Foto session by Arno Hoogwerf Fotografie

Arno and I have ‘known’ each other for some time via social media. We’re in a number of Facebook groups together. Over 2 years ago we ended up chatting about maternity photography on Facebook, and we agreed that a lot of women are afraid to let their pregnant bodies really be seen. In other words: very little (or no) clothing, and as pure as possible. Especially if the photographer is a man. I personally feel that – if the photos are well taken – this form of photography is incredibly beautiful, even though I don’t actually do it as a photographer. So me and my big mouth ended up saying, “When I’m pregnant you can take those kinds of photos of me. I’m brave enough, and you can use them for your portfolio.” Denny and I had just decided that we really wanted to try for a baby. In the end it took more than 2 years before I could tell Arno, “I’m pregnant!” Even though it had taken so long, he was still keen to work out the concept together. So we created a pinterest board for inspiration, and talked about a location. The location we decided on was the yoga studio of Flow’er Yoga in Middelburg, where I’ve been doing yoga for a few years now (and can highly recommend). They work in a beautiful old building, with lovely wooden floors, and amazing light.

As the date came closer I started getting nervous after all. Naked is naked, even if it’s discrete. No matter how much I had said that it was not a problem, I was still really very nervous about it now. Of course, the week before the shoot I developed an eye infection (which passed in time, luckily), and bumped into everything and anything, resulting in loads of bruises. When my belly piercing also got infected I was really not happy. I wanted to look my best after all! 🙂 Denny wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the idea, and that didn’t help either. So I told Arno honestly how I was feeling, and that he would probably need to do some photoshopping… Once I’d said it, my nervousness halved!

Because I – of course – forgot something at home, Arno was at the location before Denny and I. It’s so interesting to see another photographer at work. He had all kinds of lights with him, and when he took a photo we could immediately see it on his MacBook – brilliant! And in the end it wasn’t at all nerve-wracking once we were started. I had brought a gauzy curtain from the baby’s room, and we started with that as a ‘cover’. Until Denny suddenly said, “You’d be better off leaving the curtain.’ Huh?! “Yes,” he said. “You can’t see anything ‘personal’ anyway, and naked is naturally more pure.” Hahaha! He did think it was beautiful! 🙂

It was a relaxed afternoon, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable even for a minute. I couldn’t get over how great it was to see myself on the MacBook screen. I’m really pregnant! We’re taking photos of my pregnancy! Sometimes it still feels lik a dream. I am so happy every day that I get to experience this!! And being the subject of the maternity photos is extra special. 🙂 (and soon I’m going for the ‘normal’ maternity shoot together with Denny, and photographer Annika van Balen from Photograffity).

Once I saw the preview, I suddenly realised that it wasn’t that easy to place it publicly on Facebook. It’s very intimate. It was good to experience that for myself, because I am allowed to share so many of other people’s intimate moments, and it’s one of the main reasons I even started this blog. Not just taking, but also giving. So, with a great deal of trepidation I posted the photo on Facebook, and there were so many wonderful reactions that I couldn’t even keep up! So sweet of everyone – thank you!

As promised, here are some more of the photos from that day. Once again I have to thank Arno Hoogwerf, who I can also heartily recommend, and not just for maternity photography. An Arno Hoogwerf photo is instantly recognisable. He has a pure and light style of photography. I am proud to have been his model.

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