I’ve been scattered about, bouncing from thing to thing and not really getting any of it done to my satisfaction. I haven’t posted nearly as many photos as I should have. Case in point: Bing’s Maternity photos. Bing is an online friend from a forum I hang out on. I have only spoken directly to her a few times, but her spirit and approach to life are simply amazing. Her photos inspired me to get better as a photographer. They speak to me much the way Renoir paintings do. They show the spirit she sees in her subjects. I always looked forward to them when she posted them online. On top of her photography, she also has a full time dance studio. Her students adore her. She and her husband had a hell of a time getting pregnant and I think had more or less given up, then it happened. They got the good news.
I told her I wanted to do her maternity photos, but Bing was hesitant. Bing suffers from “Dancers Body Issues”. Thats a new syndrome I just made up. With all my psychological training. Ok, I watched Dr. Phil a few times. And stayed at one of those Holiday Inns. If you have “DBI”, gaining more than 2 lbs is a problem. A big problem. Seriously. Unfortunately, this includes baby weight, when pregnant. I suppose it’s the natural result of all that work for all those years. For a dancer, their body is everything. Anyways, I told her that she was certainly not “fat”, that she had a miracle going on within and she should celebrate it. Or something close to that. I don’t think she really bought it. But between me and her lucky husband, I think we convinced that if anything, she was more beautiful, not less.
Fast forward. Mini-meetup in Memphis, her hometown. She helps arrange this one as she has in the past. Part of it is a model shoot in this awesome old warehouse/art center. When she arrived a little while after the models and some of the photographers (including me) got there she still wasn’t really up for it. Kind of said no. But it wasn’t the “Get away from me with that camera or I’ll break your face” no. It was more like “I really don’t know, so it’s better to say no” no. She hadn’t done any special primping for it. No special clothes. Just Bing. Her husband kind of insisted she let me try a few photos and I persisted till she just kind of quit fighting it.
I used the soft natural light that was in the warehouse and just took some time and talked with her about nothing in particular. I just let Bing be Bing. And got these. I think you can see her spirit in the sparkle in her eyes. In some of the photos I think I see some of the joy of the upcoming long awaited arrival and the tension of wondering how it’s all going to go, and if she’s really ready for all the changes. I did minimal retouching on these. I like the few stray hairs. She is a natural woman, fulfilling her destiny. To me, it’s breathtaking. I was honored to do them. They are some of my best photos ever. Thank you Bing for trusting me.