Unusual topics can make the best photo blogs. Last year, I touched upon the topic of postmortem photography (Postmortem remembrance…a photographic trend we might find a little strange today), which, while not taboo in its day, would easily make an episode of Dateline NBC today. And while the photography of death makes for an interesting blog, I have found yet another slice of the unusual to write about today in the photography of life: Maternity boudoir!
Years ago (and 2,000 miles from here), I was walking through a mall when I saw a fairly large display set up for a local photographer. One of the portraits they had chosen to exhibit was that of an expectant mother showing off her bare baby bump.
Now, I’ll be honest, at the time, I was a little taken back. Perhaps I had simply not seen too many bare, pregnant bellies at that time in my life, and it just caught me off guard. But, for some reason, my initial impression of maternity portraiture had left me less than desirous to see more, let alone actually be the photographer. Luckily for me, this was only a first impression.
Let’s fast forward several years to now: I’m over that! Today, my outlook on photographing expectant mothers has made a complete 180 and the beauty I find in these portraits, and in taking these portraits, is immeasurable. As a photographer of women, being able to photograph an expectant mother and her baby bump is one of the highlights of my career and leaves me with a smile for days!
So, what is so unusual about this? Well, nothing, so far. I am getting to that. You see, also as a women’s photographer, I regularly shoot our intimate “You” sessions as well. And, while maternity portraiture could be classified as intimate, it hardly crosses the threshold into sexy until the client wants it to. So, it should come as no surprise that, in our vast world of life, love, beauty, and wonders, many have already crossed this threshold…with gorgeous results!
Given we have never had anyone inquire about a maternity boudoir session, the idea had generally eluded me until I happened upon the concept in a Google search once. Then, following further research, I could not tear my eyes away.
But I am jumping the gun a bit, as I know there are a few details not to be missed.
Boudoir photography, in and of itself (despite my passion for it), is still considered, by many, to be somewhat taboo. Try coupling it with maternity and, for some, it might just land on the other side of taboo.
And this sentiment might not even be for the reasons one thinks. Even though I am a guy, I have been around enough to know the idea of baring it all in front of a camera in the latter months of pregnancy might not sit well with many women. You don’t have to be a woman to know that gained weight, swollen ankles, exhaustion, and a distorted figure (natural or not) are not exactly on the ingredients list for sexy, let alone a portrait shoot. Right? Well, it is a good thing that this type of photography is about so much more than that!
Despite its taboo label, boudoir photography is about more than just being sexy in front of a camera. It is about the celebration of beauty, the vibrance of life, and the capturing of a woman’s natural, human, sensual side in a time set aside just for her. When viewed from this angle it is not a large leap to see how the addition of the beauty, found in an expectant mother’s portrait, makes the result that much more amazing.
It is a beautiful portrait of life on so many levels. You capture the woman’s sensual feminine beauty in its natural form, the warm glow of expectant motherhood, and the promise of new life to come. In a way, you strip away the taboos associated with sexy portraiture and simply sit back and admire what matters most in any intimate shoot: Indescribable beauty!
And with the constraints place upon me by black and white text, it seems only right to illustrate this photo blog a bit with some photos. I mean, I could just as easily go on and on with writing, however, as any photographer will tell you, some beauty cannot be described with words. Some you simply have to see for yourself! Take a look!
I will reiterate what I said before: These.Portraits.Are.Beautiful! I have found a couple of Pinterest pages that illustrate what I am saying (view them here and here), then I found a couple of other photography sites that have beautiful portfolios to share (Jennifer Williams Boudoir and The Boudoir Vixen).
Like I said in the beginning, this type of photography might be viewed as unusual, but it is amazing nonetheless and I encourage all to see its beauty before immediately casting it to the realm of taboo. And, I’ll tell you, I can’t wait until we have our first maternity boudoir client. It will make a welcomed addition to our budding studio’s life.
Also, in keeping with this blog’s theme of the beauty of women, and as we are still coming down from the high we found at the 2014 Real Woman’s Expo in Paducah last Saturday, we want to give another shout out to our prize drawing winners: Donna Hill and Lucrecia Glisson! We look forward to working with these two lovely ladies!