I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

My Downtown Raleigh Maternity Photos


A deep fear of mine has always been that when I had kids someday, everything would have to change, because who I am isn’t “mom material” enough. My life as a whole certainly isn’t glamorous, but some of my very favorite moments are the little snippets when it is, for one reason or another (sitting front row at Bridal Fashion Week, escaping to a fancy hotel, or even just wearing my highest heels for a night out). And that just doesn’t sound like something a mom gets much of–especially a mom of a boy. Clearly, in my mind, having a baby would mean I’d have to say goodbye to those types of moments for good, and while I would be fine, I would never get to feel totally like myself again.

A few months before we got pregnant, a sweet friend of mine (who is an amazing mama of three boys) gave me one of the best pieces of encouragement I could’ve asked for: “Having kids doesn’t change your personality; it just changes your priorities.” I can’t express how much of a lightbulb moment this simple sentence was for me. Since then, I’ve been continually reassured that God created me the way He did for a reason–He is the one who gave me passions and talents, and by giving me a child, He’s going to add to that, not take away from it. I don’t have to become a totally different person in order to be a good mom. God created me for this baby specifically, and this baby for me and Dave.

I didn’t want to do maternity photos at first–the flowy dress and flower crown styling that I typically associate with them simply didn’t resonate with me at all. But, when my incredibly dear and talented friend Callie of Nancy Ray Photography offered to take some as a gift for us, I realized we could do something different that would remind me of this lesson I’ve been learning. That’s how our “chic, downtown Raleigh” maternity session came to life, and since we did something that felt so perfectly us, I cherish these photos more than I had ever imagined!

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Fun fact about these last few skyline pictures–this is the same park where Dave and I did our first look on our wedding day! We had wanted to do our first look with the skyline in the background, but since it was way too bright in the middle of the day, we did a last-minute switch to below a beautiful tree. Coming back for these photos felt like a sweet “full circle” moment :)

Endless thanks to Callie for sharing her incredible talent with us–these photos are truly some of my favorites ever, and I will always treasure them!






  1. Kate R. says:

    You look so beautiful and at ease! I love the details- like Dave’s monogramed cuff and the ribbon in your hair. The flower crowns (while lovely) have never resonated with me either, this seems like a wonderful alternative!

  2. Kelly says:

    Beautiful!!!! Love your dress and shoes!!!

  3. Robyn says:

    Love this SO much!! You are absolutely glowing and these are probably my favorite maternity photos ever! I love that they are so much more real life too! :) Callie did an incredible job as always! (It also makes me really miss Raleigh!!)

  4. Catherine says:

    Oh my gosh, Lisa, I’m dying! Your hair, your dress, the bow, your shoes, and his whole outfit too! These are just too sweet and perfect.

  5. These are simply stunning, Lisa! I love how “you” they are, and yours & Dave’s personalities are captured so effortlessly. I am obsessed with your hair and the ribbon in it: black ribbons are my favorite and this has reminded me to break one out ASAP!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much, Stephanie!! Fun fact: I was trying to copy a hairstyle that’s in V9, so keep an eye out for that in a few months ;)

  6. Maureen says:

    These are BEAUTIFUL! So excited for you, Dave and baby boy!

  7. I love these photos Lisa! You look beautiful and everything about them is so classy! I especially love your hair!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Natalie! I am no hair stylist, so I was struggling with it, haha–I was relieved it turned out okay! :)

  8. Ali Chamberlain says:

    “Having kids doesn’t change your personality; it just changes your priorities.”
    Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes!

  9. Nichole Winkel says:

    Would mind me asking where the park is that you got those skyline photos? My husband & I are taking new pictures soon & I would love to have some like that for memories of our time in raleigh, it’s our first home together!

  10. Kristina says:

    Wow Lisa…these pictures are amazing! I love that you did what felt right for you and not what we feel like something should look like. So inspiring! And the black ribbon – perfection!
    As someone who doesn’t have kids yet, I have to say it is very encouraging to see how you (seem to) approach pregnancy and motherhood. Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey with us!

  11. Dana says:

    OMG I love them!!! These turned out beautifully! Can’t pick a favorite, but love how Dave is wearing some of his wedding get up :)

  12. Em says:

    Beautiful, chic, and classy – and perfectly you! Couldn’t love these more!

  13. […] I have always loved Lisa’s style, but what I love even more is her heart. She planned her maternity session based on a piece of encouragement that she received from a friend – “Having kids doesn’t change your personality; it just changes your priorities.” She has always had a fear that when she had kids one day, everything about her life would have to change, and after hearing that encouragement, she began to realize that God created her the way that He did for a reason! She doesn’t have to become a completely different person to be a good mom. I love that Lisa and Dave decided to do their maternity session downtown. With a little black dress, heels and a dapper suite in the hustle and bustle of chic, downtown Raleigh, Lisa and Dave were completely in their element! Read more about their maternity session on Lisa’s blog! […]

  14. Hope says:

    These are so so so gorgeous. You look beautiful and so comfortable in this setting – it was meant to be :) I love your hair and dress and Dave’s monogram peaking out of his sleeve. As a fellow Raleighite I love this city we share so much, and you, Dave and Callie captured this beautiful time of your lives in it so wonderfully. Such a good idea that turned out so well and so perfectly you. :)

  15. Hannah Hardy says:

    These photos are stunning!! You look so elegant and graceful. :) I love that y’all made your session special to fit your style!

  16. […] Taking our maternity photos was such a special experience–you can see some of my favorites and read about why they mean so much to me here. […]

  17. Hattie says:

    Hi Lisa, just stumbled on your blog but loving it already. Always so wonderful to find bloggers who share their love for Jesus :)
    One of my best friends in pregnant and is looking for a dress for a new year wedding – would you mind me asking where yours is from? Its beautiful and I think she’d love it.
    Hattie xx


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