by Jessica Hazel.
The time in your life when all your friends start having babies can be a disconcerting one and people react to it in different ways. You can panic and marry the next person to smile at you on the tube, panic and run away to Goa, panic and go back to university for your 2nd MA or do as Russian photographer Jana Romanova did and start taking pictures of your pregnant friends while they are asleep.
Jana's project 'Waiting' takes the form of 40 photographs of 40 pregnant couples, taken by Jana who creeps into their bedrooms at 6am while they are asleep and dangles over them on a ladder until she has the perfect shot.
The project started when Jana was 25 and lots of her friends started getting pregnant. She felt very alone once all the drinking and the hitchhiking had ended and these pictures are her response to that. The idea came about when she was staying over at her pregnant friend's house one night when she noticed they were sleeping on the floor with a ladder leaning beside them.
Jana is preoccupied with the notion that all the couples look like a team whilst at the same time all being quite disconnected from each other. The 40 images represent the 40 weeks of pregnancy, the first couple in the book are sleeping far away from one another and they get closer and closer as the book goes on.
Jana initially wanted to document all the different stages of pregnancy but in Russia, people keep their pregnancy a secret until they are three months along in case something goes wrong, so couples in the very early stages did not want to be photographed as part of the project.
The photographs took three years to gather together, Jana contacted over 300 pregnant couples to get her 40, most declining when they heard she would need to spend the night at their houses.
Now 'Waiting' has been completed, Jana hopes to revisit each family in 10 years time to do a family portrait and form a follow-up project.
Visit Jana's website.