updated 4 Jun 2012, 03:36
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Tue, Apr 10, 2012
The New Paper
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Baby bump is 'in'
by Chai Hung Yin

A baby bump is “in”, judging by the number of pregnant celebrities who are baring it all on the front covers of magazines.

Singer Jessica Simpson was the latest to join in the fun.

Others who have clutched their bumps on mag fronts include pop stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford – to name a few.

And they seem to have inspired local women to do so too.

There are now photographers here who specialise in artistic maternity shoots, and they tell The New Paper on Sunday that the requests keep coming in on a daily basis.

Mr Jothy John, 44, of JJ Photography, who does newborn and maternity photography, says business has gone up.

On average, he gets five or six enquiries a day and out of that number, one or two would ask for maternity shoots.

And all of them ask to pose nude or semi-nude, he says.

The father of two reckons that he has seen a 20 per cent increase in the maternity-shoot bit of his business.

Roughly half his mummy clientele is local and half expatriate.

Similarly, photographer Hart Tan, 33, the founder of Tomato Photo, has seen a rise in requests for maternity shoots, so much so that he has to turn some down.

He says: “The request for maternity shoots is still high. We have to turn some of the requests down due to the high volume.”

Last year, he did about 30 maternity shoots a month, and now he does about 20 such shoots a month.

On average, he gets about 10 enquiries a day and out of that number, two to three are for maternity shoots.

Most of his mummy-to-be clients are foreigners, with local women making up only about 10 per cent of the numbers.

And 80 per cent of them opt for fully nude shots.

The shoots are usually done in the studio, he reveals.

Mrs Natasha Mak-Levrion, a Singaporean, is one of those who opted for a fully nude shoot. She has done it not once, but twice.

The first time was when she was pregnant with her first daughter in 2010.

And just two months ago, she did another one when she was pregnant with her second child, also a girl.

The 36-year-old director of a consulting company told The New Paper on Sunday: “I want something to remember and to capture that moment.”

While most mothers do such shoots only when they are pregnant with their first child, Mrs Mak-Levrion wants to ensure that she is fair to both her kids.

She adds: “My first daughter can participate (in the photoshoot) too.”

The experience wasn’t awkward at all and her husband, who is French, was there too, she says.

“It was very technical, such as ‘you pose like this, like that’ and it was very tastefully done,” she says.

She has put those photographs up on her bedroom wall and used one– with her clothed – on her birth announcement card.

Other women, like Mrs Ng Bee Ling, 32, posted her maternity photographs on social media channels such as Facebook.

Mrs Ng says: “Why not? There’s nothing wrong. And mine are not very daring.”

She was showing her belly but covered up with a tubetop and pants. She was 32 weeks pregnant with her first child, who is now 11 months old. Her husband joined her in some of the shots taken by 123Photography.

She says that some of her friends commented, “Wow! Sexy mum!” and wanted to do a shoot like hers too.

“It’s a special memory. And when the child grows bigger, he will think ‘Oh, I was in mummy’s tummy’. They will ask you a lot of things as they grow older, so you can just show them the photos, and say ‘this was you’,” Mrs Ng says.

When she looks at the photos now, she can “still remember the foetus moving around inside me. All those feelings come rushing back.”

Ms Wendy Yeo, 30, a senior manager, says she wants the maternity shots as a keepsake. She says: “I enjoy every moment of my pregnancy and want to remind myself how beautiful this pregnancy is. I feel blissful to have this child with my hubby.”

Looking at the pictures of her showing her baby bump while clad in a bikini with jeans, she adds: “I feel happy that I decided to take the pictures as I am able to rekindle memories of me being pregnant and of course, I’ll be able to show my son how excited mummy and daddy were about him even before he was born.”

– Additional reporting by Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

This article was first published in The New Paper.

Related stories:
Pregnant and proud of it
Japanese women celebrate pregnancy with maternity nudes
Therapy through nudity



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