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The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus

Maria Arellano
April 9, 2017

I was inspired to create a piece for this Maternity Session that would be an homage to a painting by Sandro Botticelli "The Birth of Venus". I love the idea of birth and water and have visited these themes in prior work with my collections of water nymphs.

In this instance a beautiful expecting mother embraces her belly instead in the same manner in which Venus covers her intimate parts. The flowing dress is thrown in the air to resemble her long gorgeous hair in the wind. The model also looks down with eyes half closed inhaling the moment at peace and contemplating the new life she is carrying. Instead of the ocean giving birth to a goddess, the goddess gives life to a new soul.

I Guided the model to pose as Venus does in the painting, and also had her throw the dress behind her several times to capture as much movement as I could in camera. I used Photoshop and Camera Raw in my Post Processing. The dress effect was created by compositing several layers that the model had thrown in the air. I used a wide aperture 135mm f2 lens. I took care to remove as many distractions from the background as I could to ensure that she was the main focus.

Women love the piece, I found a few male photographers were offended by what they believed was my sexualization of the mother. They didn't understand why so much of her skin had to be revealed, why my use of lighting or setting in the water. Even after explaining the inspiration they were unable to get past what they felt was offensive to motherhood.

It is very interesting that some people feel when a woman is pregnant she is sacred in a way that she stops being a sexual being. The bare belly and legs were extremely upsetting to some people, even in a photography group where you often see women displayed in nude or intimate poses. Seems that motherhood puts a woman off limits?

Don't allow criticism to keep you from creating. Stand by what you are passionate about even if it's controversial and learn from each project.

Maria Arellano

Hi there!

My name is Maria Arellano and I am the artist for Maribella Portraits. I am a child portrait photographer located in the North Houston area, but I love to travel all over the state!
I specialize in children, teen, and women's fine art & fashion photography.
For photographers I offer continuous learning, one on one mentoring, workshops and shootout opportunities.

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