It’s that time again! And hopefully the last time haha. As much as we love children, I think we will stop after this beautiful little boy. We will have a complete family of 7 then so it’s perfect for me.
Last time I did only one maternity shoot with Lori Dorman Photography in Los Angeles. I found them online, by searching up and down on the internet. We decided to fly there and get it done because I believed they were the best. And it turns out I was right! I was so so so happy with how everything turned out! If you missed it, I made a blog post a while ago about it and I posted all the pictures 🙂 Check it out! (I will right after this just to take a walk down the memory lane even though it was only just a year and a half ago).
This time, since it is going to be my last pregnancy (at least that’s the plan for now) I wanted to go all out. I go all out anyway, it’s just my nature. But I really wanted to make sure I felt happy and satisfied with it so that one day when I look back I have no regrets or wishful thinking. I’ve come to a point in life where I honestly just want to be happy. I chase happiness with all my might. And I push the same for my whole family. You only live once! DO IT! You want fancy photos when you’re pregnant? DO IT! Want to cut your hair short as heck? CHOP IT ALL OFF! Who cares if it’s not what people want or like? At the end of the day we honestly get just this one chance to experience life. And I want to live every moment of it. So yes I like going all out! I get crap for it all the time, but mainly by people I don’t even know exist. My family and friends understand and love it. If anything, my husband was just telling me the other day that one of the things he’s learned from me is to just let things go and enjoy life! That, and to be positive. I’m always telling him to look at the glass half full and never half empty. Anyways, my point is I had planned on doing an over the top shoot(s) for this last time!
Since I loved my pictures with Chris (the photographer that shot me at Lori Dorman Photography) I knew I definitely wanted to do it with them again. As you guys know, I chopped my hair off a week ago. I’ve never had a short hair cut like this before. Well…I have, but when I was 4, back in Albania, where parents literally take you to the neighbor who’s scissor happy and loves cutting hair like Dora the Explorer. FML. I was so traumatized with those pictures of me that I was convinced me with short hair is just a NO NO. But then I said….why not? I’ll give it a try! It’s just hair! If it doesn’t look good, oh well. It’ll grow out. So I’m glad I did it because I love it. It’s sooo easy to maintain. But my fear was that because I just cut it and am so not used to it (let alone the fact that there isn’t much styling you could do to it), my pictures were not going to look as cute as last time. Another fear I had (ok perhaps not really a “fear” but just something I was nervous about) was that this shoot would be too similar to the last. I loved my last shoot! I just wanted something just as beautiful but different. I didn’t want a repeat of last time. I expressed this to Lori and her team and she reassured me that would not be the case! They had different ideas for me this time around!
Our shoot was this past Thursday. Started at noon and ended at 5.30. Swear, by the time I was done, I couldn’t even smile anymore. My entire face was hurting hahahha. But we did it ALL! I was shot by 4 different photographers who each specialize in different kind of shots. They were so so so sweet and I felt so comfortable. My two boys were the only men in there. We had food for days which definitely helped my pregnant butt 🙂 And we shot in literally every possible corner of the house and outside, in a total of 8-9 outfits. Some of them I had brought with me, but the rest were all part of Lori Dorman’s wardrobe. That makes it a huge plus when you shoot with someone. The headache of trying to find outfits is the worst! And this time I was definitely not as prepared as last time. I showed up with maybe 3 of my own dresses and that’s about it. Last time I came with a whole suitcase LOL. (i’m nuts i know).
I’m posting some pictures of behind the scenes. I keep seeing pictures Lori posts on her Instagram page every day and they’re just teasing me to death. I’m soooo impatient when it comes to pictures. I’m the friend that wants to see your phone the second you’re done taking a picture of us. And then I zoom in, check out filters, you name it. I’m annoying it’s basically what I’m trying to say. And Lori knows this all too well from last time so she’s been great at sending me shots here and there to calm my butt down!
