Being a maternity photographer is definitely magical…But it can also be monotonous…Sometimes. That is probably why I came up with this creative project: The Maternity World Tour which made me fall in love with my profession all over again and gave me a new perspective on pregnancy photography.
My husband and I had been dreaming on visiting Ireland for a while. So, when he had to travel to the UK for work, I decided to tag along. We had booked a beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere, near the Cliffs of Moher and we were going to spend 4 days together, once his work commitments were over.
Whenever I travel, whether it’s for work as a maternity photographer or for pleasure, I like to book accommodations that are authentic (and also good value for money!). I much rather stay in a local house or apartment than in a hotel because it makes it easier for me to dive into the culture of the country I am visiting.
Well, so it happened that Jordi’s travel plans changed so we no longer had those 4 days for our “romantic Irish getaway”. He was available for the weekend but I had to be on my own on Thursday and Friday.
I wanted to go, despite all, but I must admit that the thought of travelling alone for hours on the “othe side of the road” scared me quite a bit. So I decided to invite my friend Leti who is British. She’s used to driving in the UK and she’s fluent in English and Spanish.
A maternity photographer without any pregnant women at sight…
If you’ve been following me around the world as I do my photography sessions in New York, Milan, Santorini, Marrakech…You’ll know that one of the most challenging tasks for me has been securing pregnant models at these destinations. And this part of Ireland was no exception…
I usually look for models in Instagram and this time it was a wild-goose chase. Apparently there were no pregnant women nearby the Cliffs of Moher.
Once I reached my destination everything made sense to me. It’s not a heavily-populated area. There were around 300 houses at most. So the odds were not in my favour.
With this huge challenge in mind my friend Leti and I decided to visit a nearby pub to “drown our sorrows” in Guiness. I had never tried this type of beer before and I was happily surprised when I tasted it…This is delicious!
Just as we were preparing to leave the pub I saw a stunning woman walk in…She looked so different…Beautiful…Unique. So I had to walk up to her to share my unusual request…I tried to explain using my limited English skills that I was an international maternity photographer who was looking for pregnant models. And, since there were none available, I wanted to ask her to pose for me with a “fake belly”.
You can imagine her face as I explained this to her…Luckily they realized I was Spanish and quickly switched to Spanish so that we could communicate better. It was a bride and her groom who came all the way from Puerto Rico to get married there, in Ireland. She was wearing bridal hair and make up, that’s why she was looking so spectacular.
I asked her not to remove her make up and to please meet the next day as early as possible. Her husband refused to wake up super early and they still had to take care of some errands for the wedding.
I styled the model in a beautiful black flying dress that I designed and sewed myself. You’ll soon discover, if you decide to become a maternity photographer yourself, that a lot of new skills will be required: sewing, sales…And even “therapy” for the baby blues…Becoming a new mum isn’t an easy task.The adaptation from being “just a woman” to becoming a “woman and a mum” can be tricky and a lot of tenderness is required when dealing with the new families.
Well, getting back to the story of my trip to Ireland…First I took some shots without the fake belly so that the generous bride could have some pictures for herself. Then I took some photos for the Maternity World Tour project.
The sky was the perfect setting with scattered clouds and the wind blowing in our favour… The model’s hair was floating away and being harmoniously styled by the Irish wind. The gown’s fabric was also gracefully gliding.
The green and grey hues of the landscape really helped me connect with the present moment. I was listening to Irish folk music in my mind. All of these elements got me completely focused in the shoot as I had little time with the model and an epic backdrop that couldn’t be left to waste.
Once again, I wasn’t able to get the exact photograph that I had envisioned:one with the beautiful cliffs as the backdrop. This wasn’t possible, since the cliffs were protected by fences to prevent terrible accidents. However, I did get a shot that came close enough to what I had in mind, thanks to the dress that I had designed just for this photo trip. In fact I created it for Ireland only. I shall not be using it for any other photoshoot.
On the way back from Moher to Dublin, I asked Leti if you could take a more scenic tour by the coastline. We were driving by the majestic cliffs of Ireland and I couldn’t help myself…I had to stop and take some more pictures. I must say that the beauty of this part of Ireland is overwhelming. I strongly recommend you to visit these lands.