When we first moved to Okinawa, I stumbled across Charlene Batres Photography and was completely blown away by her maternity photos. She made each one of her clients looked like beautiful, pregnant goddesses. I thought to myself "darnit, I won't be getting pregnant here if I was I would totally go to her." Ha. Lo and behold, I'm on Okinawa and quite pregnant. I have gone through so many ups and downs this pregnancy, and I go through moments of guilt because I don't think about my son enough and feel like I've enjoyed this pregnancy as much as I should. You don't need maternity photos, but I sure as heck am glad I did them. I needed something to really get me excited about this little guy, to remind me this should be the HAPPIEST time in my life. Reminders that the changes my body is going through are beautiful. I also took some full on uncovered belly photos which I am SO excited about. During my pregnancy with Ely I let what society thinks get the better of me and I didn't take any photos of my belly because some people think it's weird. I didn't think it was weird, but because others did I chose to not take any until one day I decided, I want to remember what this looks like. It was in my sports bra and jogging shorts and so not glamorous. I still have the photo but it definitely wasn't as beautiful as I felt. I feel like these totally capture it. The excitement, love, beauty. There is also our beautiful Okinawa island in every aspect of these photos. I want to remember carrying my Oki baby here, the calm days where we were able to go to the beach and enjoy one another's company.
Charlene has something like 35 maternity gowns to choose from. When I went to go try them on her husband (who is this stocky military guy) makes the gowns and he told me of this red one he was making. I decided to take a gamble and not see it until the day of photos. I was freaking out about it all week. I almost sent her a message 20 times telling her I changed my mind and was going to select another gown. We were going to just do a beach shoot and I thought a diva red dress was just too much for the beach. She told me she wanted to head up to the resort by the beach once we arrived and get some stairs pictures in front of a church. Not having seen the church I was really uneasy about it, I almost said no. Letting go and having trust sometimes can really be beneficial. It was a bonus as well, each client just gets one location and I was lucky enough to get 2. I was falling in love with the Okinawa spring flowers at this time, and was a little saddened I wouldn't get any in my photos if I went with a beach shoot. 2 of these red dress photos have some of the beautiful Okinawan flowers that come in bloom during the spring on island.
One of my most favorite photos ever. Our little family, Sean holding one of our babies, me holding the other with the ocean behind us and Okinawan palms.
With my little ones.
The guy of my dreams.
I am so excited that so many of the plants I love that are unique to this island are in this photo. The baby palm, the leaves at the bottom of the red flowers. It's a summary of my Oki island plant obsession, totally impromptu and unplanned photo as well.