If love was a storybook, we’d meet on the very first page – Shayne Ward

We are enchanted by this storybook maternity session by Melisa Cogdell Photography, in a Southern California enchanted forest setting, and we know you will be spellbound too!

Melisa: I’ve known Shantel and Jon since 2011 when she hired me for a boudoir session to surprise her deployed, soon-to-be husband. Her outer beauty is obvious instantly, but her inner beauty became evident almost immediately after meeting her. After a fallopian tube pregnancy and a very close call in the ER, Shantel was whisked away to Hawaii where her husband was stationed. I was pregnant with my 3rd son during this time, and it just broke my heart to see her go through such pain and loss. Before returning back home this year, the lovely couple announced the big news – they were expecting! I obviously couldn’t wait to congratulate her, and immediately thought about how we could capture this amazing event. I chose this location, because its very private, and very beautiful, and I knew Shantel’s long blonde hair would contrast well with all the lush green landscape. And also, their dog…seriously…she is their fur baby and is truly amazing. She is deaf, understands sign language, and is the most calm, sweet doggy I’ve ever met. So, of course she had to be included. I just love how these images turned out and I truly believe you can see the love between Jon and Shantel, as well as the happiness and joy they are feeling.

Rachel and Lisa: First of all, this setting is simply magical with the lush green trees, vines, and trickling water.  It’s the stuff storybooks are made of! Combine that with this gorgeous couple, adorable doggie, and perfect posing and you get a beautiful maternity session for Melisa Cogdell Photography.

We also appreciate Melisa sharing Jon and Shanel’s story with us, as it makes these image that much more joyous. Our wish for this new family is to live “Happily Ever After.”

Gear:  Nikon D700, 50mm 1.4 & 35mm

Location: Felecita Park, Escondido, CA

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We are always accepting submissions for possible features on the blog. Please see our Submission information for further directions. We are looking to showcase family photo sessions as well as milestone celebrations (birthday parties, baby showers, cake smash, religious celebrations) and style inspiration for both home (nursery, kids’ rooms.. ) and family photography sessions (what to wear, packaging, etc.)

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Life, Lens, and Love,

Rachel + Lisa