A botanical maternity photography shoot | Story of the photo | Geneva
Finding the exotic
A couple stands in the dark greens of jungle foliage. They hold hands and look into the light, which skirts across their faces. In the gentle folds, we can see the round shape of a pregnant belly. The man smiles and the woman looks happily serene. There is darkness and unknown, but also plenty of light and the excitement of something new.
This is one of my favourite maternity photos. Perhaps because it is so different from a lot of the images I shoot. For once, the picture doesn’t immediately tell you where it was taken. It feels like something by Henri Rousseau; an artist who also loved the botanical gardens. Moreover, it has that special sense of surpassing the portrait of two parents-to-be and somehow encapsulating the idea of the experience of the last few months of pregnancy. They look to the future and smile.
Ana-Maria’s maternity photography shoot was scheduled for late November. The days were short and cold; the weather was fickle. As they didn’t want to travel too far so late in the pregnancy, we opted for the abundant greenery of the botanical gardens. In the warmth of the hothouses we could hide from the cold, and the rain if necessary.
The day of the shoot we were fortunate to have endless winter blue skies, but the wind was cold. We started off in the greenhouses, wandering around looking for quiet spots and interesting backdrops. I was crazy about the bromeliads and tillandsia with their wispy roots hanging in the air. As we walked out of the largest hothouse and Karl helped Ana-Maria down the steps, I notice the light catch them from the side. We stopped and, unusually for me, I posed them quite carefully before walking away a little. With the distance between us, they continued talking and I captured this image in between their words.
Outdoor maternity photography in early winter
Scheduling a photography session in early winter is not as difficult as it might seem. I only take one reservation per day in the winter, to allow for the shorter days. As I am often less busy, it is also simpler to reschedule if needed. I also often combine indoor and outdoor sessions at this time of year so that we don’t have to spend too much time in the cold.
I hope you enjoy this series of blog posts telling the story of one photo each time. We will leave this couple in the warmth of the glasshouse. See more from their maternity photography session in the full blog post.