The Big Announcement: Due in September
Environmental portraits by Evelina Pentcheva of Photo Enigmatic from Orange County
Studio Portraits by Shell Jiang from San Francisco
Makeup and hair by JTArtistry from San Francisco
Location: Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, CA and San Francisco, CA
I am very excited to finally sit down and find a little time in my busy summer wedding schedule to write this blog post and make an official announcement about our entering parenthood in September. Yes, we are expecting a baby boy! How exciting , isn’t it? And I am telling you this in my 36th week of pregnancy. I have been planning to share the news since Evelina and Shell did my maternity portraits in July and finally I am doing it. I m one more wedding away this Sunday from taking some time off to prepare for welcoming our baby boy.
In this important blog post for me I would like to share my thoughts and experience on two things: working as a photographer while pregnant and collaborating on my maternity project with fellow photographers. And of course I feel that I need to explain it why I didn’t do my own maternity - self-portraits.
Here is my story: Right before I got pregnant I said to myself that when I conceived I would start doing a whole project on my pregnancy and the experience of it. Well, well, well, never promise things like that if you haven’t experienced them before. Because, it turns out that people are right when they say that maternity is such an unique and individual experience for every woman. Until then I had no idea what it would be like to be a working photographer, an artist and a mother-to-be at the same time. To me it wasn’t anything like just a photographer who photographs other women’s bellies like in this beautiful maternity photo session I did at the end of last year. Doing a self-portrait in such a sensitive moment wasn't easy at all, it’s very overwhelming and focusing on it is very difficult. At least for me. And instead of stressing myself out I decided to collaborate with two very talented fellow photographers - Evelina Pentcheva and Shell Jiang. And let me tell you that was one of my best experiences this year .
One of the most interesting aspects of the collaboration with Evelina and Shell was that both have different work flow and photography styles than mine, which made an eclectic experience. However, when I edited the photos from both photo sessions and mixed them together in a book I made they came together beautifully as a whole portfolio. I tried not to take control of the photo shoots. As you can imagine, as someone who is so self-conscious as an artist, so critical about my own work and so being used to being behind the camera, it was very difficult to picture myself in front of the camera this time, although I have done self-portrait work in the past. The other challenging thing was that no matter how much I trusted my fellow photographers, it was hard to adjust to the whole concept of having someone else take my own photos of myself. However, that whole collaboration was very educational for me. It helped me learn so much about what it is like to be pregnant and to pose for maternity portraits . I had to put myself in my clients’ place this time. I learned what’s meaningful to a woman during her pregnancy , what makes her laugh and cry, what she may experience exposing herself in front of the camera. Being captured in such a memorable time of your life that goes by so quickly is a one-time opportunity. As every expecting mother, I wanted these photo shoots to be very special to me, to create a beautiful memories with my loved one and also individual portraits that capture the tenderness of the moment and my excitement.
The photo sessions:
With Evelina Pentcheva
My idea was a documentary style - story telling concept about me and George and our romantic relationship that brought us together to this beautiful life time moment. I wanted to have pictures inside water - dressed or undressed symbolizing the current living space of our expected child.
Water is also a symbol of life and birth. I love those ocean pictures that Evelina made at Corona del Mar. For me it was also an unique experience to be in the ocean pregnant and hit by the small waves.
With Shell Jiang we collaborated on both technical skills and concept. Again, I was dressed in white - white symbolizing the pureness of the newborn , beginning of a new life and his pure innocent untouched soul, hope and bright future. White over black background. The black background to me is a metaphor of the unknown future , of the unpredictable moments, the dark living space of the baby inside my womb and expecting the unexpected. I am wearing a man’s shirt in some of the images because we are expecting a baby boy and that’s why. I wanted to be subtle with that and not straight forward. This is usually how I explain a personal concept in a photograph.
As a conclusion I would say that my maternity portraits have been an invaluable experience in both on personal and professional level.
Dancing in the above photographs is a metaphor of what's happening inside my womb - kicks, hick ups and constant change of shape and size.
The image above and bellow on the left side was my first self-portrait approach in the beginning of my pregnancy.
THANK YOU EVA, SHELL AND JENNIFER FOR THE UNIQUE AND PRICELESS EXPERIENCE YOU GAVE ME AND CAPTURED ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS IN MY LIFE WITH YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORK AND TALENT!!
DEAR MOTHERS TO BE, PHOTOGRAPHERS, FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS I WILL KEEP YOU POST IT SOON ABOUT OUR NEW FAMILY MEMEBR :) . STAY TUNED!!!