Posts in “Maternity Shoot”

How’s being a stay-at-home mom?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

I’d like to share with you today some images I took of my good friend, Brittany and her beautiful family + horses… We’ve known them for several years now and I’m excited to welcome her to the “Mother of three boys!” club ;). Here are some things about her that you might find interesting. 


Tell me about yourself?

I’m 30 years old and married to my best friend for 8 years now. We have 2 boys, another one on the way, and have fostered 3 boys over the last couple of years that have since been reunited with family. We live on 10 acres in a small south Texas town with a menagerie of animals. I’ve loved horses since I could say the word “horse” and I’m blessed to live my dream out in the country with my family.


How’s being a stay-at-home mom? 

I decided to become a stay-at-home mom when I was 5 years into working on a PhD in School Psychology and just had my first son. It was not an easy decision to leave a doctoral program where I had spent so much time, passion, and energy. I NEVER thought I would be a stay at home mom. I had plans to be a psychologist and a researcher, yet once I had him, I knew that wasn’t my path anymore. It was a difficult decision, but I knew it was the right one because God gave me total peace about it, so I left school. I have not regretted it since (although I might regret those school loans a little bit 😉 ). 

Staying home with the kids can be exhausting and isolating. Some days I don’t speak to another adult besides my husband when he gets home from work. Some days I feel like I didn’t get enough house cleaning done or enough time spent doing “educational activities” with the kids to be worthy of being a stay-at-home parent. Then I remember God told me to do this, He picked me to be their mom, and I am enough. I’ve been there for all of my kids’ “firsts”, for all their sick days and their well days, and oh my goodness it’s just an overwhelming feeling when I think about it. I know not everyone has the privilege to be a stay-at-home parent. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

 I do not have any stay-at-home jobs or “side gigs” to momming currently, although I started a blog for fun ( I haven’t been blogging much this year, but I do post memes and daily happenings occasionally on social media (@dirtanddiapers). Feel free to check it out and maybe I’ll have some time in 2020 to really get that going. Ha! We’ll see!


How did you and your family start fostering? What you love about it and what challenging parts?

I’ve known I wanted to foster/ adopt since I was a child. When my husband and I were dating in college I made sure he knew I felt a calling to foster care, and that I also wanted 7 kids whether biologically or through adoption. 7 was always just a joke when people asked how many kids I would want someday, but Reid knew I was serious about having a large family and helping orphans. It didn’t scare him off! 

We had our first baby in 2015, started the foster licensing process end of 2016, and were a licensed foster home shortly after our son turned 2 at the beginning of 2017. We also had several miscarriages in 2016 and to our surprise, found out we were pregnant the week of our home study. We decided to still accept placements and our first one was an 11 mo. old little boy. We had him for several months and then he was reunited with his family. After he left we took a break for the birth of our second son and then got relicensed with another agency shortly after he  turned 1 year old, beginning of 2019. 

At that point, we had 4 and 1 year old biological sons, and began our fostering adventure again. A lot of people I talk to about fostering say they would love to, maybe once their kids are older. I’m here to tell you, you can foster with young kids. Our next placement was a 3 year old boy who had severe emotional and behavioral issues. This was one of the hardest things we have done in our marriage and as a family. There were some days with hour long tantrums, conflict between the boys, biting, hitting, scratching, and ending with me in tears. God was our strength, and He reminded me of our calling to foster care. I learned our family was more capable than we ever imagined and I knew it was teaching us how to love even when it’s hard. He was reunited with family after several months, and then we got a call about a 6 year old boy in a psychiatric hospital for threats of suicide. This was a scary decision to make. We had two young children of our own. Was bringing a child with psychiatric issues into our home a good idea? God spoke to us. Has God ever turned His back on us out of fear? No. Fear not, you are walking in faith and obedience. Nothing can stand against you. 

