I first met Cassiday Proctor in the studio at 106.5 The Arch, a local St. Louis radio station. In July, I was nominated as a “Kick-Ass Chick of The Week” on Spencer’s Neighborhood where Cassiday works as a Radio Personality. I went in with my daughter, Emma, strapped to me in our Tula Baby Carrier when she was just about 2 weeks old. We were on because I had given birth to Emma in the car in the Old Navy parking lot in Sunset Hills when labor went super fast and we couldn’t make it to the Mercy Birthing Center. I met up with Cassidy for the second time with Spencer to shoot a “Man-ternity” shoot for Spencer who was wearing an “Empathy Belly”. It was hilarious, random, and awesome! Cassiday was early in her pregnancy at the time. When Cassiday contacted me about doing a maternity shoot for herself and told me she wanted to do it at her favorite local pizza joint, Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria, I knew I had to do it. A maternity photoshoot in a pizza place?! Sign. Me. Up. That’s like stars aligning perfect. I love pizza, maternity, the place has my name in it, and it fits right in with my lifestyle and documentary photography! Yep. Yep. Yep.
I contacted Katie’s Pizza and Pasta to see if they were cool with this happening at their restaurant. After speaking to the manager and getting Katie’s permission, we were ready to roll! We purposely went to Katie’s during a time when there wouldn’t be a mad rush of people. We had no intention of disrupting other patron’s dining experience, so when you see these, that’s why there are so few people in there. Katie’s is booming during the dinner hour, especially on weekends!
First of all, Katie’s Pizza has an amazing atmosphere to it. I mean, duh, the name says it all, amiright?! Ha Ha Ok, that’s conceited of me. But it’s pretty cool that we share a name and a love for pizza. Cassiday had told me that her favorite pizza was the Brussels. As in Brussels Sprouts Pizza. And since Cassiday is a Pizza Connoisseur, this isn’t just a crazy pregnancy craving. It’s actually an item on the menu! You guys, this place has some unique stuff gracing their menu and I urge you to check them out for a casual date or night out with friends — or ya know, a maternity shoot! Ha! Cassiday and her husband, Jerry, took a seat at the bar and ordered some drinks. The bartender was so sweet and served Cassiday a “Mommy Cocktail” (translation: Non-alcoholic) and her husband ordered a draft beer, Earthbound Irish Red.
Photo shoots like this one make my heart skip a few beats. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good field of tall grass with the sun setting behind a pregnant woman making her look radiant as ever. But, there’s just something about a couple doing their own ‘thang that gets me. They’re down to Earth, relaxed people, and this shoot is true to them — pizza, beer, jeans, relaxed environment. If there is one thing I stress to my clients, it’s that I want their photos to be “them”. I want my clients to look back on their pictures and think, “That’s *so* us!” I want them to be able to display photos on their walls that make sense to who they really are. It puts my clients at ease when they’re comfortable, when they’re feeling the environment, and when they’re in a place of familiarity. And it shows in their expressions, in their actions, and how the shoot turns out.
Cassiday and Jerry, thank you so much for the fun true-to-you pizza maternity shoot! Can’t wait for your newborn session once you meet your “Lil Slice of Heaven”!
Where do you want to do your St. Louis maternity shoot? If you aren’t sure where, I’ll help you figure that out! Let’s come up with something unique and get to it!