The next day I had scheduled another maternity shoot, but this time with Von Jackson. He mainly works with models who are skinny, dope and just beautiful. I don’t know what I was thinking! I wanted a sexy/edgy/black and white type of shoot. I’ve done the vintage, angelic, soft colors type of pictures. But I wanted some of those cool black and white, serious face kind of shots. Just something to treasure in the future..you know..when you get old as hell and no one believes you were good looking LOL. This actually happens with my grandma all the time. She stays showing us pictures of her in her 20s. ahahhahaha well apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
So this shoot….well, let’s just say I have a whole new respect for these models out there. It is WORK! I’m not used to this whole make sexy faces type of shoot. My friend Jasmine as well as my hubby and son were there too. Jasmine was trying to tell me how to arch my back, and do this, lift that, look this way. I was just dying on the inside. Do you know how much it hurts to arch your damn back for minutes at a time? Well, for me it was painful. I said screw it. Told the photographer just make the best of this lol cuz I’m not about to break a leg or hurt my back trying to look like I have a smaller waist and bigger butt. It is what it is! In the end, I think I will love them just the way they are!
So that’s it as far as shoots go. As much fun as I had, I can honestly say I was exhausted. I am so thankful for my husband who watched Gio the whole time and was such a great sport. He definitely loved the second shoot. It was kind of funny to watch him actually. I’m going to blow a few up for him (if they turn out the way I picture them in my head haha) and make him a collage/album for him to have.
The coolest part of the trip for me was the 4D ultrasound we had at Sweet Pea 4D Baby! We got to look at our baby in all different angles and I know most moms say this, but I swear he looked just like Gio did when we did his 3D ultrasound. The lips, the eyes, the nose…omg! Now watch him come out totally different hahahha. But I have the two pictures side by side in my room now and they look identical! This will be so cool to see when he does come out! The other super amazing thing we got to do, which I wish I knew about when I was pregnant with Gio, is record his heartbeat into a heart shaped little monitor which then gets inserted into a push plush toy and whenever you press it, it goes off and you can hear your baby’s heartbeat! Who comes up with these things?! But thank you for doing so! Cuz I absolutely LOVE IT! Gio was walking around and playing with it the entire time at the office. I got a video of him and his happy self!
I loved my entire experience with Sweet Pea 4D Baby! They were so nice! The office was super cozy and so perfectly decorated! I felt like I was inside a nursery. Matter of fact, I think I’m going to do one of the walls for Gio’s room all stripes like they had theirs. It looked great! They have a few different packages you could choose from and some of them include even a cute little onesie! I decided to get a gift card for $100 and let them award it to the randomly chosen one out of all people that book within a week from when I went there! So if you are in LA and you want to have a cool ultrasound experience and come home with a memory to treasure forever, check them out and maybe you’ll get $100 off 🙂
I love visiting Los Angeles. I lived there for a while and have so many friends that still reside there. I would love to see them all but I can only stay for just a few short days. With a baby it’s just not easy anymore. Let alone this big ol’ belly of mine. We went to some of my favorite spots to eat like the Farmer’s Market (mainly the French Crepe spot), the Great Greek restaurant on Ventura, the Americana, etc. Gio had a fun night/playdate with his bff, Niko. He’s 6 months older than Gio, but they get along and understand each other so well! The craziest part of it was watching Gio reach out and give Niko hugs! He’s never ever done that! Jeremy and I were looking at each other all shocked! It was the most adorable thing ever!!!! They’ve hung out before, but they were both too young to understand what was going on. This time it was perfect.
I do miss LA weather! I mean where else are you going to find that kind of warm weather mid February?! It’s gorgeous! I took Gio to the Americana and watched him and daddy play all over the grass area. He had so much fun, it made my heart grow. Then we headed back home. And I can’t tell you how much I missed home. This always happens to me no matter where we travel to or for how long. Every time I step in the house I just feel so good! Nothing like home. We had a blast and we loved every minute of it! We accomplished what we wanted and we are happy to see those that we spent time with. But nothing beats being home! Gio is back to climbing up and down the couches and tearing all the drawers up, hubby is in his boxers making me grilled cheese sandwiches, and I’m bra-less! AMEN!
So that’s it for this trip. I think in total we took over 6000 pictures with Lori alone. Then Von, I think it was another 1000 or so….soooooo it’s going to take some time to go through all of these and pick and edit the best ones. But I will share them with you as soon as I get them! I left most of the dresses that I bought for the shoot with Lori so that other moms can use them if they want similar shoot like mine. The only one I did keep is the Michael Costello beige dress. One of my bonus daughters loves it so I plan on saving it for her. I will tag all the stores and designers I got my stuff from when I post the final pictures <3 I do want to say a big Thank You to Hayo, my make up artist and hair stylist for always making me feel pretty! You rock my love!
Here is a sneak peak of what’s to come (Lori sent me these today hehe):