so much beauty in this short and long season of waiting, anticipating, preparing, hoping and worrying. while baby forms and grows and develops, your body swells with change, making room for new life. your role is altered, your relationships are different. a shift in perspective and responsibility. so much of it feels abstract in the days of waiting until finally baby arrives and you meet face to face the one who'd been doing the kicking and rolling and growing and the literal miracle of life so precious, so vulnerable, so devastatingly beautiful.
in the past i've offered mini photo sessions for mother's day but this year i wanted to switch things up. a portrait of motherhood, a celebration of it, but no kids allowed. so a few weeks before mother's day, i made of list of my local mama friends and sent the following email :
i'm currently in the throes of the tiny early days - little sleep, lots of spit up and i couldn't tell you the last time i washed my hair. so much time and energy and love and literal tears poured into one tiny helpless being. these emotions continue of course throughout the years, they just take different shape. you give and give, pour out yourself to those around you over and over. some days you may feel overlooked yourself, or perhaps like no one really understands how much of your body and soul is so deeply wrapped up in mothering and loving. like the dishes and laundry and diapers or the homework and soccer practice will never end. the day in and day out routine of tiny tasks has meaningful and longterm significance though some days your hard work feels unseen.
so in anticipation of this mother's day, i'd love to gift my mama friends with a portrait. a photograph of the bad-ass woman that you are, giving body and soul. to give you the opportunity to be seen. to felt lovely and beautiful and strong. they'll be simple but i hope meaningful. and not just for you, but years down the road, for those little ones. a snapshot of the woman that loved them unconditionally. no matter how meaningful or monotonous your days may feel right now, this is a chance to slow down for a few minutes and document it. i think you'll be glad you did.
so squeeze in a shower, throw on some lipstick if you like and let's hang out for fifteen minutes while we celebrate you in this wild and wonderful stage of motherhood. there will also be champagne and treats so really you have no excuse. details below, i'd love to hang out.
to be honest i expected to receive a list of excuses and "so sweet but maybe when i lose 15 pounds" emails in response. but you guys, almost every single mama responded with a super enthusiastic yes (the bribery of champagne might have helped). and while there was still the typical "i'm an awkward mess in front of the camera" banter before we started, it was beautiful to watch each lady slowly relax and share their true selves. and fabulous portraits aside, talk about a super fun day - it was like i had 15 play dates scheduled but there was booze and no one interrupting! and the challenge to photograph so many subjects in a unique way within the walls of our tiny home was a welcome one amidst the creative roadblocks of newborn parenting.
enough chatter - have a gander at these lovely ladies, inside and out, beautiful for so many reasons and in so many unique ways.
this is my one of a kind gal pal ashley. we met back in ohio after several mutual friends insisted we get together and i love thinking of our first semi-awkward coffee date, filling each other in on our respective creative endeavors. it was an enjoyable and sweet conversation, we left with the possibility of shooting together but didn't think much of it. fast forward five years : our first shared studio, three kids, countless shared meals, two cross-country moves, a creative collective, our own magazine and i've found in her one of the dearest and most genuine friends a gal could have. she is creative, honest, sassy, caring and a killer cook. she can make anyone feel welcome and her sense of aesthetic is out of this world. she is so generous with her time whether it be to snuggle a baby, drop off a warm quiche or help you work through a creative block. so naturally ashley was my test subject for the portraits i wanted to offer my mama friends for mother's day. a round of those hot mamas coming soon but first, ashley.
needless to say, she killed it.