Mother's Day 2022: The Rise Of Maternity And New-Born Photography
An award-winning maternity and baby photographer and Canon EOS Maestro, Barkha initially tried her hand at various genres like weddings, products, food and more. But what truly spoke to her was when she would capture a pregnant woman.
When it comes to different types of photography, genres such as travel, fashion and weddings are the most popular ones. And with the camera phone getting closer to a DSLR with every new product that the tech world doles out, most of us have become decent photographers, at least in our head. However, the one category which definitely needs specialization and delicate care is maternity and new-born photography. Not a buzzword yet, it is the field in which Barkha Agarwal specialises.
An award-winning maternity and baby photographer and Canon EOS Maestro, Barkha initially tried her hand at various genres like weddings, products, food and more. But what truly spoke to her was when she would capture a pregnant woman. "I am not clicking a picture of her, I am clicking that pure emotion of carrying the life within her. The strongest bond in the world - one between the mother and her child - develops even before the baby is born and this is something I absolutely love to capture. I always tell my clients that I do not just click pictures, I create memories for a lifetime," explains Barkha.
An engineer and an MBA by education, she worked in the corporate field for many years before deciding to pursue her passion for photography. While Barkha knows that the maternity genre is challenging she believes one can master it with hard work and a lot of creativity. "While working with pregnant women, I have to be very quick - I cannot just ask them to stand there and then keep on working on my lighting or posing," she says. This means that before every session she meticulously plans all the details. Shoot time is her zen zone where she feels disconnected from the world just clicks the subject in front of her eyes. Her workflow in place, she creates beautiful portraits without making the experience tiring for the expecting mom. Fashion, pregnancy, creativity and the emotions of the mom merge together to create timeless imagery.
Barkha, who trains photographers on international platforms taught last year at the Belly Baby Summit, International Conference, USA, hosted by Ana Brandt - who is considered the best maternity photographer in the world. She was the only Indian photographer selected to teach at this summit which was attended by photographers from over 50 countries.
Back in India, maternity shoots have come a far way from what they were five years ago when she had started. "Culturally in India showing the bump has been a taboo - which is now getting much more acceptable. These days both the expecting mom and the husband are much more confident of themselves and what they want from life," Barkha tells us.
Queries from tier -2 and tier 3 cities have also started coming in, and in the last three years a lot of celebrities have shared their maternity images on social media which has helped build awareness about embracing the pregnancy phase and share this joy with the world.
And what does Mother's Day mean to her? Being mother to a nine-month-old daughter, Barkha resumed work when her child was only 40 days old, and she comes to work with Barkha each day. "Every mom puts every bit of her energy into raising the little one. She also does thousands of other things like managing the family, becoming an entrepreneur, working a job etc. So Mother's Day for me is a reminder to appreciate every single mom in this world who not only raises her children to the best of her ability but leaves an everlasting impression on the society in her own way," says Barkha.
Building a business and raising a newborn together was difficult and came with its own set of challenges, but Barkha believes that a mom never gives up. She tries giving her best every day and her daughter is her biggest source of strength.