For this month’s “10 on 10” blog circle, I couldn’t think of a better post to use to celebrate Mother’s Day. As a documentary family photographer, I have opportunity after opportunity to capture mothers and their babes. Their galleries reveal anything from sweet moments that give us “all the feels” to things that might seem so menial, but are actually every bit as important as those “all the feels” images.
Since Mother’s Day of 2017, I’ve photographed more than 20 mothers with their children through my family sessions, and even more than that with weddings and other events. Each experience was so unique and told a beautiful story of motherhood. I was able to capture bits of my own story as well, making sure to “get in the frame” with my son whenever I can (though, that’s incredibly hard, and really, I should probably just pay another documentary family photographer for a session, haha).
Anyway, below you’ll see my 10 favorite “motherhood” images from the last year (in no particular order), with a little bit about what I think each image represents. I hope you enjoy!
Mother #1: Photographed during a Fresh 48 newborn hospital session in Ann Arbor, a mom holds her beautiful daughter, number 3. I love this image because it shows that you can never love one child less than another, our hearts just get bigger and bigger, and each new birth brings as much joy as the last.
Mother #2: Photographed during a 2 hour in-home documentary family session in Farmington Hills, a mom takes time to sit with her son and ask about his day, makes sure to answer his questions and listen to everything he tells her. At first glance, the image doesn’t seem like much, but without a doubt it tells us about their relationship – that Mom wants to know her son and spend time with him, and equally, her son wants to do the same with her. That’s so unique, and so important.
Mother #3: Ok, I had a REALLY difficult time choosing an image from this 12 hour Day in the Life family photography session in Brighton. Mom had just come home with her 2nd little one and wanted me to capture their new normal with a toddler and a newborn at home. I choose this photograph because it shows that our children really do appreciate and love us, no matter how menial the task we perform. Here, Mom’s sweet boy is just staring up at her, absorbing her love. It’s the best.
Mother #4: Wow, this mom is incredible. Photographed at a 12 hour Day in the Life family session in Saline, I spent an entire day capturing this superhero lady (and her husband, he definitely should be credited here as well) as she tackled life with 3 boys under 3. This is easily my favorite image of the entire session because I was able to capture her in this moment of pure fun in the midst of a very stressful and overwhelming day to day experience. She knows her boys deserve the best, no matter how difficult the situation.
Mother #5: Ha, I still laugh when I see this photo from a 2 hour in-home documentary family session in Haslett. Again, we don’t see Mom’s face, and there are many other images I could have chosen, but I love this one because it shows a real-life moment both literally and metaphorically. Mom is just doing her best to keep her balance while her sweet but very spunky little girl throws herself at Mom’s legs in a fit of toddler-rage. We moms are frequently doing our utmost to keep our balance both physically and emotionally, and even though we don’t see it here, seconds later Mom is comforting her girl putting a smile back on her face in no time.
Mother #6: This photograph is from a family session in Livonia, taken just about a year ago before I became a documentary-only photographer. I still love it, though, because of that totally genuine smile during an in-between moment (the very moments that helped me in my decision to become a documentary photographer). The image shows the simple, pure joy that a child brings into our lives, even when thunder and rain are literally rolling in and your first birthday photography session is seconds away from having a very abrupt end.
Mother #7: Y’all know I love this photograph captured during a documentary family session in Northville – it’s the first image you see on my About page. Here, Mom soaks in time with her sweet son after nursing her newborn little girl. It shows that mothers are totally devoted to making their kids happy as frequently as possible.
Mother #8: It’s moments as tender as this, that make either hours or days of labor, or having a c-section, worth every second. Captured during a Fresh 48 Hospital Newborn session in Commerce Township, Mom kisses her newborn son’s toes, showing us just how amazing it is to take in every inch of a newborn’s body.
Mother #9: Moms and their boys, right? It’s such a unique relationship. Here in this image taken during a family session in Northville, Mom takes a quiet moment with her son. We don’t need to do much to let them know we love them – and moments like this say it all.
Mother #10: Ok – this is me and my son a few months ago. I couldn’t do an entire Mother’s Day post without making sure to include us. I just want this image to show how important it is to stop and dance. Forget the mess, forget the chaos. Dance with your kids. They’re not going to care how clean the house was 10 years from now (well, maybe a little), but they are going to care about whether or not you dropped everything for just a few minutes with them.
Happy Mother’s Day!