October 10, 2002

An Unexpected Pregnancy Session

In the fifteen years I've been working with the Nude, I have time and again thought that the ideal project would be to work with a model through a pregnancy, recording the changes that a woman's body goes through over the nine month term. I have had the opportunity to work with several pregnant models a number of times in the past, but most of these were single-sessions, as opposed to a more involved project.
6x7 cm film
While I was pleased and engaged by the results from these sessions, I was continually left with the feeling that more could be created, given time and enthusiasm. While I have yet to realize the chance to work with a model through an entire pregnancy, a chance encounter with Aurora early in her third trimester, lead to the start of what would become more then eight weeks of work.

Aurora came across my work online, and while she wasn't specifically searching for someone to photograph her pregnancy, she saw in my work something of what she wished for in an image of her pregnancy. After a flurry of e-mail, a meeting in person, and some soul searching on her part, we began working three days later.
6x7 cm film
For the first session (of what I hoped would become many), I opted to work in the small front room in my house; the light was perfect in the late afternoon, and while the space was small, it provided us with a nice intimate space to work in. The white sheets, arranged over the two windows, provided more then enough light, and the bed, while limited in space, provided us with a well defined place to work in.

It usually takes some time for a new model to become accustomed to the process; with Aurora, however, there was little of the usual hesitation over modeling nude for the first time. I think in part this was less because of an adjustment to a new experience, then it was a reality of the change in her own relationship to her body that comes with a pregnancy. Whatever the reason, very quickly Aurora moved into a place where she was relaxed and comfortable, and both of us were focused upon the images we were making together.
6x7 cm film
Something I really enjoy about working with a model within a small define space is that rather then constantly trying to make new, unusual, or extremely compelling images, I tend to focus far more on how the model moves, how she interacts with the space, and how the light wraps around her and gives definition and formed to her body. This approach certainly worked well with Aurora, as by the end of the session, when the light was swiftly dying, we had a number of striking images from the hour's work I hope that these images mark the beginning of what will be a striking body of work revolving around a pregnancy that I feel privileged to document even part of.

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