It’s hard for me to believe it’s been almost 14 years since I was last pregnant.
Pregnancy is one of those life-changing events I thought I’d always remember. How it felt, how I looked, what I experienced. Just like when my two children were young, I thought I’d never forget the specifics – when they first smiled, or got their first tooth, or when they took that first step. But to be honest, I can’t even remember how much they weighed when they were born without looking it up.
I do remember a few things about being pregnant. Overall, I enjoyed pregnancy – at least parts of it. I liked knowing for the first time ever that when I poked on my stomach, it was rock hard. I loved the feeling of my baby moving around, or even better, getting the hiccups. But there were also things I didn’t like – my feet swelling up so bad I could barely walk, or only being able to fit into sweatpants and huge baggy shirts.
I remember well-meaning people telling me, “Oh, you don’t even look pregnant!” No, I just looked huge.
The last thing I could have ever imagined wanting to do was have a maternity photo shoot. Little did I realize then how quickly the memories – and the stretch marks – would fade.
The Beauty of Pregnancy
Pregnancy truly is the most incredibly stunning time in a woman’s life. She is doing what only she can – growing an amazingly unique life inside of her. No other child in either the history or the future of the world will be exactly like her baby. Wow! What an awe-inspiring thought.
However, as amazingly wonderful as that is, it’s sometimes hard to feel beautiful when you’re pregnant. Your body is out of control. Your hormones are wreaking havoc – blemished skin, strange hairs growing in odd places, and a belly that has literally taken on a life of its own.
Just because a woman doesn’t feel beautiful or sexy doesn’t mean she isn’t breathtaking.
Maternity photography can capture the spirit of that beauty in an almost surreal way. The right photographer can transform a mother-to-be’s experience into the magnificent work of art it deserves to be.
Pregnancy encompasses all that is right and beautiful and powerful with womanhood. Perhaps like nothing else, pregnancy brings out the goddess that a mother-to-be truly is.
Just look at how powerful this image is. Almost every aspect of the image fades except for the mother-to-be, dressed in golden royalty, almost ready to take flight. Elegant and beautiful, she confidently rules this image and the surrounding elements are her obedient subjects.
In this example, the mother-to-be appears to have goddess-like control over all her natural surroundings. Although the model seems to be peacefully reflecting on the upcoming birth of her child, she unquestionably is prepared to protect her unborn child at a moment’s notice. The dress behind her almost looks like a water dragon and she is its ruler.
While pregnancy is powerful, it’s also delightfully pure. What could be more innocent than a newborn baby? Maternity photography can capture this innocence as well
In the image above, for example, the pink and white shades and dreamlike gown delicately show off the model’s growing belly. Below, the little boy’s face shines with wonder about his new sibling to be.
Just as pregnancy has a unique form of innocence, it can also be incredibly sexy. I love how this image below combines both of these elements through the choice of clothing and setting.
There is something exceptionally sexy about a pregnant woman. Perhaps it’s because women often feel more feminine when they’re pregnant, which also helps them feel more confident. And maternity photography can not only capture a pregnant woman’s sensuality, it can help remind her how desirable she truly is.
The image below, for example, encapsulates extravagance. From the luxurious couch to the elegant flowing gown, there is nothing frumpy about this sensual mom-to-be.
Simplistic, confident, and incredibly sexy, the image (below) is one of the favorites I’ve seen. The outfit is conservative and the colors minimalistic, and yet from the tips of her toes to her free-flowing hair, evey aspect of this photograph shows how confident this mother-to-be feels about her changing body.
Maternity photography is about more than just capturing the image of the mother-to-be. It’s about permanently recording her story so that it can be shared with future generations, including her children. What a gift for children to be able to look back and see how much their mother loved and cherished them before they were even born.
One emotion often caught by pregnancy photographers is that of longing, or anticipation. I love how in this image, for example, the model looks as those she’s having a quiet moment alone with her child, contemplating the future. Perhaps giving her baby advice. Perhaps wondering aloud what whose eyes he will have, or what she will be when she grows up.
With its tight cropping and contrasting colors, this is one of the more powerful maternity shots I’ve seen. The mother-to-be has a contemplative look that implies both longing for the baby to come, as well as perhaps a little bit of anxiousness over what the future will hold. Beautiful and powerful.
This image appears that it could have been taken directly from an epic film as the mother-to-be longingly awaits the safe arrival of her love, who has been off to sea. The image is simple, elegant, and captures the essence of the anticipation for the arrival of her baby.
Another common emotion in pregnancy that can be captured by photography is the pure joy that comes knowing the baby will soon be here. Maternity photography can capture this sentiment as well. Just look at the joy on this mother’s face as her young daughter hugs her mother’s belly.
Capturing Growing Families
Pregnancy is about the whole family, not just the mother. Maternity photos can do much more than simply show off the baby bump. They can portray the story of a growing family.
Maternity photos can share the experience of a husband and wife as they prepare for their family to permanently change. They can capture the essence of the love that created the soon-to-be-born baby to start with.
I love the personality that shines through in this photo, giving us a deeper glimpse into their relationship and their love story.
Additionally, another way to capture the celebration is to bring in the baby’s siblings as well.
Finally, capturing the excitement and innocence of the baby’s siblings can make for beautiful photos the entire family will cherish. This big sister’s grin (below) says it all!
Capturing the Moment
Finally, that pregnancy belly is only noticeable for a short period of time, then it will never be the same. Mothers-to-be have a short window to capture that unique moment, then the moment is gone forever. Maternity photography provides the amazing opportunity to capture the beauty of pregnancy in a way that will be cherished for generations to come.