I began this series even before I decided to do it. As my girlfriends started getting pregnant, I started photographing them, usually in gauzy clothing to obscure their nakedness. But I soon became tired of shooting around the body: I wanted to capture the unobstructed pregnant form. It was a friend from high school, Nancy, who first agreed to bare all for me just days before her due date. Until Nancy, I had never seen a pregnant woman completely naked, and I was fascinated by her ripe body. Next came Randi, another good friend, whom I met after I moved to Los Angeles. Randi agreed to pose for me, but only in silhouette; she didn't want to be recognized because she was a working actress. After I moved to New York City, I continued to do the occasional pregnant portrait for new friends, but I was still restricted to the studio.
It was when my best friend in Miami got pregnant that the idea for my series started to materialize. Ann had posed for me dozens of times when we both lived and worked in LA. I knew she would be game for something out of the ordinary, and she didn't disappoint. She and her husband, Christopher, posed together in their foliage-filled backyard -- it resembled how I imagined the Garden of Eden would look. As I was composing the shot, Christopher suddenly jumped up from behind an elephant's ear plant that was concealing his "virtue" and ran into the house. He returned with a perfect red apple, and their portrait was complete. So was my determination to take my series in a new direction.
From then on, I did the shoots outside the studio. I asked my mom-to-be models to choose a location that was significant to them. Tara is emerging from a New York City cab because her husband proposed to her in one, while Cristina chose the World Trade Center towers as her backdrop because she was having twins. Kerri posed several times in and around Washington, D.C., where she lived with her husband who was a park ranger on the National Mall.
When I look at these portraits, I am still in awe of these brave women who chose to celebrate their pregnancies in the most personal and public ways. These portraits illustrate the power and beauty of the pregnant form. They capture a moment in time filled with the excitement and anticipation of bringing a new life into this world . . . and all the hope and desire that is wrapped up in that miracle.