This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is a day we should all take at least a moment to reflect and give thanks for our mothers and all the daily sacrifices they made for us as children and their continued love for us as we navigate the choppy world of parenthood ourselves.
Whether you are a birth mother, grandmother, adopted mother or just somebody that has been a motherly figure in your life – all I can say is hat's off to all of you. It’s a tough but rewarding job, the best in the world. It is often that love and devotion between mother and child that I look to capture with my camera and recreate for you in a timeless piece of artwork.
I am extremely privileged in my work as a photographer to witness first-hand the raw power of love a mother has for her newborn. Those precious moments, when the baby is still curled up and milky-eyed, are wonderful but all too fleeting.
After two weeks babies go through a growth spurt and will be more likely to stretch their arms and legs during a photoshoot rather than be amenable to be placed in a posed position while sleeping soundly! That is why I suggest mums book in with me in after they reach the 20-week stage, as then we can make sure I can definitely see them within that crucial window. Mothers often turn up nervous or tired, and I do my best to calm and settle both them and their babies. I never rush the process. If they need to feed their babies, that is the priority.
But I don’t just work with newborns. I also welcome and enjoy photographing families with children of all ages. With toddlers and older children you get to see their characters beginning to shine through, and it is that, and the love between not just the mum and child but the family as a whole that I hope I show in my images. It is great when I can take them out on location to a bluebell wood or a freshly harvested field in the autumn. There is something about being out in the open that brings out a sense of freedom and joy.
I have met some amazing mothers and their families over the course of my work. But obviously, some stories stay with me more than others. Most are happy, but of course there are some sad stories too.
One first time mum came in the studio with her child. She revealed that she had undergone numerous rounds of IVF before finally conceiving at the age of 50. She came with this gorgeous healthy baby boy and the joy in her heart came shining through the lens.
Another wonderful and loving family of five came in for a shoot a while ago with their brand new baby. Their third child had tragically died of sepsis. However, the mum wanted to have a family photo which included a memory of the little baby boy. We included his name and his special teddy in the image. It was lovely to be able to create such a lifelong memory for the family.
Then there was the mum who, after years of trying both naturally and through IVF could not conceive, and ended up using a surrogate. They were lucky and a baby girl was conceived. They wanted to complete their family and go for another child, so they tried again but this time unsuccessfully. After much thought, they decided to give it one last go, and to their delight the surrogate got pregnant. They arrived at my studio with their new little baby boy and it was clear they were absolutely over the moon with their completed family.
These are the kinds of mums, and their families I meet weekly in my studio, and all have a story to tell. As Mother’s Day approaches I am saluting all the all mums out there doing their best to struggle through the agonies and frustrations but more importantly rich rewards of parenthood.
I would love you to share your #everydaymum moment with me this Mother's Day. Tell us why your mum's so special to you and I will share on my pages.