Today’s rain may have thrown a monkey wrench in my portrait plans for the early part of this week but I’m making the most out of this dreary day by catching up on editing. And just in time…I definitely wanted for Natalie and Craig to see these before Baby Boy arrives!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: belly portraits are the hardest thing I do. Its not for a lack of great subjects (I truly have the best) or because I don’t love the maternal form (I definitely do) but because its so hard to do in a way that is artistic without being cheesy, emotional without being over the top, and most challenging of all – unique. While I’ve never really succeeded with it (by my own standards), I get a little closer every time I do it. Natalie and Craig’s photos are the closest I have come yet.
Natalie and Craig built the house that has become the hub of their life so it only made sense to take photos in this very special place. The couples’ dog, Hilton (as in Hilton Head where the couple was married, not Paris or Perez), was a very willing participant and all I had to do to get her to look at me was say the word, “ball”. I often joke that my job is like taking a test you can’t study for: each shoot offers the gift of serendipity, particularly when I shoot for a client for the first time. So I was pleased to find so many intimate and welcoming details in Natalie and Craig’s home that I could use to frame this special, happy time in their lives:
I couldn’t decide which close up I liked better so I included them both!
Its kind of creepy (or maybe just cool) that the specular highlights on Craig’s shirt and the couples’ profile mimic the look of their baby in the ultrasound. I didn’t intend it but I liked it:
I find myself drawn to the same things over and over again when I do belly shoots: clocks in the background (tic tock!), open windows letting light in, and items that lay in wait for the tiny person they belong to. I always hope that loving anticipation comes through these photos. There are both excited moments of chatter and quiet moments of pause on a belly shoot.
Sam made fun of me for wishing Natalie a “powerful” birth earlier today, he called me a hippy. Guilty as charged, minus the patchouli. Good luck to you both in the days to come, enjoy those first sweet moments of parenthood and I can’t wait to meet Baby Boy on our newborn shoot very soon. In the mean time, here’s a slideshow and if you would like to check out their online gallery, click here.