Photographer Keri Vaca donates her services to expecting homeless women who can't afford professional maternity photos—and the results are amazing.
Maternity photos are a tradition for a reason: Every pregnant woman deserves to have at least one portrait that captures her "I'm growing a baby!" glow. And that's exactly why maternity photographer Keri Vaca has donated her services to thousands of expecting mothers who don't have the funds for a professional shoot.
Vaca, who owns Small Miracles Photography in the Bay Area of California, discovered nearby nonprofit the Homeless Prenatal Program about eight years ago and was immediately drawn to its mission: to help impoverished pregnant women have healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries by providing them with shelter, food and other vital services. "I volunteered to go in once a month to photograph the mamas to be, so they could have a beautiful photo from their pregnancy," Vaca tells Fit Pregnancy. "They are always so shocked to see their maternity photos and see how beautiful they are."
Vaca brings flattering clothes to each session (later donated to HPP) and says she loves making the women feel gorgeous—but it's about more than that. "I love forming bonds with all of my clients and the moms of HPP," she says. "We are all in this together. As a mother of an 18- and 19-year-old, I want to share my struggles and triumphs with all moms. I want them to know there will be hard days and there will be awesome days; to know they are not alone and they need to reach out and find other moms for support."
"The moms of HPP want the same thing as my other clients: a happy, healthy baby," she continues. "They face difficulties that my other clients don't, like where they will sleep, how they will pay the rent or heating bill, how they will escape an abusive relationship or maybe stay sober. But they all question how to be the best mother they can be. Being a mom is the hardest job on the planet, and I want my moms to see their beauty, have fun and look back on their photo shoot and remember it to be a super fun experience and to think, Wow! I did look amazing!"
So if you're in need of a little inspiration for your own maternity photos, take a look over these stunning portraits and you'll soon realize: the bond in motherhood is strong.