In the woods: a maternity session, but not just any one

March 9, 2017

One of the things I love about taking photos of people is to see their happy, sincere and grateful faces when I show them the result. The truth is that I’ve never been able to do anything with my hands: I’m bad at crafts, I can’t draw, I survive in the kitchen, but cooking isn’t my thing either… With photography I’ve found a way to create something by myself and to give people something I didn’t buy in a store.

It was hard for me to write this post. In fact, it’s the second time I’m giving it a try. It seemed easy at first, since I just wanted to show you the photos of a maternity session I did the last time I spent some time back home in Spain. In the first version of this post, I was going to tell you what I wanted to do in the session and how it went, but when I read it I wasn’t satisfied with the result. How come? Because I didn’t express all this session really meant to me.

The photos aren’t photos of any pregnant woman. They are photos of my cousin Virginia and her husband. Vir is one of the persons I love most, my dear cousin, the one who is always there for me. The little girl who grew up to become someone with whom to talk and who to trust. The girl who is like a daughter to my mother when, due to the distance, I am unable to be there. The one who always smiles and is never in a bad mood. The first person I buy a Christmas present for every single year. The cousin who could perfectly be my sister.

It was an immense joy to learn Vir was going to become a mum and I was very happy to take these photos of her as a gift. To produce something of my own for her.

When you’re pregnant, you don’t always realize the value you’ll one day attach to your maternity photos. It’s such a special moment in a woman’s life and it lasts such a short time that the photos you have from that period become real treasures. When I was pregnant with Inés, I regretted not having made decent ones, so for Théo I didn’t hesitate a second in entrusting the mission of portraying those moments to María Pazos (@marapazos).

And I wanted Vir to receive the same gift from me.

About the session

Lately I have an obsession with taking pictures in woods. I love images of people in the middle of a forest, lost among the trees. They reflect how small we are compared to the immensity of nature. It’s as if I was getting a breath of fresh air from the photo.

When I was in Spain over Christmas, I was at the height of this obsession and it was clear to me that I wanted to do part of Virginia’s maternity session in a forest.

You may think that these kind of photos have to be taken in Canada or the Alps, but you find forests in many places and don’t necessarily need spectacular firs to get a beautiful effect. This is a pine forest near my cousins’ house. Both love nature, so it seemed the ideal place for the session. In a perfect world, I should have taken photos at dawn or dusk to have a more beautiful light, but the reality is that with a baby and all the commitments I had over the holidays, it was impossible.

This often happens to me and is a great source of frustration because if I think that if I only took pictures in ideal light conditions, I would not take any at all.

In fact, I was quite comforted by the Twyla Jones Emotional Storytelling breakout, as Twyla told us that many of her pictures are taken in harsh light and the result is great too.

Before heading to the woods, I took some more intimate pictures of Virginia and her husband at home. I hope they express the intimacy and happiness of future parenthood. As you can see, I have a gorgeous cousin (and the husband is not ugly neither ;)) I loved being able to do this session for them.

What about you? Did you have a maternity session? Are you happy with the result?