The Nude - Pregnancy
There is little in this world that fills me with more awe and amazement than the beauty of a pregnant woman. There is a natural grace and elegance to the lines of a pregnant body, and the speed of change and growth that is naturally a part of a pregnancy is fabulous to work with over multiple sessions - often in less then a week there are changes that make the images created have a real sense of time and evolution.
Before 2002, I had worked with a number of pregnant women, but never for more then a couple of sessions each. In the fall of 2003 however, I finally had a dream come true, when Carol, a good friend, became pregnant and suggested I photograph her throughout the pregnancy, so over the next 30 weeks, we worked together every month, creating a complete documentary of the pregnancy. This was repeated with her second pregnancy, several years later.
I have always loved the beauty of a body in good light - and in this case, a morning session with natural light and room-darkening curtains provided all i was looking for. Digital infrared original
In many ways, the images made during the final indoor session with Carol were the ones that all the other sessions rely upon - they are the cumulation and fruition of more than six months of photos and complete my longest “exposure” to date, as the final image will span the full series of photographs in a single frame. Digital original
Made only hours before I left for a three week project in Scotland, this was my first and only session with C_; though we'd hoped to work a couple of times towards the end of her pregnancy, my imminent departure for the UK, followed by the birth of her child shortly there-after, made this session the one and only! Digital infrared original
As soon as I saw this bathroom, I knew I wished to work with it - fortunately, the whole reason to check out the house it was in was seeking spaces to work with Miranda's pregnancy - and this would end up being one of the best images we made in the location. Digital infrared original
Part way through an earlier session, Carol had reached out and stretched - the light at the time caught her belly, breast and arms and stuck in my mind. During our last indoor session, close to her due date, I asked Carol to repeat the pose and this time captured it, taking advantage of the studio flash we were already using to freeze her stretch at its crescendo. Digital
As soon as B_ stood near the window, I knew the light was perfect, so I suggested she just lean against the window sill, which she did. As I moved the camera about looking for the composition, she quite spontaneously looked down at her hands, and the image came together perfectly. Digital
I always return to this simple lighting set up in the studio, particularly with classical subjects like a late-term pregnancy. With a soft, main light on the right, and a dimmer, hard rim light on the left, the result gives a striking, full volume form on a stark, black background (which in this case was a black backdrop hanging over the front door in the middle of my living room). 8"x10" film
When working with couples, a large number of the images focus on the interplay between the two models, and their hands. With pregnancy images, there is similar focus on hands. 8"x10" film
When I was looking for locations to work in with Roberta, as soon as I entered this apartment, I knew this would be an image I would make. The smooth arch of the doorway had to be worked with from a low angle - the results are striking though. 8"x10" film
Miranda and Ingrid have known each other (both socially and as models) for almost 20 years, so when Miranda returned to Halifax to birth her first child, she specifically asked to have a session with Ingrid! Digital infrared original
In many ways, this image is more about sculpture and light than it is about pregnancy. Digital
With this space, the large window to the left provided the highlight along Carol’s breasts and belly, while the window behind the camera to the right kept the rest of Carol from becoming a dark shadow. The ultra-wide angle lens exaggerated the swell of Carol’s belly a little, but the beauty of the lines of her body so dominate the image that this is of little concern. 8"x10" film