Stunning self-love maternity portrait session captured during golden hour near Castle Hill in Selwyn outside Christchurch.

I met Jess at Flock Hill near Castle Hill in Selwyn, just outside of Christchurch in New Zealand's stunning South Island. We were watching the forecast closely, as it was raining on and off that day. But we put our trust in the forecast as it was due to clear in the early evening! When we arrived at our meeting spot the sun had come out, there was a light breeze, and we had the most stunning warm and earthy golden light and sunset-my favourite weather to photograph in and we couldn't have asked for better!

Jess had brought a cute white dress with her, and I had brought a selection of my client wardrobe dresses to choose from too, so that we would have lots of variety for her shoot. We took a few photos in her white dress first on the sunny hillside, before doing a quick change into one of the long neutral dresses I had brought, They both worked beautifully with the warm golden backdrop and long brown grass of our location. I always send my preparation guide to clients to help them plan their outfits as I know this can be an overwhelming part of booking a photo shoot! And I have a curated collection of dresses anyone is welcome to borrow too if they prefer, which takes the pressure off if you haven't found something to wear in time or don't want to buy a dress especially for the occasion .

Jess had her stunning soft natural makeup look done by Britt at The Beauty lounge in Darfield which photographed beautifully, and she wore jewellery from gorgeous NZ brand Lily and luna.

Our location provided a variety of stunning backdrops for us to use- hills, long grass, interesting rocks, cute little pathways, and cloud-covered mountains all within a few metres of eachother. Jess was a natural in front of the camera (although I think all my clients are once they get comfortable with me!) We had some laughs together and I was able to capture a range of more posed and also very natural feeling images. The wind is always a favourite too as it provides some movement with hair and clothing which I love, and adds that something special to any shoot.

We got some cute shots of Jess's baby bump here next in my beautiful "the simple folk" dress she had on

I love that you can see the natural beauty of pregnancy here, I always prefer not to edit out stretch marks, freckles, or do extensive photo-shopping on my images because I want to encourage all women to embrace their own unique and natural beauty and not the unrealistic idea of perfection we have been marketed. Isn't she just glowing?!

We did another outfit change into the classic open white shirt which I had also brought along to our photos. This gave a stunning option for showing off her growing belly even more, and she was such a trooper despite the fact it was getting very chilly at this point in the Autumn April evening!

Pregnancy is such a perfect time to learn to embrace your curves and the amazing things your body can do, so if you are up for showing off a bare belly I will always encourage this!

We managed to squeeze in one more outfit change before we lost all light and got too cold, another neutral coloured dress with a cute puffy sleeve that can be worn off the shoulder-an absolute favourite for maternity or newborn photos and a popular choice from my client wardrobe!

One of my current favourite photo trends is the blurry movement photo, so of course I had to include a little time for some girly twirling and frolicking to capture a few of these moody moments before we wrapped up for the evening.

I hope you enjoyed pouring over these images and seeing a little more about how a self-love maternity shoot flows. If you want to enquire about booking your own photo session with me for maternity or otherwise, drop me a line here and let's make some magic together soon!

Love, Gem x