At last a couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to participate in the new American tradition of taking maternity photos! Aside from senior year or weddings, maternity is the only other time when it’s socially acceptable for women to splurge on a professional photographer to commemorate a life-changing event. And what better way to look back on those nine grueling months of nausea, fear, body enlargement, restrictive diet, bad maternity clothes, stretch marks, acne, swollen ankles, daily aches and gas than with beauty shots! According to pregnancy lore, women are never more beautiful than when they’re really hating life.
To demonstrate how precious pregnancy is, maternity photos must exude the mythic glow preggos can’t help but blind people with. Sure non-pregnant women glow too and I’ve only been complimented on it when I’ve done up my hair and make-up, but it’s one of the few carrots pregnant ladies get, so BACK OFF! Pregnancy is magical, precious, empowering. Forget seeing a woman live in action mid-contraction–there is no glow in that! Stick to far away looks and dream somewhere deep inside that you’re Bambi while posing half-naked. We want our American preggos to be hot lioness earth mothers with enough virginal frailty to not sully our puritanical ideals of motherhood. And who better to perpetuate this unattainable image than pregnant women themselves. In spite of their crankiness and pain they are still women, and hell if they’re not gonna look good. They know how to do it—and if you’re walking with a fetus, you had better follow suit.
It is well-known that every pregnancy is different, but maternity photo sessions are not the time to distinguish yourself from the tribe of mothers-to-be. Just like everything else to do with the breeding lifestyle, when it comes to taking photos there is a right way and a wrong way: the right way—you’ll be mom of the year; wrong way—give your baby up for adoption and never try having children again.
So I met with my photographer and friend Evi T’Bolt to review the best way to photograph the way I’m supposed to be feeling about being pregnant. We stuck to five of the six common looks: The Fairy, Sweet and Virginal, Haunted, TMI Sexy, and Healthy Yoga Girl. There is also the classic Demi Moore naked profile pic but due to various constraints, we had to pass. Still, with the looks we did shoot I hope everyone can see just how beautiful and delicate pregnancy has made me.
Let’s begin with…
My primary inspiration for this look was this photo:
Isn’t she just lovely? Even the water sparkles at the sight of her. Photoshop can barely contain the glow she feels from holding her baby. That’s because pregnant women happily frolic through the fields when no one is looking until they take their maternity photos.
Posting tomorrow: Haunted. Stay tuned…
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