👭 Zelda & Courtney 👭 | A Fabulous Maternity Surprise! | Atlanta + Dallas Lifestyle Photographer / by KSimon Photography

Happy 2015 loves! I hope everyone is off to a great start this year!

Things have been super busy over here at KSimon Photography! It’s been a while since I’ve shared my client sessions with you, so I’m very excited to be back at it. Yay!!!

Next on the blog today will surely brighten your day - a surprise maternity session last year with beautiful and sweet besties, Zelda and Courtney!

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

I had the pleasure of meeting Courtney on New Year’s Eve in 2014. Little did I know that she would contact me later to be a part of her plot to surprise her expecting best friend, Zelda! 😈😇

👭 About Zelda 👭

Genuine is how Courtney describes Zelda in one word. A gorgeous mother-to-be, Zelda is also witty, has a great sense of humor and is always doing something nice for other people. She is an avid lover of science and enjoys working as a marine biologist. Zelda specializes in researching jellyfish, sharks, turtles, and iguanas. Too cool, right!?!? Beauty and brains!

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

In particular, jellyfish are extremely fragile creatures and die (will literally fall apart) very easily. Initially as a joke with her boss, Zelda devised a special “peanut butter and jelly” diet for jellyfish that allowed them to grow and flourish. Peanut butter for jellyfish!? Wow! She and her boss came up with the idea of using peanut butter given it is a good source of protein (which is the usual source of nourishment for jellyfish).

Zelda monitored the jellyfish very closely and researched their progress under this new diet. Her research is so unique and fascinating that it was published here in Drum and Croaker, a peer-reviewed journal for the aquatic industry. The published article caught the attention of a marine researcher at Brown University and was blogged about. The blog article went viral, resulting in Zelda’s work being featured in Yahoo news and several renowned magazines. This was the first time Zelda and her team had been a part of research that received such attention. Her work has been selected to be published in France soon!

To learn more about Zelda’s fascinating jellyfish research, check out these articles:

👭 About Courtney 👭

Courtney is clever, strong-willed, independent and a blessing to anyone she meets. She is currently earning a Masters degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has always been interested in helping families and children. In particular, she wants to counsel children whose parents are becoming divorced to help families determine what is best for their children.

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

Courtney also volunteers as often as she can through her job and church. She recently helped set up a kid-friendly autism camp though the bible study group at church. In addition, she loves to donate clothing to a local women’s charity.

👭 Their Amazing Friendship 👭

Zelda and Courtney met about three years ago when they became coworkers in retail. Courtney transferred to Zelda’s work location, where they immediately “bumped heads”. Courtney was new to the location, and Zelda ensured that Courtney learned the ropes and upheld work standards appropriately. It turned out that they both loved to work hard and make sure things were well taken care of. So once they were able to know each other better, they became the best of friends and later roommates.

Zelda described Courtney as “an awesome friend and a blessing to her”. She explained that they both have fairly similar personalities and share personal things that are only kept between the two of them. “She adds such a positive energy to my life”, Zelda stated. “Courtney has great character, keeps it real and takes what I have to say in a positive light.” When Zelda went through a period of isolation due to life challenges, Courtney insisted on getting her out of their home. This helped Zelda realize how much Courtney cared about her and their friendship.

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

Courtney appreciates Zelda’s strong personality and how they have always been able to get along. She explained how they never have a problem dividing up chores and helping out around their home. Courtney shared, “We’ve never really had a big fight. I really appreciate how Zelda keeps it straight with me. She is always helping other people. Zelda is a good person and a sweetheart.”

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

It certainly didn’t take long for me to notice how close Zelda and Courtney are as friends. It was the caring way they interacted with each other - like sisters. When Courtney went above and beyond to surprise Zelda with this unforgettable maternity session, I knew then that they are always there for each other.

👭 The Surprise 👭

Courtney felt that Zelda deserved something nice. Zelda is always doing nice things for her and other people. After Zelda randomly showed Courtney several maternity pictures that she liked, Courtney decided to take informal pictures of Zelda at their home for three hours! What an awesome friend Courtney is!

Courtney then realized that Zelda should have professional maternity pictures taken and knew just what to do - plan a surprise maternity session for her. So she reached out to me to customize a session for Zelda. I happily obliged!

Courtney hid the surprise from Zelda quite well. Given Courtney and Zelda had not hung out in a while due to their busy schedules, Courtney told Zelda that she had signed them up for a painting session through a Groupon deal. On the day of the maternity session (I mean painting session. Ha!), Courtney ensured Zelda looked pretty and cleverly had Zelda get into her vehicle first when it was time to head to the session location. Then Courtney ran back into their home to grab some photo props (which she hid in her tote bag). Zelda was somewhat suspicious of Courtney’s behavior but had no clue of what was really going on.

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

When Zelda and Courtney arrived for the session, Zelda eventually saw me taking pictures of them. Courtney later shared that she told Zelda at that time, “Oh look! They are taking pictures of the painting participants!” Too funny! Well of course, Courtney finally revealed to Zelda that there was no painting session. Zelda fought back the tears as I photographed her reaction to finding out about her surprise maternity session. She was definitely surprised, happy, and glowing!

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

Zelda was so thankful for the photo shoot experience and stated that “it made me feel special”. Courtney described the photo shoot experience as “fun” and “easy to take photographs”. She further stated, “The photo shoot was really cool and was just the right amount of time - not too long or too short.” I absolutely love to make sure my clients enjoy their photo experience! 😉

👭 The Beautiful Portraits 👭

I’m very happy to share that Zelda gave birth to her healthy, happy, and super cute baby boy, Xavier - just three months after our session. Congratulations Zelda! Best wishes and many blessings to you, Courtney, baby Xavier, and your families!

Gosh, I’m so thankful to have the most amazing and beautiful clients ever! I love my clients! Here are my remaining favorites from this unforgettable maternity session:

Lifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLCLifestyle Maternity Portrait | Dallas Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer | ksimonphotography.com | © KSimon Photography, LLC

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Kimberly 😉

📷 Atlanta + Dallas Fashion, Lifestyle, & Business Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer