July 17, 2000

Aeyla's Pregnancy (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The last year seems to have been particularly fortunate, in regards to finding pregnant models to work with. Last fall, I photographed Laura , then I worked with Nancy early this year, and now Aeyla. I actually was told by Aeyla of her pregnancy in late March, but it was only now, at five months, that we were able to arrange for a session. I first worked with Aeyla in 1997.
In contrast to our first studio session in 1999, this evening went very well - I suspect this is because there was something specific to focus upon, and the entire session, from start to end, had a very clear sense of purpose. I think the biggest irony of working with pregnant models is that while Western Culture reveres and worships "thin", the whole goal of images of the pregnant Nude is to glorify and celebrate the swelling belly and full curves of the expectant mother.
35mm infrared film
My favourite images from this session are a pair of 4"x5" negatives of Aeyla standing that I produced on the 4"x5" camera (one of these is above to the right). To make these images, I used a lens tilt on the camera to isolate the focus of the models head, throwing the rest of her figure gradually out of focus. The delicate quality of the defocused figure really appeals to me, though in the past using this technique has drawn some criticism from those who feel it is "non-photographic". The beauty of the image as a print leaves no doubt in my mind about the effectiveness of the technique.
4"x5" film
As I said above, the session went extremely well, with Aeyla and I both working in tandem to come up with poses that were both comfortable for her, and effective for what I was after. The importance of the mother-to-be's hands on her belly, first noticed with Nancy this spring, reappeared, and became the centre of a number of the images.

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