As we strolled through the soft white sand towards the calm water at Treasure Island beach, the clear skies above seemed to promise the perfect backdrop for a sunset – possibly the best in all of Florida. I was accompanied by my long-time friend Mary Susan. Mary Susan, 32 weeks pregnant, not only carried the radiant glow of a soon to be mother but also assisted me with lugging photo gear, a magnificent headdress, and even a can of fuel. Looking back, maybe an extra pair of hands would have been helpful, but hey, we’re a duo of independent women .
Months prior, Mary Susan had shared the news of her pregnancy and her desire for me to capture this moment through photography. I couldn’t have been more excited, we are not only long-time friends but also artistic collaborators, both experts in fire dancing and acrobatics. Mary Susan, is also a classically trained dancer .
I urged Mary Susan to bring along her Flambeaux fire headdress, an extraordinary piece from a legendary New York fire performer. While my expertise is in photographing fire, venturing into maternity photography was uncharted territory for me. Yet, with a magical muse and the stunning backdrop of Treasure Island, I knew we were going to create something truly remarkable.
The magic unfolded as we delved into the shoot with no concrete plan, merely aiming to capture some beautiful moments. Yet, with every click of the camera, the session evolved into a profound exploration of Mary Susan’s dance prowess and fire manipulation skills. The decision to intertwine her artistry with the celebration of motherhood proved to be inspiring even for us. We realized that it wasn’t just about showcasing the journey into motherhood; it was about blending that narrative with the art she passionately embraces.
Isn’t it fascinating how a seemingly straightforward photoshoot can transform into a canvas for self-discovery? We initially set out to immortalize the radiance of motherhood, and we ended up blending her beauty and grace developed over year through the practice of her craft.
As we often pigeonhole mothers or pregnant individuals into a singular identity, solely defined by their motherhood, this experience underscored the multifaceted nature of Mary Susan, of mothers, and Women.
Photography: Gaby Rosa
Model: Mary Susan