Baby steps: Capturing beauty in the glow of an expectant mom

By: David Pico Special to The Gazette
July 14, 2014 Updated: July 14, 2014 at 8:10 am
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I don't know whose idea it was to create the camera. It is a powerful tool, capturing images that move us, but, as a memory, it is too detailed.

In my mind's eye, I am quite the specimen: handsome, charming, winning smile, no lumps. The camera's infallible brain spoils this notion.

But for capturing the glow of an expecting mother, you'll be thankful for that foolproof memory, and the camera then becomes as powerful as the artist who wields it. If you don't believe that, just try and take a third-trimester photo and see if she likes the way she looks.

Nobody hangs the bad pictures.

"The most important element in maternity portraits is the connection and love between the couple," Chris Waldron says.

In its 30 years of photographing people, Waldron's Photography in Colorado Springs has figured out a few things.

In our town, we have unparalleled outdoor scenery. So good even an amateur feels special. But as I discovered when I kneeled in front my wife against the panoramic Rocky Mountain sunset, a good photo takes more than just finding the most photogenic angle of a belly.

I got a solar eclipse.

"All the other elements must be there to make a great portrait: impact, exposure, lighting, composition and color harmony. And when the feelings are there, it all pulls together."

A great photographer like Chris Waldron can quickly figure out a family's dynamics.

"What I love about photographing an expecting couple is getting to know them. Watching them interact with each other is exciting."

The subtleties in a relationship work together for a perfect portrait. Our maternity portrait looks like this: baby in front, mother sits just behind him, and I'm standing somewhere in the back behind a tree.

Colorado Springs' natural backdrop may be a photographer's dream. The Rocky Mountains are majestic art, although not without its faults: Pikes Peak is bald of trees at the top and its nightly silhouette is bumpy. Both of these can be fixed if we grew the grass long enough on one side for a smooth comb-over.

Still, a man who does not look in awe upon Pikes Peak may as well be traded to Kansas.

But, as Chris Waldron figured out, background beauty is just gravy for maternity photos. Nothing matches the glow of an expecting mother.

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