I am in the 32nd week of my 4th pregnancy, and I decided to do a self portrait project this time around. At 18 weeks I took a picture of myself with the self-timer function on my camera, in order to show my online friends how my belly looked. I realized that I had very few photographs of myself pregnant, and even fewer that I really liked. The picture I took of myself turned out so well and gave me such a boost of self esteem that I decided to document the entire pregnancy in this way. I have never felt really bad about my body during pregnancy, but I have never felt really great about it either. This time around, by photographing myself in creative and artistic ways, I have discovered a powerful peace and love for the shape my body is taking. I feel strong, sexy, and beautiful. It has affected how I feel when I am out in public as well as at home. I am much more comfortable letting my bare belly be seen by even my own husband and children, and even a little bit in public! I am proud of my growing belly and breasts, and I know I will be so thankful for the documentation of the changes my body is going through later on. I have decided to continue the series into the post-partum phase after seeing this site, which I don’t think would have occurred to me before.
I want to encourage women everywhere to photograph themselves during their pregnancies. I hear so many women say that they do not have pictures of their pregnant bodies! Not only will you be documenting a very important part of your baby’s life, but you will find that having pictures of yourself that you love will make you feel so much better about how you look right now. If you cannot do it on your own, please- find a friend who can help you. I am willing to offer any technical advice and encouragement, as well as help with retouching dark or off-colored pictures, in order to help mothers obtain photographs that make them feel good about themselves.
I should say that some of my photos have been altered using Photoshop image editing software. I have not changed anything about my skin or shape, but I have manipulated the images to make them look more artistic, etc. such as lightening them or softening backgrounds.
Thank you all for sharing your stories and pictures.