Starting in the summer of 2001, when my wife was pregnant with our first, I took pictures of her to celebrate the budding life. Most days for six months we took a picture. All those photos are in a favorite album.
The photo above is of me in a parody shot of what we were doing.
Part of what makes this album so unique, besides from being awesome obviously, is being reminded how seriously we took becoming parents, celebrating our journey, earnestly documenting monumental events in our lives. During this period, I remember having a fight and both of us being furious with each other, but agreeing we still had an obligation to take a picture.
Besides the pregnancy side-body snaps, the album has pictures from the birth of our daughter, and pregnancy photos we took at a studio I rented for its black velvet background and professional lighting.
As I was a serious amateur photographer back in 2001, I then went to a company that rented darkrooms and printed the studio pictures myself. In the darkroom ten people could work at once, exposing a piece of photographic paper on an individual enlarger, then moving it to a central area to bring out the image.
A guy about my age took the picture I had been working on, realizing his mistake soon enough. “I’m doing naked pregnancy pictures, too,” he explained.
This trivial moment underscored how I felt I was entering a profound experience shared by countless people all over the world, throughout history. It occured to me that whatever challenges lay ahead, I wasn’t the first or the last to confront them. I relished being further connected to the fabric of humanity, I felt good.