Unconventional Maternity Portraits
Maternity and pregnancy photoshoots are often associated with a more traditional and delicate approach. The focus is on the expectant mother’s belly, soft lighting, gentle poses and delicate smiles. As one of my stretch projects for 2023 I wanted to photograph expectant mothers in a different way. When I was brainstorming, CrossFit or intense exercise was high on my list for my Fierce Mama Project.
And thereby enter Mon. Many years ago we worked together. In fact I was pregnant with my first at the time. In 2021, during the pandemic, I watched Mon via social media as she powered through her first pregnancy, doing CrossFit all the way. Her fitness loving antics continued only days after delivering her baby daughter. I therefore wasn’t surprised when she kept it up during her second pregnancy. She was the perfect candidate for me to try and photograph in a new way.
Photographing an expectant mum engaging in intense exercise could be considered as an alternative or non-traditional approach to maternity photography. The idea of capturing a pregnant woman who is actively participating in CrossFit can be seen as a departure from the typical maternity photoshoot, which tends to focus on the mother-to-be in a more passive and traditional manner. Instead, this approach emphasizes the mother’s strength, determination, and active lifestyle.
This session allowed me to add a sense of creativity and individuality to the images we made. It showcases Mon’s dedication to her fitness routine and how she is not letting pregnancy slow her down. Never did I think I would be able to call out “Look down at baby. Give me some resting bitch face.” during a maternity shoot but that is just what happened.
I hope images like these can also be a powerful and inspiring message for other women who may be hesitant to continue their fitness routines during pregnancy or who may feel pressure to forego parts of themselves that make them truly happy.