Functional maternity and baby shower gifts are fine, but there’s one problem. Most of them are expendable and the reality is that you’re never going to feel sentimental about the fact that your left nursing pad was given to you by your favorite college roommate.
While a few higher dollar maternity and baby items are worth registering for – the crib, the stroller, etc., - why not customize maternity and newborn requests so they yield truly special gifts? With a little planning, the gifts you receive remain special, unique, memorable and even sacred to you for many years to come.
Ask for the Gift of a Maternity Photography Session
Have you ever seen those amazing pictures of an ethereal woman, ensconced in soft, luxurious and flowing fabrics and gowns, standing somewhere beautiful – the ultimate embodiment of pregnancy and the magical life growing inside her?
That could be you!
Ever found yourself mesmerized by incredible newborn photos where exquisitely teeny babies are wrapped in something soft and warm, appearing as a little bud ready to bloom or a pea ready to pop from the pod?
That could be your baby!
Turn your sights away from the mundane registry items (nursing pads, nipple balm and breast pumps) and think about asking family and friends for a gift that actually lasts a lifetime – the gift of a professional maternity or newborn photo session.
Unlike the expendable and functional gifts, like diapers, onesies and baby blankets, a maternity and/or a newborn photo session yields a collection of professional photos that are never used up and that become more precious and valuable with each passing day. When family and friends participate collaboratively in purchasing a maternity and/or newborn photo session, they’re giving you more than you could ever receive from the average, big box store baby registry. And in a way, they’re becoming part of that unforgettable memory too.
● The average case of 96 diapers lasts a new mother about two to three weeks (yikes!), whereas that framed photo on the wall will remain in place for decades and become a cherished family heirloom.
● Think about how the same maternity and newborn session you receive from family and friends, ultimately becomes a gift you can give back to them – in the form of holiday cards, tree ornaments, framed pieces for their own walls or sweet albums they can keep on side or coffee tables. They’ll love having a little piece of their gift too!
Multiple monetary gifts make it easy to afford your maternity booking fee as well as the finished photos that will last a lifetime.
Are work colleagues, your women’s circle, religious or spiritual center members, or extended friend groups interesting in honoring your pregnancy as well? The collaborative funds from all of the above can be used for your Bump to Baby Photography plan, which includes maternity and newborn photography for a better value.
Individuals can purchase gift certificates
Don’t feel comfortable asking directly for a maternity and/or newborn session? Let your family, friends and loved ones know that professional photographers, including Lemonshoots, offer Gift Certificates. That way, all you have to do is “register” for a Lemonshoots Gift Certificate by sending them the link. Then individuals can purchase their own gift certificates for you in incremental prices that are comfortable for their budget. Collectively, the gift certificates you receive will pay for all or a portion of your photo session and resulting photos.
What to look for in a maternity and newborn photographer
Before you officially choose a photographer, make sure you’ve done your due diligence. The internet has made it easy for budding amateurs to pass themselves off as professionals – and the results prove otherwise. Ultimately, you want a photographer who is experienced in keeping 3rd trimester women safe and comfortable, and equally adept at prioritizing newborn safety during the photo session.
Whether your shower planners take control of the gift certificate purchase, or you choose to share the photographer’s link on your maternity blog or website, make sure the selected photographer:
● Has a professional website with an ample photo gallery
● Holds memberships/affiliations or certifications with industry-recognized organizations such as the PPA (Professional Photographers of America), NAPCP (National Association of Professional Child Photographers) and/or APNPI (Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International)
● Is certified in CPR/First Aid for infants and adults
● May even have some awards under his/her belt
● Has a warm and personable character. You’ll be spending hours with the photographer as s/he works to tell your story, so you (and your baby) need to feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible
● Is happy to provide recent references so you can verify their claims with real life clients
Are you interested in learning more about trading in the expendable functional maternity and baby shower gifts for a professional maternity and newborn session? Contact me here at Lemonshoots. I’ve provided full or partial gift certificates for dozens of women and couples around the Bay Area and I’m happy to help you plan for an invaluable maternity gift that will last a lifetime.