Photographer: Alecia Paquette (A.R.P Photography)
Model/Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist: Victoria Valentino
Wardrobe Credit: ENLACHIC
Taken during the awakening of morning at the beautiful, scenic area of Plum Island Beach in Newburyport, MA, the concept of this shoot was to bring fourth the sexuality and beauty of a mother after the strenuous activity of childbirth is done and passed. It isn’t an in depth representation of stretched skin or acute problems after childbirth, but more or less the ability for a mother to love herself after the act of providing life to another human being.
The mother presented in the images is not someone who is a stranger to me or a one time client. I have been there throughout the years for each one of her pregnancies and have been able to enjoy watching her children grow and learn, turning into beautiful little people who have minds of their own. All the perks of being an adult figure without the body transformation of having your own children.
Though the models self esteem has always been something to admire, the strain of carrying three children inside of her and birthing all three as well had undoubtably made her second glance herself in the mirror a few times. Which seems to be the same with most cases of woman who go through pregnancy. Its not to say that becoming pregnant and providing life to a smaller version of yourself isn’t a beautiful thing, because in my eyes it’s the most beautiful form of art you can ever make. But the after math of the female body after the stretching and straining can cause a deeper mental backlash for the mother, causing her to see herself as less desirable.
Victoria was a beautiful woman before giving birth and in my eyes an even more beautiful woman after giving birth. Her strength as a mother glowed like nothing I’ve seen from her and I was determined to show her that. Although simple and an obvious type of sexualized photoshoot, the shoot had the ability to go hard or go home without bringing the model to complete nudity and still making a point.
Starting the process, we sat and enjoyed the radiant colors the sunrise showed off over the peaceful low tide ocean. The warm morning breeze helped us relax into a state of comfort before the sun went from fiery red to blinding yellow. The beginning process seemed necessary even though it made some time pass where it allowed other’s to wake up and become a little intrusive to the shoot, so finding a perfect shooting area was a little more difficult.
When picking the areas for Victoria to pose at, it was important to take in all the aspect of our surrounding areas and also all the details of the area she was placed. When it comes to a shoot at the beach, I feel its important to think about the most obvious aspects of the beach you will be working with. The ocean, the sand, the sun, and the people and animals you will encounter while there. It was important for us to go at an earlier time to make sure the sand wasn’t too hot to deal with when the model’s skin was going to be touching it. It was important to work with lower tides, so we would have more area to mess around with and there wouldn’t be a concern for safety. When the sun came into play, it was important for me to understand what settings on my camera was going to work for the quality of the photos to come out professional. Then of course when it came to other alive species around us, we didn’t want to bump or bother anyone or thing, just like we didn’t want anything to bump or bother us in the process of our art.
After an hour or so, I was confident in the photos I had taken and pleased with how Victoria worked with me on the shoot. I could see her confidence being boosted with every slight change in pose and that benefited the shoot greatly in my eyes. The fact that the photos changed her view even slightly on her doubts of herself made the shoot successful all together.