Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and documenting the process can be a fun experience. All aspiring parents should be able to do it. Thanks to an amazing maternity photographer, homeless pregnant women have the opportunity to have their portraits taken—a luxury they normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
Keri Vaca, a photographer and the owner of Bay Area-based Small Miracles Photography, had the commendable idea of contributing her photography skills to Homeless Prenatal Program, a local nonprofit that serves impoverished women. She has been visiting the center for almost eight years and has been holding prenatal photography sessions on a monthly basis.
The Homeless Prenatal Program helps over 4,000 families annually, most of them suffering from homelessness, domestic violence, and substance abuse. With the help of people like Vaca, the center provides a safer and more welcoming space for expectant mothers facing a combination of these issues. In the program’s care, they can safely bask in the joy of what’s to come: A brand-new member of their family.
Vaca, who is herself a mom, told the Daily Mail that supporting women throughout their pregnancy was the foundation of every happy and healthy family. The easiest way to do that? Reminding them that pregnancy is pretty and that the accompanying glow suits them well.
“My goal first and foremost is to give them photos [that will make them] go, ‘Wow, I looked pretty. I looked beautiful,'” explained Vaca. She said it was common for women going through pregnancy—especially poor women—to develop a negative body image. “I want the whole experience to feel like something really special from start to finish. I want it to be a like a present.”
In order for a woman to acquire a Vaca-shot portrait, she must regularly attend the center’s prenatal classes. The reward is a wonderfully composed photograph showcasing their pregnant bellies, as well as the free use of Vaca’s maternity wardrobe for the shoot. Vaca also throws in five to seven free prints, with the best one in a frame.
Most of the women who are photographed cannot believe how good they look in Vaca’s portraits.
“For many of the women we work with, pregnancy can be a wonderful time but also a very difficult and challenging time,” Nancy Frappier, who runs the program’s wellness center, told Today. ”Seeing how they look in the pictures has been an incredibly positive experience for the women. They see how strong and beautiful they look as pregnant women, and it gives them a boost of self-confidence that they can be good parents.”
H/T Today| Photo via Small Miracles Photography