My Belly Portraits by Eleise Theuer

Its closing on a year since these photos of me were taken by the amazing Eleise Theuer back in the beginning of August in the height of the Virginia summer.  I’ve gone back and forth about posting them here for a long time, they are so personal.  And it makes me feel vain and weird to show them off.  But I felt inspired by Natalie and Craig’s session and it occurred to me that I ask my clients to bare their pregnant bodies and emotional moments on this blog so it only seemed fair for me to step up and do the same.   We’re getting ready to shoot family portraits with Eleise so this is a great way to gear up for that.

Like most photographers, I’m more comfortable behind the lens than in front of it.  And yet I need to post these because I want you to know that we spend our hard earned money on photography too.  I appreciate the business you give me because I know the sacrifices you make to hire me.  Photography is not just my profession, its something I value highly, something I tuck money under the mattress for.  As a result of my profession, I am more aware than most that there are moments you have to live to the fullest while you have them but you can’t get them back.  Photographs bring us back.

I knew Eleise was the right choice for these photos because of her dreamy, detail oriented photographs:  she translates gestures, texture, and color in such a poignant and powerful way.  It sounds cheesy but pregnancy truly felt like a dream for me, even when I reflect on it now.  The road to get there was longer than we expected and everything finally fell into its right place.  The baby was still so abstract then and I had no idea just how much our lives were going to change.  I like remembering this version of me.

I’ll even show you my ankle shot.  Lordie those pregger ankles.  I can still feel the numbness and pain when I look at that photo!  But I love that photo.  Maybe I’m in a better  place to appreciate these photos now that I am back to my pre-preg weight (after gaining 42 lbs!) or maybe the wonder of what a body can do only comes after the fact.  I don’t remember my belly ever being so big.

If you are pregnant, have it documented in a style you love, even if you aren’t completely in love with being pregnant.  If you have a baby, have professional pictures taken as often as you can.  I’m not talking about getting a friend with a nice camera to come over or buying yourself a better camera instead.  I’m talking about pulling someone in who “sees” for a living.  A photographer isn’t the product of their camera or equipment, a photographer is someone who sees things the rest of us don’t.  I don’t care if its myself or Eleise or someone else (sincerely)…just do it.  Pregnancy and babyness are like mist: they are here and then gone.  I have no idea what I will do with these photos of me ultimately but I am so grateful that I have them always.

Thank you so much, Eleise.  I love these forever.






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