While I didn’t know Jessica beforehand, I was very familiar with her workplace, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over the years I’ve worked with SFMoMA on various projects, so I was already familiar with the commitment and dedication of the people who work there.
I wanted to approach the photo in a photojournalistic way, rather than staging it as a portrait. I asked Jessica to roam through the galleries with a coworker. I gave as little direction as possible; I wanted her to just engage with the art and forget about the camera.
JESSICA, MUSEUM ADMINISTRATOR
2012, © Winni Wintermeyer
I’ve always been curious about understanding different points of view. One of the greatest things about being a freelance photographer is getting access to different places and people. When I was asked to contribute to Showing, I was excited—pregnancy is a subject I hadn’t dealt with before.
Much of my personal work deals with the intersection of man-made and natural environments. In my editorial work—mostly portraiture—I had worked on a few stories involving families, but nothing specific to pregnancy. I try to pay attention to things that are usually overlooked, arranging small details into storylines.
While there’s been a good deal of discussion lately about the difficulties women face in the workplace, pregnancy hasn’t been talked about as much. Having grown up in Germany, I was used to the kinds of strong labor laws that protect women during their pregnancy and after childbirth. There’s a lot more to be done in this country—financial support so women can take time off from work while pregnant, paid maternity leave. Participating in Showing made me a lot more aware of the hardships that pregnant women face while working.