Anyone would expect a baby reveal photoshoot to be of a real baby, but a Florida woman put her own spin to maternal baby shoots.
Eve Humphrey decided to celebrate six years of doctoral research in Biology and dissertation at Florida State University with the shoot. The baby used in the shoot was her defended doctoral research work.
“Science can be very straightforward and I wanted to do something to commemorate what I did and take a moment to be proud of myself. I’m not super celebratory, but I wanted to do something that was fun,” Humphrey told Good Morning America.
She posed with her doctoral dissertation, which she referred to as her “baby” throughout the six years “because of all the hard work, lack of sleep, back pain from sitting in front of her computer and weight gain from stress eating” just as expectant mothers experience before childbirth.
Humphrey and her photographer friend Korie Mitchell went all out setting up props similar to what mothers use during their maternal photoshoots – baby walker and milestone board.
In an interview with People, Humphrey admits being married with no children and studying for a doctorate degree made friends and relatives curious about when she was expanding her family.
The questioning and curiosity made her develop a sense of humour over time. “When my family or other people asked, ‘When are you having a baby?’, I’d say, ‘I’m working on my baby!’”
She added, “It was just a fun thing to do.”
“People have wanted me and my husband to have kids for so long, so I was like, I’m going to give them a maternity shoot to show what I’ve been working on for 6 years!”
After the shoot, Humphrey told Korie to only share them after she has successfully defended her research. After the post went up on Facebook in August, it has gone viral, receiving over 10,000 likes and just as many shares.
The post was captioned:
“This beautiful woman has spent the last 6 years dedicating her time, energy, and talent to graduate with her PhD.
“Time and time again, the talk of children would come up for her and her husband.
“She knew what she was doing and accomplishing
“Everyone help me congratulate the birth of a defended dissertation by Dr. E. Humphrey.”
However, this shoot has given her the opportunity to mentor other graduates juggling family life and academia as she was not expecting her post to gain much traction.
“Online, it’s been crazy: People talking about women in academia, and if women are celebrated for their professional achievements, and can women juggle having a child and being in academia,” she said.
It was her husband who drew her attention to the online interactions her post was attracting.
“I was like, ‘What the heck?'” Humphrey said. “My husband told me it had a ton of ‘likes’ and then it started being shared by people I didn’t know. I guess I get it, though, because that’s something I would crack up at and share.”
Currently, the ecology and evolution scientist lives in New York working as a biologist and ready to contribute her quota to her field of study. She would return to Florida in December for her graduation.