CORINNA, Maine — Brianna Waltman was born at home, 28 years ago, in a white, split-level ranch. Her parents buried her placenta out back, under an apple tree. Growing up, there was never any mystery about where babies came from.
There’s a growing social movement to “normalize” pregnancy and childbirth, and Waltman documents the process to provide a glimpse into the miracle of birth — in all its forms. It’s not just something she’s good at doing. Waltman is passionate about it, too.
“I want to normalize what women actually do to bring babies into the world,” Waltman said. “It’s not some crazy, scary medical procedure. Women give birth every single day, and it’s actually a very beautiful process. It’s just as important as your wedding day to document.”
Two years ago, Waltman left a secure day job, setting herself up in business as a wedding and portrait photographer. Not long after, as a diversification strategy, she documented her first birth. Waltman was hooked from the start.
“It lit a fire within me, and I found — not to be too philosophical — exactly what I was put on this earth to do,” she said.
Waltman approaches her job with a photojournalist’s eye for realism and storytelling. She then blends that aesthetic with an artist’s sense of color and mood. Waltman steers clear of greeting card sentimentality, creating stylish images, overflowing with pathos, drama — and ecstasy.
Troy R. Bennett
Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.
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