January 03, 2004

A Late Pregnancy Session

When I was debating over visiting Halifax for the New Year's weekend, it was actually Lynn Marie's e-mail that turned the balance. Six months earlier she had let me know about her pregnancy and we had a first session, intending for there to be others. As things turned out though, we never managed to meet up again and the planned documentation of her full pregnancy never materialized. When I received her e-mail in December asking if I would be in Halifax over the holidays and if I would like to photograph her during the last month of her pregnancy, I jumped at the chance. The fact that two other models (Miranda and Veronica) had asked about my working with them over the same weekend was encouraging and tempting, but a third model at the height of her pregnancy, was too much to ignore.
Digital original
This was my third studio session of the day but, through careful planning and the assistance of my partner, Joy, I was well fed and watered and quite looking forward to working with Lynn-Marie. By the end of the session, I would have been in the studio for more than 12 hours, photographing for almost nine of those.

Just like my couple nudes, I feel that pregnancy nudes are particularly suited for the studio, where the focus is on the shape and form of the model, as opposed to the setting. Lynn-Marie, who started working with me in 2002, has never modeled in a studio before, but given the time of year, and the late hour, there wasn't any other option for the session.
Digital original
Between my work with Christina and Carol, I've had a lot of experience working with late-term pregnancies in the past couple of years, and it was upon this body of work I built during this session.
While each model I work with bring a difference to the session, there is a thread running through the pregnancy images, the swell of the baby within the womb which pulls them together into a body of work, more so than many of my other images.

While many of the poses and compositions I made with Lynn-Marie were drawn directly from earlier images, the subtle differences between her body and the other models, and the subtle changes in the lighting and positioning made the results augment the earlier images, rather then replace them.
Digital original

Because of the pregnancy, the session was by necessity short, with less the ninety minutes passing between the first image and the last. I tried to vary the style of images over the session, working between standing, sitting and reclining poses, and dramatic versus flat lighting, to make the most of what time we did have to work. In the end, I do think the strongest images are varied enough to be set side to side and not read like variations on the same theme but rather like explorations of the same subject, subtle but definite difference in tone.

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