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Oh reckless abandon, like no-ones watching you – The beach maternity shoot of Rachel and bump


” Oh reckless abandon, like no-one’s watching you”… that’s a line from one of my favourite songs ” Sweet disposition.” I was editing these glorious pictures of Rachel, her bump and her little daughter Addison and this track just sprang to mind.

” A moment, a love, a dream aloud” in so many ways that sums up pregnancy so well.

I don’t think there’s ever another time in your life quite like preparing to meet a new person, carrying that child for nine and a half months ( don’t believe the 9 months thing!) and knowing their every movement before they are even born. It’s quite unbelievably extraordinary.

Rachel is expecting her 2nd baby in January. This shoot was about celebrating and marking such a momentous event in her life and she brought her gorgeous little daughter to share in making the memories, because it’s a pretty momentous moment in her life too.


Rachel is positively glowing, in fact she’s about the best advert for pregnancy I’ve ever seen. And I loved her bravery for this shoot. She wanted something different, something which expressed her joy and excitement as her impending new arrival, and we both agreed the beach, a place both Rachel and Addison adore, might be the perfect spot.

So on a bitterly cold November morning, we converged on Filey bay, Rachel’s car piled high with boxes of clothes and coats, hats and scarves, and a few gorgeous knitted baby things.

Standing in a simple grey and white outfit, arms high in the air, feet dipped in the sea, Rachel posed for some of the most exhilarating images of her life. And what a set of images we captured.

Oh reckless abandon, like no-one’s watching….


I just adore the freedom of those shots. The sense of joy from Rachel is palpable and she insists her excitement and pregnancy hormones kept her warm! Brave brave girl.

The beach is such a gorgeous place to photograph anyone- the soft golden pebbles, the reflected light and the surrounding landscape all brought something rather romantic and wild to the images. Addisons fabulous bright red coat was also a perfect shot of colour against the backdrop. Cue the cuddles with mummy.


With the cold north winds gathering pace and the sun finally being shrouded in cloud, we packed up our clothes picnic from the sand  and headed towards the bright hues of the beach huts nearby. We’d stopped many a dog walker in their tracks on the beach, as Rachel had run through the surf, climbed on the pebbles and swirled her daughter around dressed in ostrich feathers! We thought perhaps Filey had enjoy enough excitement for one day.

The vibrant colours of the huts was the perfect contrast to the gentleness of the sand and sea, and Rachel chose a bright pink maxi dress and woollen wraps to keep her warm. It looked utterly gorgeous.

News of a new baby always brings out such kindness in people and Rachel had been lucky enough to receive a surprise gift in the post from a friend. Beautifully hand knitted booties and a hat. Rachel’s mum had also gifted some exquisite little yellow mittens and a few other bits and pieces, oh they were all too cute. Of course, we decided now was a great chance to record these wonderful gestures of love.

I wonder if this little one has any idea of how precious and loved he is, before he even makes his entrance into the world?

New life refocuses everyone around. Not just Mum. The thought of a new person arriving in the world makes us all look at our own lives and look to the future. What do we hope and dream of for this new person, what do we wish for them, what do we want to give them to make their lives wonderful and extraordinary. We often take stock and dream into the future for their lives and our own.

The last set of images were about capturing that thought. Looking to the years ahead, dreaming of the joy and fun, the laughter and the love. I know the sense of expectation Rachel feels. I remember only too well the sense of wanting to create a wonderful life for my unborn child. The total sense of wonderment.

What an extraordinary thing pregnancy is. What a beautiful, exquisite and precious time, waiting for a child to arrive.

In the hustle and bustle of life, its so easy to treat pregnancy and birth as a matter of fact part of life. But actually it’s the most amazing and exceptional event, and we should never lose our sense of awe.

I will, forever keep my sense of reverence and wonderment at the beauty of it all.

My love and thanks to the gorgeous Rachel and Addison for being so brave and having so much fun on the beach with me. I hope these images are cherished by you all and of course by the new little one, for always. And may you always run through the waves, barefoot, hair blowing in the wind, celebrating all that life is.



blog.cathepplephotography.com – The UK wedding blog of Cat Hepple Photography – Leeds Wedding Photographer covering the UK, with weddings in Italy and France


  1. Posted 2 Dec at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Ladies! What a fabulous shoot, and Rachel – so brave! You look amazing darling, and Addison looks so so cute. My favourite has to be the two of you cuddling with Addison’s arm around your neck. A beautiful set :) xx

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 2 Dec at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Thank you Ali, what a lovely thing to say, I’m sure Rachel is over the moon. You are always so supportive and it’s really appreciated.
      Rachel looks utterly gorgeous doesn’t she? I don’t think I ever quite looked this good in pregnancy! And Addison is sooo sweet. Can’t wait to meet the new boy now.


  2. Rachel Julian
    Posted 2 Dec at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Ali. Cat, what a beautiful account of our amazing day! i have gone all soppy after reading it!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will treasure these images forever. R xxx

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 2 Dec at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      It was an absolute pleasure Rachel and I am so thrilled you love the images. What an amazing record of such a precious time in your lives.
      I cannot wait for cuddles with the new arrival.
      Thank you for allowing me to capture these memories for you all.



  3. Posted 2 Dec at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh my god Rachel i absolutely love those
    Purely gorgeous xxxx
    Thankyou for letting me share them with you x