When Anna came to me for henna to celebrate her first pregnancy, she was already a week past due. Her sister was visiting her and together they sat in my painting studio and laughed and laughed through each baby movement and told me the long story of her pregnancy, which was fascinating! She wanted full body henna, so I suggested a floral pattern that I’m so familiar with that it’s in all my doodles, and she said go ahead! I quickly covered her belly, breasts and hands in henna, excepting her to go into labor at any moment. It was July and this pregnant mama was HOT, so the cooling nature of henna was much appreciated. We took some intimate photos in the studio and I told her if she was still pregnant in 3 days I would love to see her when her henna was peaking.
That’s one of the mysteries of life, you just never know when exactly babies will arrive. 3 days later Anna came in for photos and it was a warm and stormy summer afternoon. All our sessions begin by picking out fun silky outfits, and Anna chose a variety of colors. We drove to a trail head near by and walked along until we came to the perfect spot. My amazing husband Rob was there to help with the lighting and we captured some outstanding shots of Anna that afternoon! She was truly glowing and thanked us over and over again for joining her in her rite of passage and marking it with photos.
It was several more days before she gave birth at the hospital, but she called me from her room and asked if we would return for more photos, since you could still see the henna. We drove out to University Hospital and found her room. I had brought a basket of silky things and she picked out a few for photos. We incorporated the roses her mom had brought her as we photographed her nursing. She had unexpectedly had a c-section, so she wasn’t getting out of bed. Instead we added more silky things and took photos from unique angles so that didn’t really show. It was so wonderful to see her on the other side of birth, to see her glowing face, to see that glorious transition into motherhood. I’m so grateful that my work brings me into contact with women like this!