These space hopper images are a concept I had in mind to shoot with Greg Brown, ever since I first learned I was pregnant! I have wanted to create this set of 'silly' maternity photos since I discovered I was expecting, and they totally live up to the image I had in my head when I mentioned the idea to Greg. I painted the space hopper face on my own bump (not an easy task, upside down in a mirror) and I had so much fun shooting this set!
When I first announced I was pregnant, I began by contacting photographers individually, updating them with my news and asking if they would be interested in shooting. I later put out general castings for maternity shoots. I have to admit, that I was initially disappointed with the response (or lack of) to my pregnancy, and that one of the obstacles I came up against, over and over, was that photographers weren't interested in shooting maternity images because they were 'too clichéd.'
I personally didn't see any reason why maternity shoots should be any more clichéd than any other genre: A shoot is only ever what you make of it. Clichés can be done well, or they can be done badly, but they usually exist for a reason - because they can be done effectively. Most styles of photography (if you look hard enough) have been attempted before, very few images are truly original. A lot of art nude concepts appear frequently (nude in a rape seed field, nude in a derelict building... the list goes on). However, that doesn't take away from the fact that many images might be 'done to death,' but they can still be beautiful and create an impact.
I have made a conscious effort, whilst pregnant, to shoot as wide a variety of styles and concepts as I would under normal circumstances, and I certainly haven't viewed my bump as an obstacle to doing so. If anything, I have really enjoyed modelling while pregnant, because it is a genre that is attempted less frequently. I have to admit that while researching maternity shoots, I began to understand why all pregnancy shoots were viewed as clichéd... because with very few exceptions, almost all the images I came across do indeed follow the exact same format! (Floaty, romantic sideways bump, mother looking smug). There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I wanted to produce images that were memorable and different (as well as a few 'typical' maternity shoots as well).
I had such a lot of fun creating these rather unique and off-the-wall pregnancy images, and if nothing else, they are special to me because it may be the only opportunity I have to shoot with a bump, and I really enjoyed creating them. But I also hope that I have, in some small way, challenged the notion that all pregnancy images are samey and unoriginal. Greg is renowned for his use of quirky props (I particularly enjoyed posing with a very large 'prop'(-eller - see what I did there?). I'd like to think this set isn't too 'old-hat' (and again), and that they feature a little extra something (I'm on a roll). Enough with the word play. Enjoy!
Images by and copyright of Gregory Brown.