In the gallery on my website, there is a photo of a pregnant mother-to-be, silhouetted by the light of a window. A pink light suffuses room. The space looks almost ready and the mom looks so pleased. I’ve always liked the photo because it is a little different from the usual maternity silhouettes. I feel like it tells a story, but it turns out that the story most people want to know is, how many babies was she having?
Culling back through some old photos I came across a few other photos from that session and realized that if I posted them, the same question would be on people’s mind: how many babies was she having?
For this same session we also tried a staged, stock photo photo, (something we agreed to before the session). In my opinion, it just didn’t work. It isn’t because she looks huge. It doesn’t work because the photo is confusing.
Is she planning to go for a jog with her mail? Is there some visual pun about being ready to deliver? Why is she petting her mailbox like a cat? These problems are all my fault, because I staged it. The photo looks exactly as posed as it was. The composition is weak, with her belly unavoidably aglow in the center. When I presented it to the stock agency my representative asked if it was twins or triplets before we could discuss the photograph’s merits or lack thereof for the agency.
I didn’t want this guessing game to be the point of the photos. The stock photo doesn’t really make my point because, as I said, it doesn’t work artistically or otherwise, and I don’t want to play into the fears of the moms-to-be who call me, worried that they have waited to long or gotten too big for a photo shoot. Honestly, it is never too late, unless you are in labor. There are plenty of great ways to make a beautiful maternity portrait in late pregnancy, even with twins or more.
Just the other day I posted a twin pregnancy photo where you can just see one of the babies kick. I think it’s really cool, and, yes, it is hard not to be a little in awe of how big her belly is. There is nothing wrong with that awe, but is it possible to see the beauty of the photo without reacting, as people have, “OMG she is HUGE!” What about the amazing fact you can see that baby kick!
So, how many babies was she having? I’ll let you guess in the comments and, in my next post, I’ll tell you. In the meantime, if you are expecting and you are worried you might carry this big, don’t worry — you probably won’t. But, even if you do, you could do a lot worse than to be this happy.