“Of course I’d love to say that I am a fearless birthing warrior… But in reality I am scared. I am going into this journey forcing positive thoughts, thoughts that this body of mine can do amazing things. That my baby will be born without issues or injury, that I will not have hemorrhaging and will walk out of that hospital with my uterus left intact. Does being a birthing warrior entail fearlessness? Either way I will and have been a warrior. So I guess… I’ll just say, bring it on.” – Tami of Mama Sugs
What I love about my portrait sessions, particularly my boudoir maternity, is that our time together becomes more than just taking pretty pictures. We hold space. And many times, women take my quiet and open presence as an invitation to connect with their unborn baby and their own inner self in a way they may not feel they can do otherwise. To feel sometimes darker emotions we try to keep hidden just below the surface. Because we want it to seem like we have our shit together all the time, don’t we? We want to feel strong all of the time. But it is okay to be afraid. It is okay to not feel okay. Because you ARE strong. You CAN do this. You are NOT alone. If you are looking for permission, here it is: Let yourself FEEL those feelings. All of them. They are yours to feel and they are valid. Own them. Bring them to the light so you can work through them.
I had a lovely time photographing and sharing the morning with Tami. I try not to give a lot of direction in posing; I feel it takes away from the authenticity of the moment. I love watching people and what they do when left on their own. Something that struck me, was how Tami kept gently walking her fingers along her belly. Had I given her instructions on where to put her hands, I may have missed that. But I love it. Such a sweet little habit and subtle act of connection with her unborn child. I know she will remember how she used to do that when she looks back on these photos in years to come.
After we spent our time together listening to her favorite calming music, her little boy decided to come in and see what the strange lady with the camera was doing in his house. And so quickly did the air of the room change from somber and reflective to silly and full of giggles and toddler babbles. There is so much love in that home, and I am honored to have been invited in.