Thursday, January 10, 2008
Trying to Caputure the Moments of Motherhood
This past year I started a new series of photographs, "Study of Motherhood," about the overwhelming emotions, the overflowing love and the worry, fatigue, and compassion, of being a mother. In this series my focus is on the mother.
Like any artist, the events of my life effect the direction of my art, and that is very true of this series. It started with a friend calling me about an exhibit for the La Leche League, with a theme about the Maternal Bond. She asked if I would submit some work, and that my landscapes would be fine, as they could represent mother earth. At the same time I was a new mother and a member of my local MOMS Club. I had been taking my camera to many play dates and photographing the group just for fun. I have always avoided taking staged portraits, but I enjoy taking candids. I decided to ask a few people if I could use them as models, but I wanted the photos to be real and candid. I asked them to invite me in to their lives to photograph them with their child(ren) participating in commonplace activities, in intimate settings, in hopes of capturing beautiful, everyday moments. These photos came out great and I decided that I wanted to do more then just a few images, thus the start of the series.
The subject of motherhood in art is older then recorded history itself. Women are the creators on the earth. The creation of new life, although it takes place thousands of times a day in just the US, is an amazing thing. It is an experience that a woman can never fully describe to someone else and something you can never fully understand until you become a mother yourself. Three years ago as I first became a mother, when I could feel my child grow inside me, my perspective of the world changed. I always thought I knew the meaning of love, sacrifice, joy and selfless acts, but what I thought those words meant paled to the way I feel now. This series is to celebrate the mother, her emotions and the beautiful experience that often gets reduced in meaning in our modern culture, especially in a decade where it seems trendy, rather then a beautiful and joyful act.
Here are some quotes from real mothers and friends:
One of the greatest joys of parenthood is hearing the
laughter of your child.
"Profession: Mom. I am not awarded with a big paycheck; instead, my compensation comes in the form of smiles, snuggles, and tiny fingers reaching for me. In lieu of bonus checks, I get to see all of my baby’s firsts. There are no accolades in my line of work, but private moments of recognition when my little one mimics my behavior. I am no longer the professional “Mrs. Kennedy,” but I am the all-important “Ma-ma.” In my chosen profession, I will never be a millionaire, nor awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. My treasure is the unmistakable, unbreakable bond I share with my daughter. There is no greater prize."
"Motherhood can be summed up in two words for me, unconditional love. No one truly understands unconditional love until they've had children. It is this invisible thing that binds me to them, making them the most beautiful creatures on earth. Being a veteran of the US Army, one thing stands as proof. The name that soldiers dying in combat call out the most is 'mom'. That unconditional love goes both ways. There truly exists a real bond in motherhood."
“My journey through motherhood has been much like childhood. You start out not knowing at all what you are doing and, day by day, make new little discoveries of better ways to parent; one step at a time. You learn how to nurture your baby, then how to teach your toddler and later to guide your young ones through the ups and downs of life. Along the way you have your own moments of pure joy, exhaustion, and tears. You grow with your children, ultimately becoming more than you ever expected you could be.”
“Motherhood to me is: late nights and early mornings; special days and exhausting days; love with no conditions; an extra set of eyes and ears to hear every conversation; always having someone to talk to who will still love you no matter what you say; and having a little look alike or in my case two. Watching my children grow is priceless!!!!!”