How much of ourselves and our insecurities and our shit are we projecting onto our children? How is it holding us all back? It’s tough, somedays. It’s about constantly walking that line between being their ‘experienced’ guide, communicating right and wrong, holding space for who they are are, listening to what they need-all while healing and peeling your own layers so you can (too) be connected to your pure and bright self, the way they so effortlessly do...so who’s teaching who? It goes both ways. Oh does it ever. I honestly have no idea what I am doing about 98% of the time, no joke. I’m blazing my own path, always have, always will...but these little humans chose me as their mother, and really, what do I have to lose by digging deep inside of myself and providing them with a unique experience that only I (we) can offer, together.
He asked me to cut his hair a few weeks ago (finally?)!! It was so bittersweet for me but he was really excited and ready. His last haircut was a couple weeks before his sister was born, so this gorgeous blond hair took 2.5 years to grow ✨ we took him in for a trim one day and he refused...the lady didn’t talk to him much and came with the scissors too quickly for his comfort and so he just put on the breaks; like loud and very clear breaks. I attempted to cut it myself several times after, with all sorts of ice cream bribes, but nope. I felt myself getting pretty worked up about him not “cooperating” one day and then I thought - if he was a girl, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, nonetheless this whole bribing and tense and counterintuitive situation. So because he is a boy and our culture insists that boys should have short hair, I am “encouraged” to impose this aestetic on him, when clearly he wants no part in it and doesn’t care whatsoever. What am I teaching him? That they matter more than him? That their perspective of who he is matters more than his own? That gender stereotypes will have power over how he chooses to express himself? - So his hair is his, and he will do what he pleases with his body. This is a part of his self-expression journey and bodily autonomy teaching...simply. Yes, people have mistaken him for a girl more times than I can count, and yes he would sometimes tell me that what bothered him the most about it was when they didn’t seem to believe that he was a boy. But when he was four he told me that what people think doesn’t matter because they don’t really know him anyway and he knows himself and that’s more important (yeah I was proud beyond words when he told me that). So he rocked long hair for 2.5 years and decided it was time for a change all on his own. I learned that when we resist who they are and what they are trying to say, what we’re really doing is protecting and projecting our insecurities, and unconcsiously showing them that conforming to what others expect of you, is more important than how you feel.
5.5 years ago i was on 6 hour flight, flying across the country, by myself, with my 3 month old baby. My anxiety was at it’s highest in the history of me, and I had put together what was in my opinion the ultimate-no-fail-easy-access-most-perfect-breastfeeding in public-ensemble ever. Well it failed. I failed. And I ended up sitting on the cabin toilet, dry mouth and in tears, nursing my baby to what I hoped would be the deepest and longest sleep of his life, so we can just be on land and I could go hide us under a blanket, again.
I felt alone and ashamed. Shame for using my body to feed my baby. Alone because until I became a mother myself, I had never seen another woman breastfeed her baby. That was my starting point. I understand that this isn’t every mother’s experience, but it was mine and I’ve fought hard with myself for how I live my life now. So look them straight in the eye, scoop up your child and feed her, without skipping a fucking beat, and it will stop being scary, eventually.
She isn’t coming for you. No one is coming to lovingly clutch your shoulders, stroke your face with their warmth, gaze into your flooded tired eyes and tell you exactly what you need to hear and give you everything that you need.
So I nest. I retreat and I cradle myself. That’s where I find her.
Firstborns carry the weight of our falling and our rising, as mothers and as woman. I believe that they knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they chose to unite with our souls. He is sensitive and creative and expressive and bold; everything that I had lost, I found through intermittent bursts of self-recognition, by simply allowing him to be.
Motherhood is a healing portal. It holds our darkest shadows, pits of fire and repressed rage…but to feel the dark so deeply carries the power to open the heart to newfound levels of beauty, wisdom and love. Love for ourselves, acceptance of ourselves.
When space is held for both truths to exist, art is made.
It's really important to me to honor this when I am photographing another person. I feel that my work isn't the most consistent and I think that it's ok. How can it be, really...when I am constantly shifting and swaying and growing, on a personal level, also while paying close attention to what my subjects need me to see within themselves. I like to think that my art is organic and honest; I look for connection and feeling and meaning, all the time, in everyone and everything, and this is obviously what I seek through my photography as well and so I've always struggled with the idea of "posing" people. *sigh...still navigating my way through this one so perhaps I'll write another post about it later...*
All my sessions are unplanned and unfold in different ways. I may get a glimpse of something leading up to a particular session, and I may attempt it but not always. I feel that my portfolio is soaked with artistic love and feeling, the way that I perceive...and it all plays out differently based on the people, the families and their stories, aesthetics (clothing and environment), the relationships, the light and emotions on that particular day.
I feel that the deeper I go, the more I see myself really narrowing down (even more) what and how I want to shoot, for others. Life is beautiful and I am so immensely grateful for the freedom that we have given ourselves as a family, and I'm slowly learning to offer ever more of that to myself, as my children grow a *bit* more independent.
I am aiming for nothing less than things that make my heart sing. <3
A photographer who photographs people...a photographer who is an introvert. I have two choices; I can either distance myself from what I'm shooting to get to a place where I feel more comfortable and safe, or I can choose to make art...sit really close and wait until the awkwardness passes, and the quietness of love enters.
Some sessions and some people require a little more chit chat. I love those too. I've made true friends from shoots and have connected deeply through sitting so close, in the sacred space, observing, witnessing, feeling what unfolds so effortlessly when the space is loved and honoured.
Almost all of my images are unprompted, unposed, organic and true because of that quietness. Letting them be and allowing them to show themselves to each other and to me, as if I wasn't there. Maybe it comes from actually secretly wishing I was fly on the wall for so many years...I got really good at seeing people without them seeing me.
For me, it's a combination of being there but not really and noticing what makes be feel something.