When Morgan reached out to me about doing maternity photos in her childhood vacation spot, I was so excited. As a Door County photographer, I love documenting tender moments with intention. These golden hour maternity photos at Lake Michigan capture the ethereal emotions surrounding pregnancy.
Door County encompasses a stunning peninsula that leads all the way to Washington Island in Lake Michigan. It’s located about three hours north of Milwaukee and four and half hours north of Chicago. It has become a popular destination for people looking to escape the city and relax in nature.
As a Door County photographer, I get to photograph people intentionally creating moments of stillness away from the bustle of their everyday lives. Whether it’s something as simple as a family vacation or as momentous as a wedding, this area is gorgeous. Shady woods run right up to long, sandy shores. Lake Michigan’s deep waters seem to stretch out endlessly.
One reason I like being a Door County photographer is that the area translates so well onto film and Super 8. Film photography has a nostalgic, vintage atmosphere that perfectly suits the sleepy vacation towns and carefree moments of connection here. Super 8, too, gets that home movie feeling that will make you want to relive sweet summer moments over and over.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Morgan and Robert many times. Like many of my maternity clients, we originally met when I did their engagement (and eventually wedding) photos. You can check out their studio engagement photos here and their Hotel Northland wedding here.
Every time I get to work with clients again, I feel honored. As we get to know each other better, they grow to trust my creative vision and know that I’ll be intentional about creating their images. When Morgan and Robert chose me to be their Door County photographer for this maternity session, I knew we’d create something truly special.
I met Morgan and Robert at Lake Michigan a little bit before sunset. As a photographer, I find myself drawn to doing maternity sessions lakeside. There’s something very beautiful about pregnancy surrounded by water. It feels poetic the way the light reflects off the water to create an ethereal experience. It highlights a person’s silhouette and really romanticizes this tender, brief moment.
Lake Michigan is especially important to Morgan as she prepares for the arrival of her first child. Her parents have a cottage in Door County, and she spent so much of her childhood in that area. It was really important for her to commemorate this moment in her pregnancy in this setting.
Morgan made the most of the time at the lake by bringing multiple outfits that layered easily. In addition to her bathing suit, she brought a flowy cover. It added variety and movement to the photos. I love the way it blew back over her baby bump when the breeze came across the lake. She also brought a simple, more structured button down and jeans to wear in the woods. Both Morgan and Robert wore neutral colors and fabrics that felt so organic in the setting. Everything about this session just felt natural.
As a Door County photographer, sunset is probably my favorite time to be on the beaches at Lake Michigan. Golden hour lights up the whole lake with a cozy warmth. It’s almost unreal. For maternity photos, I think it really encapsulates that breathtaking moment when you realize you’re growing a whole human with whom you’ll always have a connection. It’s just beautiful.
In addition to the photos in and beside the water, Morgan, Robert, and I explored around the edge of the woods. The golden light shone through the trees. All the plants gave the photos a sense of being rooted in something deep and enduring. As Morgan and Robert stood looking out over the lake, I could see they were on the edge of something new together. These photos preserve that so they can revisit it and share it with their little one when they arrive.
Are you looking for a Door County photographer? I’m Lauren. I specialize in capturing fleeting moments on film, digital, and Super 8. Reach out to me here!