The San Francisco-based photographer, who shoots on the art of families and the pregnant female form, was originally discouraged from capturing what was, 15 years ago, considered subject matter that would take her nowhere. After following her gut, she has turned an interest in the pregnant body into what she says is a body-image booster for women in a difficult time. Her work is on display at Due Maternity in San Francisco.
What spurred you to focus on pregnant women as an art form? I decided to focus on pregnant women back in 1992 after I had the opportunity to photograph pregnant women. I was drawn to the shape of the body and felt it was a form that had not really been exposed in mainstream media. I spend a lot of time in art museums, and you never see the shape or form of pregnant women anywhere, so I decided maybe it was time to change that.
Have you received any criticism of your art choices? None. There has always been encouragement and praise, and I think it points to a change in the way people see the pregnant body.
Do you think this is still an artistic niche that is generally underserved? In the commercial-portrait world, more artists are taking on this form. But in the last five years, there was a really big shift in mainstream media. You were starting to see pregnant moms on the covers of catalogs and on the cover of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar. Demi Moore came out [with her nude pregnancy shots] in 1991, and that was a shocker.
How do you think this helps women in a time normally not thought of as sexy? I look at this as an artist, but as time went on, I realized I was actually changing the way these women felt about their bodies.