NET OPEN: Baby and pregnancy photographer Joke’s new studio: “A birth is much more unifying than a wedding.”


Recently, Pure Life Photography, the business of Joke Van Eeghem (35), found a new nest in Asiat Park. Since then, in an old military shed, you will find a cozy photo studio where pregnant women and very young babies are captured on film. It all started with a baby of my own. “Those pictures, that’s my sanctuary.”

The studio is located in the middle of an industrial environment. A new entrance gate and updated roof are on the way, Joke knows. Still, the place is already cozy. “Many women have never experienced a photo shoot before and come in stressed. Fortunately, I often hear from clients that I can put them at ease very well.”

The art form has fascinated her since childhood. “My mother photographed anyone who would allow it,” says Joke. “When we moved to Curaçao in 2012, it became my profession for the first time.” Joke recorded weddings and other events; the link to babies and pregnant women was not yet there. “Until I got pregnant myself.”

About eight years ago, Joke was expecting. “Only then did I realize how influential that period is,” she says. “A friend had arranged a photo shoot. After the birth, I made my own works of art of my own child. Those photos are a shrine.”


She fully decided to choose this niche. “Marriage is much less important to me than having a child,” she explains. “A birth is also much more connective than a piece of paper.” In 2019, the family returned to Belgium and she started her business. “My first studio was in the living room,” she says. After wanderings through Leuvensestraat and Kruitfabriek, there is now the new studio in Asiat Park.


Joke is West Flemish by birth, but feels at home in Vilvoorde, where she also lives. “I like to surround myself with many cultures,” she says. “The women I photograph come from all over Belgium. Often they are foreign as well. From that you learn a lot about how pregnancies and babies are handled. In India, for example, it is forbidden to know the sex of the child before birth. Also, women there get one year of birth leave, paid through.”

Those who order a photo shoot from Joke can do so at a location of their choice, or at the studio in Vilvoorde. A rack of clothes fills a wall. “Often women don’t feel as good about themselves,” she says. “That’s why I have these special maternity clothes. There are also fabrics where I make my own dress. Some women go all over the top and dress up like a princess.”

28 weeks

Usually the clients have little experience as models. “I often hear that I am good at putting women at ease,” says Joke. “Also, I have a lot of patience with the babies. That’s kind of necessary, too.” When is the best time to visit Joke for a photo shoot? “Around 28 weeks gestation is ideal,” she says. “Then the belly is nicely visible, but the ailments are not there yet. Usually the shoots take place between 28 and 32 weeks.”

Babies are always welcome. “The sleeping babies are often a week old,” it sounds. “From two months they are already laughing along nicely and there is more interaction. I also provide personalized decor for a first birthday. Including cake that the baby can play with. That’s always quite a clean-up afterwards.”



“There is too little to do for pregnant women and dads-to-be,” Joke continued. “Around the birth of a child, there is sometimes little social contact. That’s why we want to be more than a photo studio. We also want to organize workshops for young parents. There you can meet each other, but also enjoy yourself creatively. Through our website ( you can stay informed about our events.

Written by  Tom Van De Pol