This session is extra-special to me, because this is my beautiful sister-in-law! I've been looking forward to her session for so long, and we finally got the perfect evening for it last week at Smith Mountain Lake.
When I look at these images, the best thing I see is LaToya's gorgeous smile. Her pregnancy has been a rough one for sure, but she has pushed through with such resilience. Even when we took these photos, she had just driven almost five hours and didn't feel 100 percent – but she and her badass red lipstick totally rocked it!
That's something I learned while taking her photos (a message to all moms-to-be): Yes, your pregnancy might be draining you. You don't feel beautiful or "glowing" as you spend your mornings over the toilet, or when you use your growing belly as a plate. Maybe pregnancy is making you feel scared or stressed.
But at the end of the day, you are doing an amazing thing. Actually, two amazing things. First, you are growing a human, which takes an unbelievable amount of energy and pain. Second (and maybe most important), you are becoming a mother — one who sacrifices daily for the well-being of your baby, whom you've never met but already love with all your heart. And that alone means you deserve the opportunity to feel beautiful, loved and seen.
Maternity photos are, of course, for you to enjoy and cherish, but they're also for your child, so that decades from now, he can hold them in his hands and see his mother for the strong and beautiful person she was.
Laura Richards is a natural light photographer specializing in maternity, newborn and family photography. She is based in Roanoke, Virginia. See more work here.
We booked tickets to Denver on a whim one evening a couple of weeks ago. It was one of those "do now, think later" moments — and because we were traveling with a 1-year-old, there was a lot to think about later: Where will he sleep? How many diapers should we bring? What about a car seat? How will we entertain him on the plane?
I also went into this trip knowing that vacation is just parenting in a different location. We'd still have to deal with the tantrums, the wrangling, the bedtime routine, etc. We were up for the challenges, though, because adventuring with our son meant more than the frustrations.
My biggest worry was that Tucker wouldn't behave well on the plane, but he actually did great! He either slept or played with the bag of toys I packed ("toys" is a loose term — they were mostly random items from the kitchen, which occupy him the longest).
We were supposed to arrive in Denver late Wednesday night, but because of a flight cancellation, we didn't get in until Thursday mid-morning. We were running on about three hours of sleep (Tucker included, yikes!), but we made the most of our day by exploring downtown Denver with our host and one of my college besties, Erica.
Feeling a little more refreshed on Friday, we ventured into Boulder for Pearl Street and Boulder Mountain Park, then checked out Red Rocks.
Saturday was pretty rainy, so we spent the day at an indoor art fair, eating doughnuts and checking out a local brewery. By 11 p.m., we were back at the airport for our flight back!
On Pearl Street in Boulder. The pedestrian walkways, shops and restaurants reminded us of the downtown mall in Charlottesville.
At Boulder Mountain Park — look at those snowy Rockies way in the back!
View from the trailhead.
At Red Rocks.
Laura Richards is a natural-light family and newborn photographer in Roanoke, Virginia. See more of my work here.
At-home newborn sessions are easily one of my favorite milestones to document. I also think they're one of the most important sessions you can invest in.
The early days of a new baby can be so overwhelming and such a blur that we often forget to slow down and soak in the sweetness. Then before you know it, your newborn is a toddler, and you can't believe they were ever that little.
You can't believe their big chunky feet fit in the palm of your hands, or that their face was ever that tiny and squishy. Then you'd give anything for just one more moment to hold your newborn.
That's when you turn to the photos.
Ashley and Patrick, thank you so much for inviting me into your home — a home that's overflowing with love and memories — to document this chapter of life. Your girls are amazing big sisters and Sutton is the absolute sweetest! They are so blessed to have you two as parents.
Missed Ashley's glowy mountaintop maternity session? Find it here.
Sutton has the cutest nursery! The artwork above his crib was made by his big sisters, and the crib itself was Ashley's when she was a baby.
I love this one! There's no bond like a mom and her baby boy.
Look at those pouty lips and cheeks!
Laura Richards is a natural-light family and newborn photographer based in Roanoke, Virginia. To start planning your next session, send me an email now!
As moms, we're the keepers of the homemade cards, fingerprint drawings and favorite toys.
We're also so often the ones behind the camera.
That’s why photographing the relationship between moms and their children is what makes this job so rewarding. Each one is so different, yet it’s the one thing that brings all mothers together.
To celebrate this Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some favorite images of my 2018 LRP mommas! What I love about these images is that they transcend the moment in which they were taken — they are important pieces in the legacy you’re building for your children.
Happy Mother’s Day! Get in front of the camera today!
Laura Richards is a Roanoke, Virginia-based photographer specializing in natural-light family photography. Please email me to inquire about your next session!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Laura, and I specialize in authentic, natural-light photography and heirloom print art. Hope you'll explore my little online home and reach out if you have any questions!