When I was pregnant with my three, I photographed my growing belly like most expectant mothers. Their journey and mine were documented satisfactorily. Not greatly, nor creatively, definitely satisfactorily. With my little point and shoot camera, stuck firmly on AUTO.

Fast forward nearly six years since the birth of our daughter and that little point and shoot camera lives in the dress up basket. We bought it with some of our wedding money shortly after our honeymoon, forcing the (quality and film) SLR into it's case, never to see the light of day again. Everyone had one, we should have one too. Digital was better - didn't you know? To the happy, social, amateur {read average} photographer in me, it was enough. Fast forward a few more years and the big, heavy SLRs were back, only now they had a D in front. It's funny how the cycle spins round.

A maternity series is nothing new these days - but it is to me. I didn't get to do it for myself because my love of photography sat happily on AUTO catching moments and memories (still by the bucketload - even back then), filling up our digital family photo album.

I am the eldest of three sisters and the order of entry into motherhood has remained consistent with our sisterly ranking. First me, then middle sister Bree, and baby sister Courtney will make her grand entrance early in the new year. While a part of me will always be sad that I made my entrance and exit through my childbearing years before either of my sisters made their way in, there will be joy in seeing their time in welcoming new life overlap at some point in the future.

I sat on the wonderful baby news of my sister and brother-in-law for a couple of months before it was made public knowledge. It would be hard to get a referral of details for my brilliant obstetric professor without telling me why, I would think. Thoughts of all things tiny and pink were put aside until that all important twelve week scan when they could finally shout it from the rooftops.

The lightbulb moment to live vicariously through my sister's pregnancy, creatively and stylishly documenting a blossoming belly, still hadn't dawned on me by that point. But when it finally did, I don't think I gave her much choice in the matter. She was to be my guinea pig for the next six months, allowing me free creative reign. Big sisters are meant to be bossy, after all.

As much as this is a personal endeavour to give my sister something I couldn't have when I was pregnant - a beautiful series of images of a life leading up to the birth of a baby, not just of a growing belly - it is also a beautifully free project for me to dive into, deeply. With no expectation from the client - because she is my sister. And even if the photos are crap, she's not paying me - so we're even. But of course they won't be crap. Because she will be in them - with her wonderful husband - and eventually their beautiful, tiny bundle.

BABY LOVE, indeed.