A Celebration of Life

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Maternity Imagery is a joyous occasion in so many ways. Mothers-to-be are happy, filled with excitement and anticipatory glee at the arrival of a newborn. Taking pictures of a woman who is all smiles, filled with enthusiasm and is less self-conscious about her “condition” makes the shoot far less stressful and a great deal more delightful. A palpable sense of hope is brought into being by the knowledge that a new life is joining the Family of Man, as well as that mother’s immediate family circle. Every newborn child is potential incarnate, with an unlimited chance to be something special and a wonderful addition to the community of the human race. Whether the mother is married, living with someone or a single mother, that sense of family is still tangible, a delight in the commitment to fostering happiness, success and love in a new life. It is impossible not to be caught up in the wonder of such a moment, and for that reason, I deeply enjoy the chance to shoot maternity images. But my most recent pair of maternity sessions brought a whole new level of joy to the process, a sharing of experience that is everything my studio has and always will stand for.
When I was a teacher, one of the books I loved to use in Reading Class was Katherine Patterson’s “The Great Gilly Hopkins”, for it explored fascinating characters, powerful actions and emotions and one of the most important themes I’ve ever come across in Children’s Literature. An enormous amount of lip-service is given to the concept of “The Family”, especially by those who preach “Family Values” and so often do not even come close to living up to the talk they let fall from their sugary sweet and grotesquely glib mouths. But in “The Great Gilly Hopkins” a wonderful theme is established exploring the idea that “Family” is not just about blood, it is about Love! The main characters of that marvelous tale develop powerful and positive attachments far more impressive than what is often seen in blood-related “families”. And it is that Family Atmosphere that I see flourish and blossom from shared experiences like maternity shoots.
Pregnancy is just as much a challenging and trying time as it is a wonderful thing. Ask any woman who has gone through it and most have just as many righteous complaints as they do pleasant or joyful memories. And women often will lend each other strength, advice, support and caring as a result of this unique shared experience. While I often decry the miserable qualities of Social Media, when it is at its very best, some wonderful residual outcomes arise from that manner of contact.Hillary and Elaine, who live hours apart, formed a strong bond through Facebook, built first upon the foundation of their modeling experience through my studio, but then constructed in an even more glorious and wonderful style and scope by their recent pregnancies, Hillary’s second and Elaine’s first.
You can find more of this article in our April 2016 issue of ModelsMania
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