This has been a funny season for winter maternity photos. After two frigid, bitterly cold February maternity sessions *outside* last year, I vowed that I would not do any more outdoor winter photo sessions. My outdoor season now ends in late November and starts back up in April –> Weeny Status Over Here. But, because I’m a weeny, I was able to shoot a fair number of winter maternity photos at the beautiful Rawlings Conservatory in Baltimore this year and become very well acquainted with every room in the greenhouse and all the beautiful vantage points for the best winter maternity photos inside.
The reason I say it was a funny winter, though, was because almost HALF of the sessions occurred on days when we probably could’ve swung an outdoor session. One of the days was a balmy 65 degrees and, let me tell you, I was rather red-faced and sheepish when my clients arrived. Not that I’m God or anything and could’ve predicted the absolute gorgeousness of the day but it still was a little bit of a bummer that we magically chose a day that we could’ve been comfortable outside and yet my clients paid a permit fee to shoot inside. #sheepish
The only thing that redeemed me was that each of these clients was really quite excited about their winter maternity photos being in a lush, tropical rainforest-type location – and nothing around this geographic area would’ve given us that look January through March, regardless of how pleasant it was outside.
The second balmy day, my sheepish-ness was redeemed by the gale-force winds outside…no matter how pleasant the temperature, nobody’s hair is looking good in 25mph winds and no amount of tissue-wiping is going to erase the constant tearing of the photographer’s eye (me, I’m the photographer who can’t control her weepy eyes). So in this case as well, it was better that we shoot this set of winter maternity photos indoors…but we definitely shared a chuckle over it.
My most recent session there, the weather cooperated and gave us chilly enough temps that we were all satisfied we had made the right decision (then we sweated through the hour and my camera lens required frequent swabbing to get rid of the humidity fog). I still would take the sweat and the foggy lens over frozen fingers and toes anyday and my client looked radiant among the green palm fronds and fragrantly blooming flowers.
Winter maternity photos at Rawlings are so fun because there’s something new blooming every time I go. And the scents of the flowers, gah! It feels like spring in a greenhouse and totally makes me yearn for the longer warmer days that I know are coming (but not soon enough!).
Each room is a treasure. There’s the lush rainforest room and the dry desert room (last time I came away with some cactus barbs stuck in my jeans – that was a giggle), the orchid room and the palm room. Each space is idyllic and different and beautiful in it’s own way.
And the light – oh my word, the light. The light streams in through the windows like nobody’s business. In fact, while light is a major consideration in any photographer’s mind, the OVER-abundance of light sometimes has me employing some creative techniques to make sure my client looks her best without distracting sunspots on her skin or clothing. There is *never* a shortage of light at Rawlings…which is a good thing. I’d rather have too much light than too little light anyday.
Thank God that winter seems to be wrapping herself up so I think I’ll be saying goodbye to Rawlings for the time being…until next January, Rawlings!
Liz Viernes Photography is based near Glenwood, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.
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