We accepted that placement and learned you cannot trust a blurb on a paper, but you can trust God. This kid was a challenge, but he was nowhere near the behavioral description we had initially received. He just went home last month and we are awaiting the call for our next foster placement. Oh and we are also expecting our third son in a few months. This time, I’m unsure, but I don’t think we are taking a break from fostering as we did with our last birth. Maybe it’s because we’re just used to chaos now, so what is a little more? We’re still trying to discern what God has in store. We’ve accepted 7 placements over the last couple of weeks, but none of them have ended up with us. We’re just along for the journey at this point; whatever journey that may be.

I also want to mention, one of the most common statements people tell me is, “Oh I would love to foster, but I’m afraid I’d get too attached.” Yes, you will. That is the whole point of fostering! To love a child as your own, be a safe place for as long as they need you, and get way too attached. Everytime a child has been placed with us and left our home, I shed tears. God reminds me each time: “This isn’t about you. This is about Me and this is about the kids. And these kids need love more than you need to protect your own heart.”


What have you learned from motherhood?

Before I joined the motherhood club, I had no idea what was in store. It’s a messy, tiring, fulfilling, adventure.There are highs and lows, and sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. But as I mentioned earlier, one of the most important things I have learned is simply: I am enough. If you are a struggling mother, please know that God chose YOU specifically for your babies.You are enough.

 I’m so thankful God chose me to mother all of these boys (biological and foster). 

Photography by Em Smith


3 helpful tips for maternity shoot

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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A good friend of mine,Caroline, had her first baby girl (she is adorable!). I had a chance to do her makeup for her maternity shoot, here in Galveston Island. I also had the chance to work with one of the photographers in Houston, Lesley. Today, she wants to share three tips for those who are expecting and how to be ready for memorable images that you can share with your child, family, and friends.

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Schedule Your Session Early

Maternity portraits are captured ideally between 6-9 months of pregnancy. Your photographer will be able to help you determine the best time based on your weight gain, previous pregnancies, and if you are having a high-risk pregnancy. Start searching for a photographer early to ensure a spot and have adequate time to plan. Once your baby is almost here, you will have so many other things to think about!

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Find Your Style

Indoor or outdoor? Your home or a studio? Spontaneous or guided? What kind of images do you enjoy looking at and envision on your wall? Lesley is proud to offer portraits that she design together from the beginning, bringing your vision to life. Starting a Pinterest board is a great way to help select elements that you love.

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Make It Last

Portraits of timeless moments are meant for so much more than ‘likes’ on Facebook. Let your children know you’ve loved them from the very beginning. Consider asking your photographer for a photo album, wall art, or other printed portraits that you can show off or easily access. She is pleased to offer both maternity and newborn photography sessions. You can book both sessions together for a bundle savings, and select photos from both sessions for one lovely photo album!

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Lesley specializes in customized portraits both outdoors and in-studio. She also does newborn photoshoots and is trained in newborn safety by industry leaders.

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This is behind the scene for our makeup session.

What’s your favorite tip for having a maternity shoot?




Maternity Makeup: Rachael

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Makeover with Rachael few weeks ago. She’s such a sweet and friendly person!

10-3-2015_A 10-3-2015_B 10-3-2015_C 10-3-2015_D 10-3-2015_E 10-3-2015_F 10-3-2015_G My little boy was with me! I love Ergo Baby Carrier!!He just slept the entire session (Thank God for that!)!


Brianna’s Maternity shoot + Family

Friday, August 21, 2015

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What a beautiful family!! Thanks Brianna! 🙂

Photographer: Mara Casey

Makeup Artist: Em Smith

Follow me on Instagram @emsmithartist




Maternity Shoot @38 weeks

Thursday, June 11, 2015




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With my mama 🙂 She’s excited for her second apo (granchild)!

Photo taken by Aaron Castillo


Evangeline’s Maternity Session

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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Photography and Makeup by Em Smith

We can’t wait to see baby Jacob!! Congratulations my friend! 🙂


Alia’s Maternity Shoot

Saturday, December 7, 2013

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My beautiful sister-in-law, Alia and her husband Vince…. + Esme Annabelle (baby girl!)

Congratulations for both of you!! 🙂

Makeup by Em Smith

Location: Austin, Texas



Maternity Shoot: Kady

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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