Self Portraits of Motherhood
I needed to see that it was beautiful, this thing that I did everyday. The mess, the tears, the dedication, the love.
I started 2019 with the goal of photographing myself with the kids. At first I just wanted some photos with me in them, pretty simple. The memories of motherhood are so precious to us, that often we stand behind the camera making sure every detail is documented, then look back at a years worth of images and realize that Mom was only in three of them. Then, after I captured a few I began to see how beautiful the ordinary looked. The toys in the yard, the mess on the floor, the dishes on the counter - it was all part of what I really wanted to remember - real life.
I hope that seeing me and my family in these photos inspires you to step into a frame and in essence, freeze time.
Self Portrait of Confidence
I had so much to say about this one that I wrote an entire Blog Post dedicated to this photo. Head over to my Blog to read what this images means to me.
Self Portrait with Lochlan
It’s hard for me to take these images and know Lochlan will never be in them. This may seem dark, but I desperately wanted a photo of me holding my boy. So, here we are.
Portrait of a Tuesday
I took this one for my future self. Peeking through the window and looking back on our past, they way they are small and I am everything in their eyes.
Portrait for the Doctor
Raise Good Humans. End of story.
I took this image to go along with the article I wrote for Mom Culture, and I’m so proud of what I see. No doctor can tell you what you’re going to get in life, no one could have painted this picture for me. But here it is, nonetheless, and I am so crazy thankful for it.
Mother's Day Portrait
Self Portrait with all my Babes. This was my gift to myself for Mother’s Day this year, I wanted a snap shot of the twins + Woodsy without clothes, so I could see thier baby skin, and have Lochlan join us close to my heart. I have so little photos of Lochlan in the picture with us, so this makes the perfect Mother’s Day photo for me.
Portrait of Old-Timey Feelings
I’ve been inspired by the photos we have of our won mothers, sitting carefree and un-apologetically with their kids, and their own body. This was a slow Sunday afternoon in my bathing suit, sweating in the sun while we pulled weeds from the garden. It was one of my favorite days, and it needed documenting.
Portrait in a Dress
I took another self portrait on this day, for my Mothers Day photo, and then just let the kids run around afterwards and kept clicking away. I don’t usually wear a dress at home, but I love how I’m a little fancy here, and they are naked… running free through childhood.
Portrait of a Sunday Afternoon
It was just me and the kids this day, the sun was shining, it was the first real afternoon of warmth after a long winter and wet spring. Plastic toys have taken over our yard - becuase we have three young kids - and I decided to take this image so I could always remember the way our afternoon’s were spent.
Portrait on a rainy Day
I’ve really loved taking self portraits with Woodford. It’s almost as if I can document my growth of motherhood by his growth in each frame. This was a rainy day where I was folding laundry and he was fussing. I decided to take a portrait in the low light of the day, which gives this image it’s gloomy feel.
First Portrait with the Kids
This is one of my first self portraits. No one would stay still, so I had to tickle evderyone to look happy and Woodsy really isn’t sure what’s going on. This was one of the first times I registered how beautiful the ordinary looks in a photograph - messy bed, laundry, no one matching or even wearing clothes. It’s such a mess, and it’s so perfect. This is exactly why I started taking these photos, to lock in these mundane days to my memory, exactly as they happened.
Self Portrait by Wally
Wally is getting more interested in taking photos with me - I had the idea to take a photo while all the kids played, but Wally quickly took over the direction. He placed all of us and used my trigger. I added in the cloned soccer ball underwear while editing.
Self Portrait with my Boys
I had a terrible time breastfeeding Wally. He didn’t really love it, I desperately wanted him to, and we battled through for 11 moths until I conceded he wanted to be done.
When I was struggling with feeding, I would sit on the bed and cry for hours, thinking I was doing something wrong, that he didn’t love me, that we wouldn’t have a bond if I didn’t feed him this way. And now that’s older, he’s my best friend, he always wants mom, he always wants to kiss me, hug me. He tells me he loves me all day long.
So, I wanted a photo of my two boys. The one who eats anytime, anywhere and loves his mumma. And the one who never wanted to breastfeed, pushed me away and cried for a year, who also loves him mumma.
This is the park where we held Lochlan’s Celebration of Life. Each year we take the kids for a picnic and draw his name on the cement pathway with chalk for all to see. My Dad stood on this platform and gave the most beautiful eulogy, and now we take a photo here with our other kids. This photo represents our life after that terrible day, and the beauty of where we said goodbye to our son.
Portrait with Woodford
I love to photograph him naked, so that I can see all his baby-ness; rolls, chunky tummy, chubby fingers. I want to remember how much he loved to eat, how easy it was (this time) to feed him, how close we always were. My heart needed him.
I took this photo on a Sunday afternoon when Aunty + Uncle were over for a visit. There was nothing special happening, no birthday to celebrate, just a gathering of people I love. What better reason do you need to take a photo?
Self Portrait with my Kids
This is my favorite photo with the kids. It was a weekend morning and I wanted to capture Kenzie’s grumpy mood, when the boys jumped in the photo too. Woodsy wasn’t happy about it once he realized we weren’t wrestling. It was just a regular, ordianary day… and it will be framed forever.
Portrait at Lochlan's Park
This is the park where we said goodbye to our son with friends and family surrounding us. It was an impossible day, which is why we chose a place that was incredibly beautiful. Located just blocks from where we lived at the time, Lochlan’s park looks onto the ocean and downtown Vancouver, we used to sit and listen to the waves below us while tears stained our laps. Now we bring the kids with us each year to say hello and goodbye again on his heaven anniversary. A way to keep Lochlan close, and for the kids to learn more about him with each passing year.
Portrait at the Beach
I needed to take this one, after 4 babies, to show myself years from now. To recognize that my body is strong and beautiful, stretched out, etched into something more wonderful than I had before.