A few years ago, Russian photographer Jana Romanova’s social life took a turn. All of a sudden, it seemed, all of her friends had become pregnant.
Just as quickly, all their conversations turned to children: things they needed to buy, changes they needed to make to their homes, and the daily difficulties of pregnancy. “It was a challenge for me to get used to it,” Romanova said via email. “I always try to solve my problems with photography, so I decided to make a project about it.”
She started her series, “Waiting,” by photographing her friends sleeping early in the morning in their bedrooms—a time, as she wrote on her website, “when people don’t really care about their appearance and one can see their attitude to each other and to this life that is growing inside their family.”
Romanova didn’t want the couples to pose, so she had to figure out ways of getting the photos while the couples were still asleep. “When it was possible I stayed with the couple at their apartment at night to make a picture at around 5-6 a.m., mostly on weekends, when people want to sleep and don’t really need to wake up for work,” Romanova said. “When it was not possible, I tried to come around 5 a.m., waited in the kitchen while they were asleep, and then took the picture.”
Eventually, Romanova wanted to expand the scope of her project, so she started looking for more subjects online. She wrote hundreds of emails to pregnant women asking if they would like to be included in the project. It took her two years to find the 40 couples for the project—one for each week of pregnancy.