portrait of a mother

 

I've got a lot of stretch marks, she said. Not telling me because she minded them, but in case they may somehow mar the end result. I scoffed. She was beautiful.

One week from her due date, she did this constantly. She'd cup it, that medicine ball of son or daughter (Charlie, as it turned out), and she'd look down at it in a way that wasn't meant to emulate bliss or peace for the benefit of my camera, in that mother-as-glowing-grecian-goddess style of maternity photography. I know Heather. She was thinking Hey, it's okay. It'll be alright.

And it was.

As contradictory as it sounds, it takes effort to capture an uncontrived portrait. Every now and then I'll look through a series of shots and I'll stop. That's her. Right there. That's just so perfectly her. And it will reinforce my practice of photographer-as-facilitator -- as a conduit that coaxes and captures with honesty. That's it, right there. That's what I want.

Guest contributor and author Kate Inglis, of sweet | salty and Shutter Sisters, was that big once. No. Twice. Except she wasn't nearly that cute.