MUSINGS OVER BEYONCE’S BABY BUMP & SUNDRY ISSUES


Beyonce Carter is preggie with twins and her maternity photo with which she announced this to the world has 10million likes on instagram already.
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“As a kid, I remember my grandmother talking about how proud she was that none of her neighbors even knew she was pregnant until she delivered each of her four children! “Wow” is about all I can say about that. Kids were supposed to be seen and not heard, but pregnant women weren’t even supposed to be seen. The norm of the time. . . that was at the end of the Victorian era.
My mom has no pictures of her when pregnant with either my sister or with me, but she says “people just didn’t take pictures then.” She says that, had maternity portraits been available at that time, my father would not only have enthusiastically supported her having them made, but that he would just as enthusiastically have participated in the session. I believe that.”
Those were the words of Susan Brandt Graham, MD, PhD, of Albuquerque Maternity Portraits.
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In Nigeria, Maternity portraits were unpopular until about 2010 but has been prevalent in developed countries. This genre of photography can be said to have come alive through the popular use of internet and introduction of Blackberry and smartphones. Before now, pregnant women keep their pregnancy status hidden as long as they can. The Nigerian society is usually cynical and superstitious when it comes to matters of pregnancy and new born, but the civilization brought about by internet has dispelled the beliefs that; someone somewhere will cast a spell on your baby bump or use your new born pictures for money rituals.
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All the same, culture and tradition has been jettisoned. Caution has been thrown into the wind. Trust nigerians, we sabi overdo things. Have you ever seen a husband who gets to know his wife is pregnant for him on social media before? sidon there! wetin bloggers eyes no dey see finish?
Husband goes to work, wife goes to clinic for pregnancy test, she announces to her friends on social media, they called husband to congratulate him.
Inlaws see their daughter-in-law’s maternity photos online before being aware she is pregnant.
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In the 80s or 90s we do not have Maternity and New born Photographers in Nigeria as much as today. Then, they could be counted on the fingers. Today, we have so many photographers like Bisola Ijilana, Kikelomo Red 19, Yemi Disu, Femi Oniroko, Modu 27, Moments in June, 4labi Fotos and a lot more who specialize in this genre and many others like me who do that partly. The yearnings of interested pregnant women for Maternity photos has created jobs for photographers over the years. With Beyonce’s maternity portrait, there will be a rise in demand for Maternity portraiture in Nigeria.
Some quarters in the nigerian photography industry believe that the published maternity portrait of Beyonce doesn’t look professional, lacks artistic direction and colour finesse. But as they say, celebrities don’t do wrong, their flaws are taken as styles.
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As much as any woman/couple may want a maternity portraiture, engaging a professional photographer that has high sense of artistic direction is important. This an underlying factor which will either make people applaud you or boo you. Nowadays, some expectant mothers/couple request semi-nude (like that of Beyonce) while some take the full nude. I may not be able to post such here but they exist. What can be said to be revealed too much in a maternity portraiture? What extent should a woman/couple go in a maternity portraiture? What influence, impression or benefits are in posting these images on social media? Share your thoughts in comments section below.

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