Over the last several years, this photography journey has taken me to places and people that I never intended when I bought my first camera. Clients who were once a name on a first-time inquiry in my inbox have now become friends that I care for dearly. And I am so lucky for that.
But probably the biggest surprise is how my role behind the lens has inspired me to be such a relentless advocate for moms.
Because in doing hundreds of sessions over the last several years, there’s no question that every single mother who has been on the other side of my camera is beautifully unique from the other. But she is also very much the same. And SO MANY OF US spend our time comparing our differences, instead of seeing that we all really just want the same things… and that we share in the same struggles.
We have days we have insecurities.. We can fear judgement. We want a break. We crave time with our family when no other life responsibility is tempting us in the back of our minds. We just want to be able to let loose sometimes. We would do anything for the well being of our kids, and we want them to remember us as being GOOD. We have days where we wonder if we can do it, and then will turn around the next and wonder how we ever existed without them. We have a hard time with our changing bodies. We struggle to find balance between being parents and being a married couple. We want to just “be” and not worry how our parenting choices will be perceived by others, or if they are the best ones for our kids.
Most importantly, we just want to be the best mothers we can be in a world that is constantly trying to tell us we are not.
This was put in front of me EVERY time I photographed a family, and heightened by the fact that I was going through my own growth in motherhood. And that’s when I realized that I had a much bigger calling in this life than to just be a picture taker.
My camera had the power to show a family what exists when you peel away the stress and the social pressure. I had the ability to create a safe space for a couple of hours for them to just “be” who they were without housework, jobs and judgement in their way. That shutter button could freeze dozens of pictures that a Mom could refer to on the days she felt like she was falling apart.
I have made it my life’s mission both through my lens and through my words on The Thinking Branch to continue to help us all see that it’s OK to be whoever we are. That doing our best as mothers is enough. That loving our kids hard will trump any mistakes we might make along the way.
It has been an incredible privilege to get to know these mothers. I love hearing their stories. I love when they feel comfortable enough to unleash honesty on me. I love watching their kids respond to them. I love when their authenticity is undeniable in a picture. I love learning from them. I love being inspired by them.
By YOU! My beautiful, strong PBB Moms. Thank you for the privilege of being welcomed into your lives to help document these precious times and be able to SHOW YOU everything that is amazing about you and your family. Let’s keep working together to build bridges between each other as mothers, to accept ourselves for who we are… and to believe that we are more than enough for our kids.
Happy Mother’s Day, ladies. Keep shining.
*Moms featured here are clients who I’ve worked with since last Mother’s Day who have ALSO given me permission to share their images. If you fall under this category and don’t see your image here… 1.) PLEASE know that it is an honest (Mom brain) mistake and 2.) PLEASE (please please) let me know so that I can fix it and include your pretty face here!