Over the course of the NBA season, I found myself sharing pregnancy stories with my friend Kary, who works in corporate partnerships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s kind of amusing because most people would imagine two pregnant women trading stories about their experiences. Chanda and I are only a few weeks ahead of Kary and her husband Ben in pregnancy, and since we’re just about at similar stages, we have that in common to talk about during our dinners before working the Laker games.
This is also our first experience with pregnancy – granted I’m not the one carrying the baby, but I’m going through the experience as well, so I guess indirectly, I can relate. Kary was the one who suggested that I buy Chanda a body pillow, and said that it has made a huge difference in her comfort level at night. Sure enough, we went out and bought one, and it was a game changer. We both liked it so much, we ended up buying a second one (for me)! Now our bed is pretty crowded with pillows, but it’s so worth it. If you don’t have a body pillow, do yourself a favor and try it. You’ll never go back to sleeping without one.
One day at dinner before a game, Kary asked me, “are you and your wife going to take maternity pictures?” I showed Kary a few photos I took of Chanda during an impromptu maternity session during a short trip to San Diego that weekend. It was not originally planned as a maternity session, but I really liked the way the photos came out. A few weeks later, we did our real maternity session, based on the vision Chanda had for her photos, and I showed those to Kary as well, since she had expressed some interest in documenting her pregnancy. It wasn’t long before we were talking about her vision and how she wanted her photos to look, so I offered her some advice. I didn’t originally plan on being her photographer, but I think there was a certain level of comfort in having somebody that you know document such a personal moment. That comfort really does make a huge difference in the vibe of the pictures, and I really wanted her to get the pictures that she envisioned – so we set up a date.
I took Chanda along to the shoot, as they’re both going through the same experience. Upon first meeting Chanda, Kary asked, “do you find yourself having Braxton-Hicks contractions?” I knew immediately that they were going to hit it off, and they started chatting about their pregnancies. I met Ben and we both started talking about our experiences being on the other side of the pregnancy, and I immediately took a liking to his personality and easy-going nature. After a few short minutes chatting them up, we started photographing. The thing I liked most about this whole experience was that it just felt like a stroll in the park with two friends. We really got to take our time and enjoy the conversations about babies and basketball. They brought along a few props, including cute tiny Nike shoes (complete with shoe box), and blocks that spelled out their daughter’s name, Akemi. I thought it was a cute idea, and we were able to work the props in to some poses.
At the end of the day, we said our goodbyes, and as Chanda and Kary moved in for a hug, they were both surprised by a brief belly bump, which naturally got in the way of a hug. Chanda mentioned that she had never experienced that before, and it caught her off guard a little bit. “You forget that two people with baby bumps going in for a hug can sometimes pose an issue with hugging!”
Enjoy the photos!