This Sunday, many of us celebrated Mother’s Day with our mothers, grandmothers and the mother-figures in our lives. But family can mean many different things to different people – supportive friends, neighbors and non-blood relatives all merit a place in the spotlight (The mothers and mother-figures no longer with us so deserve celebration on this day too).
The concept of family evokes strong, familiar emotions of love and support. And what better medium to showcase that sentiment than photography?
In celebration of the incredible women and mothers in the industry, we’re highlighting nine women photographers’ work, sharing what family means to them and why they feel so lucky to be able to preserve precious memories through their work. Let’s all take a moment to recognize how lucky we all are to have such important connections in our lives.
Hanna Hill – @hannahillphotography
“I love being able to remind mothers of their power and strength with the photographs I capture! My work displays them at their most vulnerable and yet most stunning as they birth little ones into the world! Birth and motherhood photography in so many ways is about education for others and also healing for the families whose stories are captured.” – Hanna Hill
Carmen Dunham – @carmen_dunham_photography
“It wasn’t until my mother passed away that I came to realize just how precious and fleeting life can be. I not only preserve all those moments, (big and small) that make up a family’s story, but I also hold space to slow down and reconnect. I hope that when families view their videos or photos, they are reminded of just how strong and beautiful they really are. This is why I do what I do, and it’s an incredible honor.” – Carmen Dunham
Sarah Waiswa – @lafrohemien
“What I love most about the work is all the amazing people I get to meet. Everyone has a story and everyone’s story is worth telling and I am honored every time I have an opportunity to collaborate with someone to tell a part of their story! I think it’s important to me to photograph women because time and time again through the stories that I have worked on, it is clear that women are the backbone of the family.” – Sarah Waiswa
Constance Chu – @constancechuphotography
“The truth is that I fulfill my faith in family love with the work I do because I never had this for myself. This is fuel for my perseverance.” – Constance Chu
Aleah Clark – @byaleahclark
“Being a mother myself has completely propelled my work and the way I create and connect with people in a different way. I feel like I was always pretty in touch with people naturally, but being a mom has given me a type of ‘supernatural’ connection that I can tap into now with people, and honestly some of my sessions are somewhat therapy.” – Aleah Clark
Danielle Ann Rose – @danielleannrose
“I love capturing the connections between families, between each parent and child tells a different story of love. It’s why I do it, I get to give families pictures of their connection with each other rather than just a portrait of the family smiling at me. Those forever memories are sacred to me, such beautiful moments to look back on in an album or picture frame. 💛” – Danielle Ann Rose
Deborah Barak – @debbarakfamilyphoto
“I document real life for families with my camera. It feels so deeply meaningful to me because I know I am making something that will be so deeply meaningful to my clients for years to come.
Every moment of motherhood is the longest shortest time. There are so many things from the wild to the gentle that you wish to savor forever as a mother yet it’s impossible to hang on to those moments. I can capture a tiny piece of that. Being allowed into a family’s life and having them be their real messy selves in front of me in an intimate act and a huge honor.” – Deborah Barak
Sherida Hammond – @joli_adore_photography
“I love that birth photography allows me to authentically document and share in one of life’s greatest miracles with new moms and dads. Also, there’s no posing or directing involved; an added plus in my book.
As a mother, I know that pregnancy, birth, and even infancy fly by so quickly, and during that season, we may forget how beautiful that time actually was through the haze of sleepless nights. Being able to present families with invaluable photos makes them realize how big those seemingly small moments actually were.” – Sherida Hammond
Jen Conway – @greenvillebirthphotographer
“Motherhood is a transformation unlike any other. One changes during life, from child to adolescent to adult to middle age. These psychological transformations are intense yet slow and allow us time to acclimate, but motherhood is an explosion, a visceral thrusting into a new sphere of being. To be an infant mother is an undoing and redoing of everything. Capturing that as both a witness and mother is an honor.” – Jen Conway
Want to see more from these motherhood and family photographers? Check out their incredible work on Instagram and follow @photoshelter for inspiring images and educational resources for photographers!