The Golden Harvest: A time lapse maternity portrait project with Emma Frisch

ithaca, ny photographer

Harvest season is a time of gratitude where we give thanks for the abundance of life around us. From each seed, we plant, we receive what we’ve grown, and appreciate how it sustains us through the cold winter months. Thats a pretty dang magical though when you sit down and contemplate it for a moment!

It was in early February of 2018 that I received an exciting (and top secret) message from Ms. Emma Frisch, owner of our local glamping retreat, Firelight Camps , and author of of the cookbook, Feast by Firelight.  She let me in on the magical seed she was about to grow herself.

“Hi Jamie, I wanted to share the news with you that I’m pregnant again! I want to explore working on a maternity portrait project with you to announce the news!”

“Oh my goodness, absolutely!” I replied.

We set up a date to chat shortly afterwards, and there we began our 9 month long project. A time lapse portrait series to document her second journey through pregnancy (and the seasons)

Ithaca NY Maternity Portraits

Every two weeks we met both outdoors and in my studio space to capture a portrait of her growing figure in the changing seasons. After a few weeks of trial and error, we decided on a handful of poses and clothing options that we felt would work best. Emma’s golden colored clothing was chosen to match the anticipated goldenrod which annually blooms in the field.  Like many best laid plans in life….things change. The neighborhood farmer decided this year that he’d plow down the goldenrod field to plant sweet corn (something he’d never done before) So well, um…that changed things quite a bit!  4 months into the project, we couldn’t look back and decided to simply flow with the change in plans, and see what came.

best Ithaca NY maternity portraits

Each week, she showed up smiling, joyful and growing, as the field too grew up around her. I’ve taken an uncountable amount of maternity portraits in my many years as a photographer, but never had the opportunity to photograph someone’s entire pregnancy journey from start to finish. Amidst all the crazy and impossible weather forecasts and career traveling, and juggling of children; we managed to find regular times to connect…both personally and professionally as women entrepreneurs, and mothers.

The relationship I formed with Emma through the process of the project extended well beyond simple portrait taking and has turned into a lifelong connection that I feel so grateful for. When I began piecing these portraits together to form the time lapse video, I became a puddle of tears on the couch. Witnessing her seasonal pregancy journey firsthand has been such a complete honor and privilege to me.

So without further ado…here it goes! 9 months in 35 seconds! I’m not sure that a 35 second video can even begin to sum up the fullness of the journey…but it gives a powerful glimpse into the super human power that is called MOTHERHOOD.





As I watched the corn grow from seed to harvest, I watched little Ms. Cora shape her mama’s belly and then come out to say hello to the world. What a divine reflection! Thanksgiving season felt like and ideal time to share the joy, abundance and gratitude of Mother Earth with the world.

I send you all many blessings to the seeds you’ve grown this year!


You can read more about Emma’s Journey, and read her amazing recipes! HERE.




  1. […] met every two weeks, taking pictures outside, despite the weather, and in her studio. (Jamie wrote a beautiful piece about our experience.) The result is this time lapse, showing my swelling belly and the final […]

  2. Emma Frisch on November 20, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    GAH! I love you Jamie and am SO grateful this project brought us together!!! You are talented beyond words.

    • jamie Love on November 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      The love is completely Mutual!! <3 🙂 Im so grateful for our connection through this project and beyond! <3

Leave a Comment