Schatz has assembled one of the most spectacular tributes to women's beauty. This collection dedicates itself to impending mothers at their most impending moments - and then, usually, in the moment just after. Most two-page spreads feature the young women at her most gravid moment on one page, then her child (or children) on the next.
Drama inheres in the pregnant body. Her form transforms in the most obvious way. Subtler changes tranform her too. Her breasts prepare themselves to nourish. Her hormones tranform her skin. Her navel tranforms in ways that remind me (forgive me, please) of the popup thermometer that says "it's done." And, through all that, the woman remains herself - just herself with more.
Photographing these women and infants brings out all the best in Schatz's abilities. I never realized that he had medical training, but his attention to bodies' details shows that. And, his impartial delight in all of a woman's tranformations comes through, too. Changes in her skin, body hair, coloring, and other details all appear with clinical appreciation and artistic precision.
I've enjoyed other of Schatz's photo collections before. I enjoy this more than any other.
on October 16, 2011
This book is magnificent! With Child is a photographic study of pregnancy and the relationship between the newborn and mother. The visual images in With Child are stunning, displaying the beauty of the human form with grace, sensuality and strength. More than just a coffee table book, the book captures the beauty of the human form in pregnancy. Being a father myself, this book brings me back to the early days when my wife and I celebrate our own daughter's birth. I would highly recommend buying this gorgeous book.
on November 19, 2012
I have had the honor of reviewing Howard Schatz' photographic book entitled "WITH child".
Schatz' study of the pregnant form spans 20 years and includes stunning black and white photographs of pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. He is a genius of lighting, texture, and form - creating awe-inspiring, breathtaking works of art from the human canvas. The captured images are dramatic, sometimes soft and pure, sometimes unnerving, other times dark, always powerful.
Graceful, pure, powerful, primitive, goddess... these are all words that came to mind while flipping through the pages. He captures dancers, acrobats, performers, and the everyday woman. They are frozen in time in leaps, struts, coy turns, full stretches, birthing squats, en pointe, curls, twists, and at rest. It is a celebration of form and beauty, bounty and miracle.
And then the infants are photographed. The circle is brought full as the newborns and, sometimes, their mothers, are photographed. The internal, sensual power becomes an outward expression of love and life. It is breathtaking.
I am so happy to have this book in my library to show other women. It truly shows what's 'inside'. Women who doubt their power, their ability, or their beauty. Women who need a reminder of the miracle that they are taking part in - they will be the ones who will find this work most powerful. Howard Schatz has done a remarkable job accomplishing a masterpiece en pages - this truly is a brilliant contribution to (wo)mankind.
on October 17, 2011
Howard Schatz has proved to be a master of many kinds of photography, from fashion to sports to dance to classic nudes to unique underwater
studies, so the astonishing pages in his latest, With Child, should come as no surprise. And yet they do. (Full disclosure: I have
collaborated with Schatz on other projects.) Pregnancy -- which could be thought of as unintelligent design -- retains an aura of
mystery and miracle, even in our age of emailed sonograms and proudly flaunted swollen celebrity bellies. What fascinates Schatz,
who as a former doctor has actually delivered babies, is the sculptural look of a pregnant woman, and his great achievement in this book is to
show, through an astonishing number of variations on the theme, just how full of wonder and visual impact the fact of pregnancy is.
Schatz has a great way with models, actors, athletes, and dancers (among his many subjects), and his ability to gently direct is evident
in the willingness of his pregnant subjects to revel in the drama of their moment and to give themselves to the camera with complete generosity.
In many cases, Schatz completes the women's stories by including pictures of them with their new babies; if there is anything more wonderful
than seeing twins nursing, I can't for the moment think of what it might be. The book's introduction by art historian Vicki Goldberg couldn't be better.
Schatz has produced a remarkable spectrum of books, almost twenty by now, but in With Child he and his producer/wife Beverly Ornstein have
actually outdone themselves -- no easy feat.
on February 24, 2012
Howard Schatz is brave to pursue the theme of childbirth. It could have been commonplace and hackneyed. Instead, another eye-pleasing, mind-jolting, culturally-transcendant, deeply-satisfying, thoroughly-human engagement of form(s) and idea(s).
Also read Vicki Goldberg's insightful essay, "Pregnant with Meaning." I especially like Howard's question posed in Goldberg's Foreword: "What can the pregnant body be while it remains itself?" A provocative query for the serious exploration of anything which attracts the photographer's attention.
I also enjoyed the narrative on the iconic Demi Moore photograph by Annie Leibovitz, and its impacts on art, advertising, and popular culture. Hard to believe that was more than 20 years ago. As an art historian I appreciated the refrences to Magritte and Lachaise. Made me think of Edward Steichen and his cucumbers.
on October 25, 2011
Outstanding and astonishing- a presentation of the beauty of life. Usually hidden from public view, this photographic wonder displaying women during pregnancy and the beautiful babies (the result) was magnificent and educational. The sensitivity of Howard Schatz's work in his past books and photographic essays is internationally recognized. His choice to explore this topic is bold, unique and inspiring. Thank you for this wonderful work. We had to turn every page in this book before we could put it down.
on November 5, 2011
An intimate look into the ephemeral state of pregnancy. The photos in this book range from raw to refined--as varied as the subjects' bodies. Howard's photos make palpable the life ready to burst from these ripe bodies. And finally the babies! The miraculous reward at the end of the journey... Just the beginning! All captured in this treasure of a book.
on November 16, 2011
This gorgeous and moving book dramatically captures the beauty of pregnancy and the bond of mother and infant. The stunning photos are a powerful testament to the grace and ingenuity of the human body. Both a beautiful work of art and a celebration of the female form and it's powerful potential for life.
on October 23, 2011
Really a fantastic book. The images are spectacular and show off pregnancy in a totally unique way. Perfect gift for the mother-to-be. Plus, as a psychologist, I appreciate that this book will help women who may feel unattractive while pregnant. It is guaranteed to transform their self image.
on October 27, 2011
Mind-blowing! Howard Schatz brings his extraordinary talents to what has been a recent cultural phenomenon - photographing naked pregnant women. But, as with his 17 other books. Howard's vision is a unique work of art.