You have a million things to get done before the baby arrives. Having your picture taken is low on the list. But it would be great if you could do it. What kind of photo do you want? If you're okay with a snapshot at 38 weeks, there are ample photographers who will do that—you'll be at your largest and feeling both grumpy and elated; every photo of every woman looks about the same: fancy gown pulled open to reveal your belly, your hand gently cradling or covering. It always felt contrived to me. A costume for a story of fecundity and spring time, of demure modesty, and feminine delicacy. But that doesn't resonate with many women i know. Or at least there's another side of this they want to hold onto. For them, pregnancy is a time of primitive nature, raw emotion, self-reflection, and intense sensuality. These manifest in the rapid changing of your external shape before your eyes. Pregnancy is a chrysalis, you enter in one form, and you exit something different.
I'm a fine art photographer. And I don't shoot maternity shots for a living, but i'm frequently asked by friends to "do that thing i do" where everything i shoot is moody and sensual. And when i've done that for friends who are pregnant, we all love the photos. So i'm going to open this up to the public and make myself available.
I'd recommend not waiting until your 38th week to shoot with me. Because i'm interested in creating works that capture how beautiful you are while you're transforming, i prefer to shoot you over three sessions during the course of your pregnancy, once in each trimester. The shoots are not long. There is no costuming. There's only natural light and your amazing changing body. We're telling a story of beautiful change.
These shoots are nude, and that's not going to be for everyone. We create modesty through position and light, but that doesn't make you any less naked. Some pictures are postable on Facebook, and some will be NSFW. But they are you, and you might want to have photographs of you that are real. Most shots do not include your face, and let you focus on your transforming shape, but there are also personal portraits; it's custom—we'll produce a range.
The shoots are in my studio in North Beach. There are little in the way of props and there is ample natural light. The best times to shoot are usually early in the morning, although i'm flexible and we can shoot almost any time it's daylight and convenient. The sessions are completely improvisational: there's no formula—it's all about your body and the light. You don't model so much as... hang out with a friend with a camera in a comfortable and safe environment. There's a lot of conversation.
The images are mostly black-and-white, but there are always color shots. Some images just have to be in color.
In the days after our last session, in addition to a new baby, you'll have a stack of image files you can keep or share, you'll have a portfolio of ten 8x10 archival photographic prints—the best images from our sessions, and a single 16x20 framed print of your selection, all services from NEOMODERN in San Francisco.
Three 60-90-minute sessions are $5000, which includes hundreds of digital files, the ten prints, and the 16x20 framed final piece. The price is the same for two or three sessions.
One more note: there are no spectators in this process and you may not bring a friend. You are welcome, however, to bring your partner to be in photos with you, and this is a fine option at any or all of the sessions. Creating a safe space is central to the process, and trust is required to produce worthy images.
I only take on a few projects per season.
Email to start the process. rubin at neomodern dot com