bouldering while 9 months pregnant

Experientially, I am intrigued and drawn to things that are different. What can make this experience different from the norm known to many?!?! Needless to say, my maternity shoot was extremely different. I dreamt of being on the rock climbing wall wearing the shirt I bought in my first trimester “Future Rock Climber.” 

With all that transpired during my pregnancy, I solicited photographers who would feel comfortable to shoot me on the wall. As a photographer, I wanted rights to all of my photos and didn’t really have the budget to pay a hefty penny for pictures of me that I would ultimately edit to my liking. I mean if I could take my own shots, I would have totally mounted a camera to a wall and shot my shots. Unfortunately, while I searched for photographers familiar with photographing rock climbers in Denver, I was unable to find anyone willing to want to work with me, the melanin, and my bubbly bump. 

Luckily, when I arrived in the city of my acupuncture school, I joined the rock climbing community there and began to ask around for talent to make my dreams come true. I connected with a photographer who was heading out of the area on a family trip and would return right around my due date. He was willing to photograph me when he returned if I hadn’t found any other interested persons. Well, I didn’t find anyone else. 

I messaged him and asked if he was still interested. As one of the board members on the local rock climbing gym and a photography hobbyist, he was willing to gift me my maternity shoot. No one had ever made such a request and he would later appreciate my determination to capture my pregnant self climbing walls and looking poised doing it.

My dream came true. To be photographed on the climbing wall wearing my favorite shirt was definitely the highlight of my pregnancy. The shoot was fun, relaxed, and everything I could imagine. I felt strong, empowered, capable, and supported. Having experienced such a great shoot and an amazing gift of generosity, I want other moms to feel what I felt and love such a capture of their Melanin Bump.

With Gratitude,

Alleah Erica Photography

To view more work of Alleah Erica Clarke, visit to see her full collections of photographic work.

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