Mom’s Taco Bell Pregnancy Shoot Is the Only ‘Spicy’ Maternity Photos We Want

Courtney Vallal
Brooke Drumm Photography

Most of us have seen our fair share of maternity photos over the years. They usually involve a mom-to-be standing in a grassy field, wearing a long dress and flower crown while cupping her growing belly. Or maybe she's at home, holding a sonogram in front of her bump, as her partner looks on adoringly. But chances are, you've never seen a mom celebrating her bump in quite like Courtney Vallala. The mom-to-be, who lives in Washington state, recently teamed up with her best friend and sister-in-law Brooke Drumm of Brooke Drumm Photography to capture some rather "spicy" maternity photos -- at her local Taco Bell.

  • According to the photographer, the pregnant mom grew up in California, where she developed a lifelong love of the popular fast-food chain.

    She's since moved to Washington, where a bit of contention exists over what's better: Taco Bell, or the West Coast-based Tex-Mex chain Taco Time.

    "There’s quite the Taco Time/Taco Bell rivalry around here, and we were strictly a Taco Time family," Drumm tells CafeMom.

    But ever since Vallala married Drumm's brother, her love for Taco Bell "has been an ongoing joke in the family, so we decided to celebrate it with this pregnancy," the photographer explains.

    And boy, did they.

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  • Drumm tells CafeMom that the photo session turned out to be a "blast."

    "We’re so grateful to the Taco Bell for running with it," she says, adding that the shoot was both fun and casual for everyone and involved.

    In fact, it was a family affair, says Drumm, who adds that, "My 11-year-old was actually my lighting assistant!"

  • They started by taking photos outside the iconic eatery, where the laughs just kept on coming.

    (Could Vallala be describing just how big a burrito she wants when she gets inside? Hey, it's possible.)

  • Then they took things inside the restaurant, where Vallala ordered some of her favorite items on the menu.

    And just in case you thought it was all for show ... it wasn't.

    "We really ate a full meal there (and had seconds)," assured Drumm.

    "I got very nervous before the shoot," admits Vallala, who is due on Valentine's Day. "But knew it would be fine after I started posing. It was so awkward eating, smiling and hoping that I looked decent as I shoveled food in my mouth. We laughed a lot and had a great time."

  • The pair captured some more traditional maternity photos later, with Vallala's husband and their two other kids, Hunter, 4, and Luna, 11 months.

    But once Drumm shared the Taco Bell pics on Facebook, it was clear those were the fan favorites.

    "People have been overwhelmingly positive, which is amazing," Drumm tells CafeMom. "I’ve learned that people who love Taco Bell really love Taco Bell! It’s been great to see how many people are inspired to embrace their authentic selves and do something similar."

    The post, which went up January 1, has since been shared more than 13K times, and drawn over 9K comments from people who loved it.

    "This is friggin AMAZING!!!" wrote one woman. "I need to send those workers a card!!"

    "I HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE!" wrote another. "I am not alone in my insatiable Taco Bell cravings and now I feel much better."

    Although Vallala admitted that she did spill a fair amount of nacho cheese on her dress (oops), the day was well worth it. (Even if just for the nachos.)

    "It was very weird to see it go viral," she tells CafeMom. "I would’ve never thought that it would happen to me and for something like this. The first week I was addicted to my phone, watching the numbers rise. The hardest part is not wanting to chime in to the negative comments, but luckily there are more positive than negative."