Move over specialist birth photographers; the newest trend for mothers-to-be is having a picture of their baby's sonogram Photoshopped on a picture of their bulging bellies.
The first requests starting appearing on parents' websites in the US as early as June 2010, like the one from a user on the baby gaga website, who wrote, "I have a picture of my belly and a sonogram of my daughter's face I would like photoshopped on my belly. Would anybody mind doing that for me? Or tell me where I can go to do that?"
But it wasn't until the last few weeks that the pratice became a hot topic on mothers-to-be forums and social networking sites such as Facebook. The popularity of the topic has been described by "B", the author and creator of STFU, a parents blog based in Brooklyn, in an interview with The Daily: "tons of these photo submissions featuring pregnant women with glow-in-the-dark baby alien bellies have been circulating over the past few weeks."
Many media outlets including Slate and the France Au Feminin online forum have discussed the topic, raising the question of how far parents are prepared to go to document their pregnancies and their babies. Some specialists have criticized the practice, saying that it is distasteful. Shelly Kuhn, a New York-based family portrait photographer said in an interview with The Daily that she "would love to do more of these. But there is a debate over whether it's morbid and disgusting or beautiful."
Creating visual effects using photo editor programs on pictures or pregnant mothers has been an online trend for some time. This picture of a fetus foot in its mother's belly was one of the hottest topics on the social networking site pinterest on the week of July 6.