Mel's Maternity Photoshoot

In early September of 2020 I had the pleasure of shooting Mel during the pregnancy of her son, Jonny. We ended up in some woodland on the edge of Stour Head and came away with some wonderful shots.

On the set of HER

I had first met Mel when she responded to a casting call for my wife’s film “HER”. She had played, along with our good friend Emma, the role of a couple where her opposite number had died and was now haunting Mel. It was a fun short film project to work on and the small cast and dedicated crew brought this modern tale of love and loss to life. 

While shooting Mel had done a few quick photos for some stock shots and I had mentioned that it would be great to do a proper shoot in the future. When I found out she was expecting, I was only too happy to reach out and offer a maternity shoot.

Our venture into the woods

When we had met up, our hope had been to shoot in the stunning grounds of Stour Head Estate however we were unable to go in, I believe due to COVID, so had to quickly think of an alternative location.  

After driving around a bit we stopped at a nearby bridge, but quickly decided that the hot sun and cloudless sky was making everything washed out. A short drive further around the edge of the estate, we came to a minor road into the woodland and found somewhere to park. Almost immediately we found a fantastic spot, with mossy ridges, fallen trees and ferns blanketing the forest floor. The trees took the edge of the sun and gave a wonderful light cast for our shoot and I would definitely return there again for future projects.

A bittersweet moment

Mel produced some lovely shots with me on the day, but I could tell she was very nervous and we had briefly touched on some concerns she had during pregnancy on the car drive down to the woods. I did my best to make it a comfortable and relaxing photoshoot and toward the end, she definitely seemed more at ease. I would later learn that Mel had only recently been told that there was a high likelihood of her son being born with Down Syndrome, turning what should have been a happy time into one full of fear for the future.


Thankfully by the time Jonny was born, Mel had become far more optimistic on the condition and was filled with a positive determination that he could and would live a full and happy life. After a brief stay in the hospital, they came home and are continuing to thrive ever since. More can be found on Mel’s journey on her Instagram page: mel_johnnyandbear