The Agricenter plants fields of sunflowers every year, just so the public can come enjoy them and take pictures.
I never used to be a fan of taking maternity pictures, and you can see that clearly in the awkward, stiff smiles of my obligatory tummy pictures of my first three pregnancies.
But a couple of things happened before my pregnancy with Maxwell that gave me a gradual change of heart.
1) I got a DSLR camera and became very interested in photography, and
2) I started making a conscious effort to get in front of the camera more to help me grow in confidence and overcome my insecurities and self-hatred. I started trying to embrace the person I am, including physically, and started getting in pictures more, regardless of how silly I felt in the beginning.
I still do feel a little silly, but I've made a lot of progress.
And I've grown to treasure these captures of a sacred moment in my life.
I love taking maternity pictures of others because I feel like pregnancy and motherhood really is such a beautiful thing, but it feels faaaar from it. I love the opportunity to bring out the beauty in the midst of the misery, framing the immense sacrifice that is being made out of pure, divinely given love.
So, given all of that, I asked Talmage if he would be willing to come with me to the sunflower fields and snap a few photos of me.
He is always excited to use my camera, so he was more than willing.
When we arrived at the sunflower fields, I was dismayed to see that there were dozens of people filling the fields and, with it being almost sunset, most of the sunflowers had drooped their heads for the night. That meant that those dozens of people were crammed into one small section and we were going to have to maneuver around everyone. We hurried over, walking along the bumpy ground, and in my haste I didn't step carefully enough in my high wedges I was wearing. My ankle twisted and I went down hard, falling super awkwardly in front of all those people!
Talmage, bless his heart, did not laugh or act super embarrassed that his mom had just faceplanted. He just exclaimed, "Mom, are you okay? Is the baby okay??"
Only my pride was injured, so I stood up and brushed myself off and we carried on.
We eventually found a good spot without people in the background and he patiently snapped away as I instructed him on where to put the focus dot and how to frame the picture.
I'm already forming plans to bring baby girl back to this field in a year to take her pictures!