Portraits of Pregnancy

Acclaimed photographer Jennifer Loomis and journalist Hugo Kugiya combine captivating fine-art photographs of pregnant women with intimate stories of their transformative journey into motherhood. The inspiring words and gorgeous photographs of these strong women from all walks of life show others how to deal with conflicting feelings of vulnerability and joy, and underscore that when a baby is born, so too is a mother.

Our Mother's Stories - Collage

For more than fifteen years, I have been photographing mothers and families. During our photography sessions, these women and their partners have shared with me their personal triumphs and challenges. It is their wisdom, guidance, laughter, spirit and grace that has inspired me to be all I can be not only as a photographer, but also as a person. I dedicate these stories to all of these women who have blessed my life in the past seventeen years. I share these stories here and more of them in my book Portraits of Pregnancy: The Birth of a Mother so others can benefit as I have. Continue reading

Black and white newborn photography

REPLY TO A MOM LOOKING FOR A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER

Sleeping baby
An example of the newborn photography popular today by Keri Meyers.
Black and white newborn photography by Jennifer Loomis
A smiling sleeping newborn on a simple black background by newborn photographer Jennifer Loomis.

Ten years ago I was a photojournalist and then quit traveling and turned those skills towards the studio and working with moms and babies. I realize my style might not be for everyone. So here are some – hopefully useful – tips to help you narrow it down.

1. Find a photographer whose images you like, whose images resonate with you. You can find them on google, these discussion lists, doctors offices, and via promotional cards at baby stores. Don’t get too intellectual. If you see images and they make you say ooooo, that is where I would start.

2. Find out the investment. What does the creative fee or session price include? What are the prices for prints? Ask for the print price sheet. Is there a minimum print order – (this can really sneak up on you if you don’t ask)? Do they sell scans? Albums, DVDs, canvas prints, framing whatever it is that you want – and you may not know yet, but get a view at the entire picture. Ask yourself, do you have time to make the prints and then take them to the framer and get them framed? Or would you rather just open the door one day and sign for a UPS package, open it up and hang up the framed prints you chose?

3. How much interaction do you want with the photographer after the session? For example, does the photographer help you select your photos or just hand you a disk, email you a link and you are on your own. Some photographers offer a more high touch service where they help you narrow the 200 images down to 10, and then they handle the printing to make sure it is done to their specifications and so it looks good. Others, just hand you the photos and you are on your own to print on Shutterfly. What do you want?

4. Is the photography or are the prints guaranteed? What if you don’t like the images from your session? What if your baby was getting sick and didn’t really perform? I think this is key especially when dealing with kids. Some times they have off days, just like adults. Maybe they were scheduled for too late in the day or whatever. This would be important in case the shoot goes side ways.

Regarding the prints, what if the photographer printed them too dark or too light for your taste? Will they redo them at no cost? Or are you just out of luck?

5. Finally, I would get recommendations or review testimonials from other clients.

Good luck. They are only this tiny once. It is such a special special time. Congratulations! Feel free to email me off the list if you have any questions.

Jennifer
Letter to a Mom requesting newborn photography.

The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York from 2004

As a photographer of what used to be a unique portrait genre, I decided to create a calendar for my clients to reflect the best of my work from the previous year. I have been publishing that calendar now for ten years and it has become one of my favorite project of the year. It forces me to look at my work and choose the best images. I usually have a trusted group of clients and friends who come over to help. We pop open a bottle of wine and start the projection of images. I want to get as many opinions as possible. Below, I have discussed each calendar and a bit about the decisions for the main images. The family images, on either side, are often more challenging to decide upon. But I do look for diversity, of age, ethnicity, families etc. It is important to me to include all families.

Maternity and family photograph
The best of Jennifer Loomis’maternity and family photography from 2004
The best of maternity and family photography by Jennifer Loomis
This is my best of our photography that I compiled into our second calendar.
The best of maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2006
This was our third calendar and became our standard design to feature maternity and family photography on the cover.
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2007
This year was the first year we had a client actually confronting the camera. With my mission always being to challenge society’s definition of beauty, it made sense to have a gorgeous pregnant woman looking right at you, almost challenging you to say anything about her exposing her belly.
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2008
Visually, I chose to go back to introspection of the mother and had her looking down. I incorporated some movement with the fabrics which was a first for me at that time.
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2009
This was the first year that I decided to introduce a client with her younger child. I had always wanted these images to be about the mothers because so often they are forgotten or they themselves are focused so much on others that they become secondary. So while our design was set, I started to get more daring with a more nude mother. These calendars were at first only sent to our clients, but later we started to send them to others in the birth industry as a thank you for taking care of our mothers.
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2010
Sticking with our design, here we shifted and actually had a mother up close and confronting the viewer and audience.
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2011
This year I captured this amazing image as the mother lifted up her first born son. It was so breathtaking, there was no debate that this would be the featured image. It was appropriate because we saw many clients coming in pregnant with their second child. We also added a few extra pictures, changing the sidebar images from four to five because we were struggling to include the best. We needed more room!
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2012
This year we had many return clients bringing in more than one child and felt it appropriate to incorporate this new dynamic in the main image.
The best of Jennifer Loomis' maternity and family photography in San Francisco, Seattle and New York in 2013
This was the year we switched the orientation of the main image. At last minute, I made this image which was amazing and beautiful and just had to be the center image.

The 2014 Calendar will be posted next year. If you would like one, please email us.

Black and White film
Film versus digital: Can you tell the difference? Ask us to show you samples.
Film versus digital: Can you tell the difference? Ask us to show you samples.

Digital photography is prolific, easy, a great learning tool and, once you get all the gear, cheaper, so why do I still prefer film? I get asked this over and over again.

1. I prefer the look of film. It is different than digital. Digital is pixels, film is grain.

2. A film shooter has to understand exposure and shutter speed very thoroughly. Although film is thought to have a wider tonal range than digital, meaning it is more forgiving, you still have to get the highlights and shadows, or the information of your photo on the negative or transparency because you can’t fix it in Photoshop. If the film isn’t exposed correctly, then you don’t have the image. Continue reading

Black and white children's photography

I have a wonderful client who has hired me for maternity photography and then subsequently for newborn photography for all three of her pregnancies. Not only is she a gracious lovely woman, but she is also my muse. Every time she steps in front of the camera, I just go wow. She has this gorgeous alabaster skin and dark hair.

For her most recent newborn shoot, we did it at her house in NJ. It was late and the kids were tired, but we tried a bunch of different things that all came together. For this posting and probably future postings, I am going to publish what I consider the best images from our shoot. I also included two of her maternity photographs. Oh and instead of one or two, you are going to get all the good ones. Be sure to go to the last photo. It is priceless, and her idea! Continue reading