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Beach Maternity Portraits

Maternity Session on the Beach

There’s plenty of beautiful locations near our town of Mebane, North Carolina but there’s nothing like photos on the beach.  There’s something about being dressed up but with your bare feet in the sand that feels elegant yet casual.   During our recent Ocean Isle Beach trip, I photographed this beautiful expecting mom with her handsome men.  I love that we were able to get such great backdrops including the greenery of the sand dunes, the sunset over the ocean, and a patch of flowers in an undeveloped lot.

Timing of Maternity Portraits

This mom was just shy of the typical 32-34 week maternity portrait window.  While she looks absolutely beautiful, she did have to puff her belly out and some poses weren’t ideal with a smaller baby bump.  For your comfort, I recommend 32-34 weeks as the optimal time for maternity portraits.

Located in Mebane, NC, Katie Smith Photography specializes in contemporary family portraiture.
She believes in beautiful posing and genuine emotions.
When not photographing stunning maternity models, Katie Smith enjoys small town life in her cute little blue house.
Find Katie Smith Photography on Facebook.


Mom’s Guide: Photographing your children at the beach

While summer might be over, it’s a great time to reflect on all that summer fun!  I love looking at all the pictures we took and reminding myself of all the great adventures we went on.  This year, we took a trip to the North Carolina coast.  During our family vacation, I set aside time to photograph my children and then spent the rest of the week making memories with them.   Since us parents love photographing our kids, I wanted to share these tips with you:

Tip 1:  The best portrait lighting is in the morning or evening.

While you might want to sleep in during your vacation, it’s always nice to wake up early one morning and watch the sunrise rise over the horizon.  You’ll also get lovely even lighting by photographing early in the day or later in the evening.  During mid-day, you’ll be combating shadows and squinty eyes.

Tip 2: Don’t change your lens.

If you are using a DSLR, choose your lens before leaving your hotel room.  Once on the beach, don’t change your lens or you risk getting sand inside your camera.  If you have a filter, keep it on your lens to protect your lens from getting scratched.

Tip 3: Change your perspective.

Photographing from your natural vantage point is great for documenting exactly what you see.  By changing your perspective, you’ll see things from new and more interesting angles.  If you have kids, hold the camera at their eye level.  If you’re feeling especially bold or have a waterproof camera, hold it just above the waters’ surface.

Tip 4:  Keep your horizon straight.

One of the most important technical tips is to watch your horizon.  A straight horizon is calming to the eye and looks more professional.  Also be sure the horizon doesn’t cut through your subjects head.

Most Important Tip!

Take just enough pictures to capture the memories then put the camera away so you can be in the memories!  This is my most important tip, Moms and Dads!  You can spend every minute of the trip waiting to capture that perfect moment: the biggest smile, the best wave, the unpredictable moment when your kids hold hands on their own volition!    But if you spend all that time behind the camera, watching the whole vacation through a lens, you miss out on the most important moments.  The moments your child spend with you.

During our vacation, I took candid photos on our first day on the beach.  That first day excitement of dipping their toes in the water.  My daughter running to and from the waves.  All three kids building a sand castle just to stomp it down a few minutes later.  I was happy watching them experience the beach in their own way.

On the second, third, and fourth days of vacation, my camera was tucked away in the hotel room.  I, however, donned my swimsuit and went boogie boarding with my eleven year old.   I let my two year old bury me up to my neck in sand.   Then I walked on the beach, finding seashells with my eight year old.  I was present- physically and emotionally- not just peeking out from behind the camera.

On the last day of the trip, I dressed them in their portrait clothes, dragged them to the beach, and did a quick portrait session.   I had one goal in mind: I needed a good portrait of all three kids, smiling, and looking directly at the camera.  It took effort.  The kids wanted to play in the water.  Sand went flying.  I’d thought I got a photo only to find out that one child got distracted in the split second it took for the shutter to click.  But then it happened.  Those little miracles where all three smile and laugh (usually at my expense and some potty humor).  That one portrait that made me want to pull my hair out, now makes my heart happy.  That’s just how it goes when photographing your own kids.


BONUS!  10 shots of take on the beach

  1. Kids running into waves (away from camera)
  2. Kids running away from waves (to camera)
  3. Posed shot near the dunes
  4. Close up of their favorite seashell in their hands.
  5. Your last name and the year written in the sand.  Bonus points for including everyone’s feet.
  6. Posed portraits under a pier.
  7. Child running to a huge flock of seagulls and the seagulls are flying away.
  8. Action shot of them jumping on their sand castle.  (Try laying in the sand and pointing the camera up towards them for greater dramatic effect)
  9. The moment when the waves crashes into your child’s back.
  10. A “bird’s eye view” image of the kids building a sand castle or digging a hole.

Don’t forget to print these photos.  You can create an adventure wall in your home with images from different vacations or simply tuck them in an album to revisit when the kids are older.

2017 Christmas Mini Sessions

2017 Christmas Mini Sessions

Christmas Mini Sessions

Christmas Mini Session Product Mock UpIt’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas!   On November 26th, kick off your holiday season with a Christmas Mini Session by Katie Smith Photography.  This one-of-a-kind set designed by High Cotton Acres has a vintage elegance perfect for fancy dresses and comfortable sweaters alike.  Your short and sweet portrait session will feature a perfectly posed family portrait on the vintage red chaise.  For candid photographs, your children will love playing on the rocking horse and listening to you tell your favorite Christmas story.

We know how busy the Christmas season is.   Our customized ordering sessions are quick and easy.  In less than an hour, you can view your images, order beautiful wall art and gifts, and then be on your way to making more fun memories with your family.

This year’s Christmas Mini product line features our favorite products at special prices.   Along with our beautiful framed prints and canvases, you’ll be able to order great gifts for your loved ones such as necklaces, money clips, coffee mugs, and more.

Need to order Christmas cards?  As the most popular item for Christmas session, we offer two Christmas card types with five designs per type.  A standard photo card is a one sided economical option on photo paper.  To impress your family and friends, upgrade to the foil pressed cards with coordinating foil lined envelopes.

There are only twelve sessions available for this one day only, limited edition mini session.  Book your session now.

food bank donations

complimentary christmas ornament with donationFEATURED CHARITY PARTNER

S.A.F.E. empowers and strengthens families in our community by providing food assistance and more.  As a thank you for your generous donation, you’ll receive a beautiful metal ornament for your Christmas tree.  See their Current Needs page for donation ideas.



Sunday, November 26, 2017
Morning and evening sessions available


High Cotton Acres, Burlington NC


Your $50 session fee includes a twenty minute Christmas mini session and image reveal/ordering session.  You’ll also receive a custom Facebook cover photo perfect for the holiday season.

Prints, gifts, and digital files sold separately.  Products begin at $50.  Collections begin at $250.


Get a $25 print credit when you refer a friend.


With only 12 sessions available, call now to book your session.  336-675-5252