By AMY BOWEN, St. Cloud Times
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Beth Flynn celebrated being pregnant.
So she wanted to capture her glow, even though she was on bedrest for 22 days at St. Cloud Hospital.
Enter photographer Alison Hauck, owner of Alison Hauck Photography, St. Cloud. Hauck took pictures of Flynn and her husband, Terry, in the hospital. Some showed the couple's hands framing the bump. Others showed a pink bow around Flynn's belly with a sign saying "Arriving in November."
Baby Alexis was born Nov. 5.
"There is something beautiful about being pregnant," said Flynn, who lives in Sartell. "My belly was out there. I was happy and proud of being pregnant."
Maternity photo shoots have gained popularity, the St. Cloud Times reported. Women are baring their bellies for artistic shots of their pregnant state. Some opt for traditional poses. Others are more daring, and want to be shot nude.
No matter what the client wants, photographers are ready to capture it.
"Everyone is trying to capture that moment," Hauck said.
First-time parents have been crowding into Jennings Distinct Images in St. Cloud. Owner Cindy Goerger did five maternity sessions five years ago. She shot 24 sessions in 2011.
A social media website, Pinterest, has spurred interest in maternity poses. Hundreds of posts pop up with a search of "maternity photos."
Moms-to-be show Goerger ideas they find on Pinterest.
"Mainly it's first-time parents who are very excited about this new chapter," she said. "People are comfortable in their bodies. They see the beauty in it."
The tummy is the focus during the shoots, said Jes Campbell, owner of Simply Expressive Photography in Sartell. She charges $50 for a sitting free and $350 for a photo CD.
Campbell has taken pictures of a woman pregnant with her fifth child and of new parents who only do it once. It's really up to the woman, she said.
"Your body will never look like that again," Campbell said. "It's art."
The symbolism of the photos draws people, too.
"They want to show the unity of the husband and wife," Goerger said. "It shows the moment they became a family."
Flynn ordered a large canvas print of one of Hauck's photos. It will hang in her home as an art piece.
And the result of the pregnancy is even more beautiful than the maternity photos. Alexis recently had her newborn pictures taken by Hauck.
"It's an exciting and important time in my life," Flynn said.