Myself (left) and Krystina (right)

When you combine one very pregnant photographer friend with another not-pregnant photographer friend who has rather unique perspectives, you are very likely going to end up with some rocking maternity photos.

Krystina at her 30th birthday shoot.

Krystina from Krystina Marie Photography and Design recently moved to Nova Scotia from the opposite coast last spring. She had an established company there doing the same sort of photography and photo restoration (along with MANY other projects) work that she has now established in Middleton, NS. When I heard that she was coming (Facebook is a marvelous tool, isn’t it?), I decided I was going to meet her! Sure enough, at the Middleton Farmer’s Market, there was this gorgeous brunette with a fantastic booth making an effort to get integrated into a small, rural community in the Annapolis Valley. Over the last year, we have collaborated on many shoots. You may remember this blog post, or maybe this post from last year where her and her family have been featured!

Getting to know Krystina and her family have been a real treat! When my small herd and I moved to Lower Sackville this past January, I was worried about losing my friend and collaborator. However, I’ve been so thrilled to say that Krystina has been fantastic about keeping in contact, meeting up, and brain-storming with me, even despite the distance. So while I grew (and grew and grew and grew), Krystina became more and more excited about maternity photos. In my previous pregnancy, I had not gone out of my way to do anything real special for maternity photos – but how could I say no, now?? I love to encourage other mom-to-be’s to take advantage of this unique time in their lives by photographing their ever-growing belly, and to embrace the changes that are coming (and have already come). Plus, now I had a partner-in-arms to take these photos!

Yes, we could have gone the more traditional route of milk-bath photography, the silhouette look, the long flow-y gowns in the woods, but we got to thinking: wouldn’t it be a hoot to do a shoot in our favourite place – IKEA?! And so, after a 2 hour drive for Krystina to come down, me straightening my hair for the first time in 5 months (and then having Krystina re-straighten it), and figuring out how to wear make-up after a year of not bothering with even mascara, we were ready.

I am pleased to say that Finn was in great spirits, and it just so happened that Jeff was off work just as we were arriving at IKEA and was able to meet us there for some more photos! As you can see, we all had a pretty great time.

Once we (and by we, I mostly mean I) finished gobbling down some Swedish meatballs, Lobster gnocchi, and a slice of cake, Jeff and Finn went on their way, and Krystina and I knuckled down to “do this thing”. She had some great perspectives, and I’d like to think I did too. I was thrilled to hear Krystina wanted me to take some photos of her as well, and I was happy to oblige!

So after 3.5 hours waddling through IKEA, eating a mountain of food, sitting on nearly every piece of furniture I could safely bet I could stand up from afterwards, and using the restroom 39283 times, and promptly forgetting half of my order that I paid for at the store, we were finished. And I do not regret one thing (well, except forgetting those $5.00 curtains I bought for my mom). These pictures were some of the funnest I’ve ever been a part of. I love how Krystina captured my face as I goofed off, how it looks like I’m sitting in my very European style cottage drinking a nice cup of tea, and how I imagine hanging out in a carpet market in the Middle East would look.

I personally LOVED the experience. I know that not everyone is game for acting like a doofus in front of all the shoppers of IKEA (ask Krystina – apparently it’s not her cup of tea!), but I think the pictures turned out, and the memories that I can associate with this photo shoot are something that I will never forget! So tell me: what do YOU think?

Amy Holloway

// A special shout out to my gal, Krystina Johnson for her fantastic photography skills and her patience as I struggled to get out of YET ANOTHER CHAIR. If you’re looking for fun and affordable photography in the Middleton/Annapolis Valley area, check out her website (link is up in the psot)!

And a special thank you to IKEA Dartmouth location for the use of their facilities. We are in no way being paid to endorse IKEA or anything that are seen in the photos. Krystina and I both enjoy shopping at this box store, and our recommendations are purely of our own choice and are in no way affiliated with IKEA or any of their conglomerates. //

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