have a studio, an outdoor venue, photographers, makeup artist, and a publicist! I could have never imagined these things when I was only 20 years old!

So if you’re a teenager, a 20-ish person, or someone who has a lot of dreams, never let those go! You’ll never know the world is actually watching you, and someday it will be ready to launch you.

I’m not a pro on this, but just in case this may come in handy, I’ll tell you things I learned on how to survive your first photoshoot.

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  1. Sleep early and arrive early.

This helps so much to ease away the appearance of the dark circles under your eyes. It’s also good to arrive early so that you can have a lot of time for your hair and makeup, consequently more time for the photoshoot itself!

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More time could also mean more photos! It also buys you time for changing and retouch!

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  1. Hydrate yourself.

This is quite a problem, especially that I don’t fair well with the water department. If you’re not hydrated enough, your lips will be chappy! This doesn’t look nice, especially on headshots and closeups!

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  1. Know your angles.

I have quite a pudgy face, and I know my right cheek is extra plumpy than the other side. So I could say right sideways is my best angle! Practice in a mirror so that you would know!

Hey, don’t stress too much! No one is that perfect! Every picture-perfect model also knows how to look best on camera, and we should too!

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  1. Have a concept in mind.

What are you trying to highlight? Is it your hair, your makeup, your outfit, your shoes? Know the goal of this shoot so you could also prepare!

Most high-end shoots will probably take care of everything – the clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories. But while you have a say on how you will look, it’s better to be vigilant on the things you bring on the set.

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For example, I am promoting my shoes, so I have to downplay my dress, by sticking to plains and basic colors, and let my shoes shine! You don’t want to distract your audience by looking at the other things in the photo you are not even meant to advertise!

  1. Be nice to everybody.

I think this is such an obvious thing, but we’d like to keep a happy and nice environment, no matter how pressured you are. I mean if you need help with getting some BTS photos or some extra hand to zip your dress, and the people around are not compelled to even do these for you; you’ll get extra mileage and points by being nice and hopefully (and naturally) these people can extend a hand to do your little requests.

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  1. Close your eyes. Open them. Smile/Radiate the aura.

There are times when you are so tired already, your smile turns into a fake smile, worst a frown. The easy refresh button technique that I learned is to relax your mouth, close your eyes, and then pop! You will look natural again!

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As what Tyra Banks also said, “SMIZE!” Smile with your eyes!

And it also helps to uplift your spirits, even if it has to be on your own! I mean you’re the model, you should do your job! 😀

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  1. Have fun.

And the best advice is to have fun, and just enjoy it!

It’s not everyday you don’t have to ask someone to take a photo of you and hopefully, they get the right frame and angle. I mean you’re dealing with professional photographers here, and it’s such a wonder to not instruct them on how you’d like the photo to turn out.

Plus, your next Instagram photo will not be a selfie! Yay!

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I hope you learned a thing or two on this! I did too! And I am extremely grateful for all the people who have helped me make this photoshoot into a reality! These photos were released in an article about my story on how I started as a shoe designer. You can read that in The Story of a Dreamer : Via Galang.

As for this photoshoot, big applauses to these awesome people!

Hair and Make Up: Alvicel Cee of Alluring Vison by Cel

Studio: MeMo Photography Studio

Studio Photography: Evan Mogol Photography

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Outdoor Photography: Elvie Manlulu of Rugged Pixie

Outdoor Photography: Tobi Cabrera of Funkadelic

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Publicist: Blog Talk with MJ Racadio

Published Article Writer: Viva Alvaro-Galvez

And of course, my darling fiancé for being my driver that day, forever BTS photographer, sometimes my critic, and always my number one fan!

If you were to have your first photoshoot, what will it be about? Let me know! 😀

**, Via