I just came across the work of a Chicago photographer who is documenting pregnancy with more than just images. Claude-Aline Nazaire, founder of Essential Blueprints, photographs women over their entire pregnancy in order to capture the shape of motherhood. According to a recent article about the company in the Chicago Sun-Times:
"A photo journal from her company, Essential Blueprints, costs $1,500 to $3,000, but mothers-to-be get the full treatment from Nazaire. She sets up photo sessions, both at her sun-filled studio in the Fine Arts Building and at clients’ homes, to trace the woman’s changing body; she conducts interviews for a DVD; she requests periodic journal entries; she photographs the family once the baby is born, and she incorporates it all — even ultrasounds — into a scrapbook, bound in Italy".
Nazaire started the company as a result of the death of her sister's 2 week old daughter realising that her sister was without very many memories of the baby's short life.
Nazaire thinks it’s important that women slow down to be “present” in pregnancy. “You’re transforming from a woman to a mother,” she says. “This is your time.”
I'm extremely interested in this business because it so closely models what I do in my work; asking women to reflect on their changing bodies at a time when most women do not have the opportunity to really speak candidly about being pregnant. As opposed to just having a few images to document maternity, this is an opportunity for women to create a sort of 'living' journal...