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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.

 Jess on the #6 Train, Manhattan
Jess on the #6 Train, Manhattan
 Deirdre and Liz in San Francisco Bay
Deirdre and Liz in San Francisco Bay
 Randi in Los Angeles
Randi in Los Angeles
 Appolonia in Eagle Rock Reservation, NJ
Appolonia in Eagle Rock Reservation, NJ
 Helena at Mickey's Beach, Highway 1, CA
Helena at Mickey's Beach, Highway 1, CA
 Ann, Christopher & Prisilla in Miami
Ann, Christopher & Prisilla in Miami
 Jen on the Brooklyn Bridge
Jen on the Brooklyn Bridge
 Mary in Vallejo, CA
Mary in Vallejo, CA
 Kerri & Lydia at the Lincoln Memorial
Kerri & Lydia at the Lincoln Memorial
 Kerri at “The Awakening,” Washington DC
Kerri at “The Awakening,” Washington DC
 Tara in Soho, New York City
Tara in Soho, New York City
 Michelle & John at Lake Anza, Berkeley, CA
Michelle & John at Lake Anza, Berkeley, CA
 TIffany in Theatre Alley, Manhattan
TIffany in Theatre Alley, Manhattan
 Tina & Rob in Manhattan
Tina & Rob in Manhattan
 Joelle & Braeden in Aspesi Gardens, NJ
Joelle & Braeden in Aspesi Gardens, NJ
 Susan at Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Susan at Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
 Michelle & Brogan in Tuxedo Park, NY
Michelle & Brogan in Tuxedo Park, NY
 Cristina with the Twin Towers, NYC
Cristina with the Twin Towers, NYC
 Elisa in Manhattan
Elisa in Manhattan
 Ann & David in Miami
Ann & David in Miami
 Denise at Flushing Meadows Park, Queens
Denise at Flushing Meadows Park, Queens
 Alexa in Times Square, NYC
Alexa in Times Square, NYC
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