How to Plan a Successful Maternity Session in Big Sur

As a photographer who aims to create art from moments in time, I wholeheartedly believe in documenting and preserving those special moments that define one’s life. I am passionate about capturing the magic, the wonder, and the love in a person’s life, and there is nothing more magical than giving birth to new life. We live in such a fast paced world, that often we forget or don't make time to record the most special moments in our life. The gift of pregnancy is unlike any other, and it deserves to be preserved as a work of art that you will remember forever. 

You deserve this memory to be recorded and cherished. 

There is no better or more magical place to capture those moments than in Big Sur, CA. There is a very special energy about Big Sur, and it's no wonder people from all over the country come to visit and take photographs at this serene and gorgeous location. Between the breathtaking cliffs, empty beaches, colorful wildflowers and magnificent rock structures - Big Sur does not dissapoint.

Sajda contacted me through Instagram about wanting to schedule her Maternity session in Big Sur while she and her husband were enjoying their Babymoon. It was a last minute request, but luckily I had an opening and we made it happen. Sajda and Tosif live in LA so they were not all that familiar with all of the different locations Big Sur has to offer, and therefore referred to me to recommend the perfect spot for their session. One of my favorite areas to shoot in Big Sur is at Garrapata State Beach. It's not too far from Monterey but still boasts that "famous coastline view" that everyone is after. The weather was gorgeous during the day, but by the time our session was set to begin-the fog had rolled in and the sun was gone. I don't know about you, but I love me some fog! Especially when it's gently rolling through the hills creating a mystical backdrop. We walked along the beach, danced by the rock formations, and then I asked Sajda and Tosif if they were ready to be adventurous...luckily they were totally down for my crazy ideas! Once a year, I know of this special little spot where a lagoon forms at the far end of the beach, and I had a vision I've been waiting to execute. Well, it definitely happened! And it was pure magic.

I am so thankful Sajda and Tosif trusted me and my vision for their Maternity shoot and I think we were all very pleased with the outcome.

So, here are my Top 3 Tips for Planning Your Maternity Session in Big Sur, CA

  1. Make sure you hire a photographer who knows the area well. There are a lot of photographers who really want to shoot in this gorgeous location, but if they aren't local - they probably don't know the area very well. There are certain areas where you are just not allowed to travel, let alone photograph in Big Sur. There are also downright treacherous (but absolutely gorgeous locations) to try and get to. Make sure your photographer is aware of how to get to these certain areas safely.
  2. Dress for the occasion. YOU ARE IN A FOREST OR ON A BEACH. Dress appropriately. I always send my clients my personal Style Guide and reiterate MANY times what is the appropriate clothing for a session in Big Sur. I am happy to review their outfit ideas before we ever meet and give them my thoughts. Flowy dresses are great, but make sure they are long - the wind can be something fierce along the coast! Which leads me to...bring a sweater or a jacket! 90% of the time it will be chilly. Plus an extra layer always adds more texture and creates more variation in your gallery. Let's talk about footwear. Heels are a no. You will most likely be walking a pretty good distance to get to your location, so you will want to be comfortable. I recommend for my clients to either go barefoot, wear sandals, boots, or maybe a small wedge if the terrain permits.
  3. Go with the flow! Big Sur is the farthest thing from fancy and fussy. Relax, and enjoy your surroundings. Forget the camera is there, hold hands with your love, and think about where you'll be at this time next year. Slow dance in the sand, kiss under the redwoods, and definitely dip your toes in the river. Big Sur is all about creating mystic magic!