Niche photography goes mainstream with mums-to-be eager to pose

Amy Kirk
Amy Kirk
1
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LADIES opting for slightly more risqué photoshoots at the local photographer may be nothing new. A souvenir snap in the full glow of pregnancy is now a must-have for most mothers-to-be.

But what about combining the two?

That is exactly the service being offered by a Musselburgh photographer who says she is the first in Scotland to promote the “boudoir-style” specialist service for expectant mothers.

And 20 years on from the famous naked image of Demi Moore, more than a dozen local women have already signed-up for their own Vanity Fair-style memento.

Susan Boyle, owner of Nipper Snappers, said she stumbled on the unexpected interest in intimate maternity photos when resident Amy Kirk asked for snaps to be taken in March.

She has since photographed two women a month in various stages of pregnancy.

“I’ve been told that it’s an absolute confidence boost for pregnant women because you can feel awful through pregnancy and you tend to remember the bad bits like morning sickness and the achy legs, whereas this is something absolutely gorgeous to look back on,” Ms Boyle said.

“Although you can feel rubbish inside, you can see how beautiful you actually look on the outside.

“It’s an intimate portrait of probably one of the most beautiful times of a lady’s life. Other photographers do maternity shoots, but they’re often outside, fully clothed in a field and it could be anywhere and it could be anyone. I think these are more sensuous and intimate, more a personal thing.”

Clients have ranged from first-time mothers to women wanting to be photographed with husbands and children.

Mother-of-three Ms Kirk told how she did not usually like having her picture taken, but wanted a visual record to remind her of being pregnant with son Louie Nisbett.

“I wanted pictures to have showing the bump because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be having another baby because he was my third,” Ms Kirk said.

“I’d been quite ill at the beginning of the pregnancy. I just wanted a memento, something to show.

“It made me feel really good. I’m not a person who usually likes to get their picture taken, but I felt so relaxed . . . I didn’t have a problem standing in my underwear for some reason.”

Ms Kirk said husband Chris Nisbett had been equally enthusiastic after being told about the first photoshoot.

The couple booked three more sessions in which they were photographed together before and after the birth of their son on April 1 this year.

Ms Kirk said: “There’s absolutely nothing to be scared of. I loved them – just go for it.”

Ms Boyle said social attitudes had changed since the contentious Vanity Fair photo was printed and could explain the recent public interest.
“I think part nudity is more acceptable now,” Ms Boyle said.

“I also think shows, like Gok Wan’s show How To Look Good Naked, have helped women gain a lot of confidence in themselves. It doesn’t matter what you look like, you’re beautiful.”