Before we begin, I should explain that I have a somewhat interesting history with my photographer, especially when it comes to wildlife. I’ve known Steve for years, and it never fails that he gets some of the most epic shots imaginable on just about every occasion.
Moose on the Loose
Brendan and I had our engagement photos done by Steve (Steve Stanton Photography) a few years ago and were surprised to see a moose saunter into the picture roughly twelve feet from us, happily chewing on some leaves and paying us little mind.
Were we aware that it was dangerous, possibly even deadly? Yes. Did we move? Not even a little bit. We stayed right there for the photo and even for a few minutes afterward to admire that moose (my first in-person sighting) and I have zero regrets.
After all, the entire way to the forest, I was hoping that we would see some wildlife. I think I may have even mentioned a moose specifically to Brendan on the way, so I couldn’t really just walk away when my wish was actually granted.
Can the same lack of regret be said for this Devils Backbone Maternity photoshoot? Yep! Did I realize that there would be snakes in the vicinity? Of course. Did it cross my mind they any of them might be venomous and that I was also carrying my unborn child into said venomous snake territory? Not really.
That is, until about halfway through the shoot when passerby’s starting warning us to watch out for the two rattlesnakes mating on the walking path just a few yards ahead of us. I was prepared for snakes, but for some reason I didn’t spend a lot of time analyzing which varieties would be the most prominent at Devil’s Backbone.
My Mom, however, was fully aware. She was there sitting on a bench during the photoshoot, waiting for us the whole time. She had seen the rattlesnake warning signs posted all throughout the park (I, however, had not seen them.) She told me later that she sat on that bench just praying for her daughter and granddaughter to make it out alive. Which sounds terrible, but it is kind of funny now, looking back.
I’ve since spent several nights analyzing if this was, in fact, one of the stupidest decisions that I’ve made in my life. To go traipsing around in flowy dresses, eight months pregnant in rattlesnake land. But Steve just has that effect on you, as though nothing bad could ever happen, and you KNOW you’re going to get the shot and that it’ll be worth it.
And again, in this case, it was definitely worth it. I know that I will treasure these photos for many years to come and that these are the photos that I will show to my baby one day so that she can see exactly what she looked like when she was in my belly.
Next Time I’ll Be More Careful
That being said, for my own protection, I’m thinking that next time I schedule a shoot with Steve, depending on the venue, I may at least wear some protective footwear.
I hope you enjoy the photos! It will certainly be a day that I remember forever and I can’t wait to meet our baby girl and show her the pictures some day.