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Maternity keepsakes: Some mothers-to-be go Mommie Chic

By APRILL BRANDON
April 22, 2010 at midnight
Updated April 21, 2010 at 11:22 p.m.

Pollard, photographing Erika Warner, created the Mommie Chic branch of her photography business,  L-Ann Imaging, a couple of years ago featuring sexy and glamorous portraits for pregnant women.

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For more information about Mommie Chic, call 361-570-8326 or go online to www.MommieChic.com.

Draped in pearls and wearing sky high leopard print stilettos, Erika Warner looked every inch the glamorous model as she posed and laughed in the small photography studio.

That is, of course, except for one small, tiny, little, itty-bitty detail.

She just happens to be 37 weeks pregnant.

That, however, was the point. Wrapped in soft material, Warner let her swollen belly peak out from underneath her glamorous garb. Listening to directions from photographer Laura Ann Pollard, Warner caressed her stomach as she smiled playfully for the camera.

"I wanted to do this because this is a special moment in my life. It's my last child, and I wanted to capture it," Warner, 30, said. "Honestly, I never hear people say 'oh, I'd love to get my maternity photos' the way you do with wedding photos or family portraits. Not to mention, I think it's hard to capture something like this in a unique way, but that's what Laura does."

To be more specific, what Pollard does is called Mommie Chic, the latest branch of her photography business, L-Ann Imaging in Victoria. Focusing specifically on maternity photos, Mommie Chic takes the approach that pregnancy is not only beautiful, but also that pregnant women can still be sexy, Pollard said.

"Most maternity photos are soft and white, but my take is that you can be pregnant and still wear heels and jewelry," she added. "I've had about 100 sessions at least since I started doing this about two years ago, and the idea is getting more popular. I always stress that you are only pregnant with that baby one time. You can't go back and get these photos. Don't have any regrets."

Pollard added that the idea for Mommie Chic began after she saw Demi Moore's pregnant Vanity Fair cover in 1991. As she started getting L-Ann Imaging off the ground and her business progressed, it was always in the back of her mind.

"I remember thinking 'how cool is that?' and how much controversy that cover sparked," she said. "I've always liked doing things differently and that image just always stuck with me."

Pollard admits the concept isn't for everyone. Some women don't want to show off their pregnant bellies. Plus, making pregnancy sexy is still a somewhat controversial idea even today. But for Pollard, it's all about making the mothers-to-be beautiful in their own way.

"I enjoy doing this. I love seeing the women come in here and transforming them. I like bringing out that sexiness and confidence in them," Pollard said. "I also think it's a neat thing for the husbands. Most men think it's cool and some of them are involved in the photos. It's neat for them to see their wife, who probably hasn't been wearing much makeup or dressing up much because she's tired, and watching her transform."

As for Warner, although the photo shoot wore her out, she was excited to get the proofs back, she said. She plans to hang one photo in the bedroom and give another one to her mother, in addition to purchasing a book of all the photos.

"I feel pretty, I do," she said. "I'm a little awkward because I'm bashful, but I'm really enjoying this."

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