Denver Maternity Birth Newborn Photographer » Maternity Birth and Newborn Photography

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Category Archives: Family Lifestyle

ma·ma
NOUN
1. one’s mother (especially as a child’s term):
“come and meet Mama”

We hear this term all the time- Mama. It is often something a child says to the woman in their life, that is THE most important to them. The woman they look up to, trust, love, reach out for, their everything! Mama is love!

I am a mama to three amazing little ladies. I mean the world to them, because I give them my all! I put myself and my needs on hold many days because they are my everything and I want the best for them. But lets face it, we get lost and forget who we are some days. We hear this all the time from mothers. Their identify is “only” found within their kids. But does that have to be a bad thing? Or can it be something we embrace and be joyful in! My identify is my babies; at least for now. All too soon those little arms that still want to wrap themselves around me, will want to be independent and free of my hugs and kisses. They will always love me, but right now I get 100% of them and I am so grateful that I am Mama!

The work we are doing is so very important. The lessons we pass down, the love we give, the time we spend, it is all helping to make these wonderful little beings, amazing adults! The work we do is often thankless. It is long. It is tiresome, but man isn’t it rewarding!? Even after the millionth “one more kiss” that seems so daunting, how amazing to know they love us that much!
We are leaving a legacy for our kids, wrapped up in memories and moments they will hold deep down within their souls.

However the one thing often we are missing is the visual proof that we existed in our kids lives. Aren’t we always the ones behind the camera, trying to capture those perfect moments. Trying to soak up all the digital evidence of their childhood. But where are we? Where will our kids find us in those images?? For the most part, they won’t.
Even for me as a photographer I fall SO short in allowing myself to be IN those images. I get too wrapped up in needing the perfection, that I forget what is truly important. Me! Mama!

Isn’t it time Mama’s put themselves into those memories? To leave a legacy of Mama! Book your Mama Lifestyle session today and give your children the gift of you!

legacy-of-mama

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Today marks a week long celebration of Black Breastfeeding! A seven day tribute to those mothers of color, that want to lift up their journey, in visual imagery!
I know the very first topic that seems to come up is, why do we need a BLACK breastfeeding week? All of August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the first week of August is World Breastfeeding week. Isn’t that enough? Well to be honest, no, it isn’t. It isn’t enough when those movements tend to be void in regards to women of color.

Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for far too long there has been a huge racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women choose to breastfeed versus 58.9% of black women. By all accounts, black babies are nursed at a far lower rate than other infants and those that do feed, do so for a far less length of time.
Why is this? Why do Black women breastfeed at a lower rate than any other demographic? Is it the fact they don’t have tangible lactation information and methods they can relate to? Is where they choose to birth, hindering their efforts to promote breastfeeding? Is there a stigma to overcome that comes from a lack of cultural support? Perhaps they don’t see themselves represented in these movements or projects and thus can’t see themselves as part of the bigger picture. This is how my project was born…

A number of months ago, I met China Tolliver (Urban Doula of Denver)  at a local doula meet up. We hit it off right away- she is pretty fabulous! We got to talking about my work as a birth and lifestyle photographer and my desire to empower women of all colors! We began to talk about her experiences in the black community and how visually they aren’t represented in the birth/breastfeeding world. We had ideas on why that was, but instead of just pondering that, we set out to fix it.

Initially we wanted a small gathering with mamas of color, breastfeeding in real life, for me to photograph. However it quickly became much bigger and we set out to possibly have an exhibition of these images, to showcase these women proudly! That is where Feed My Soul was born. The Feed My Soul , Honoring the Art of Black Breastfeeding was going to encompass photographers across the Denver region and really highlight that Black women do breastfeed! We wanted to show their beauty in this magical time and honor their gift! What we set out to do was visually show their strength and courage, to their own community and beyond. That is exactly what we did!

When and how an exhibition will happen is still in the works, but I am proud of the work this community of photographers and mamas produced. Breastfeeding should be honored for all women and seeing themselves in images, only helps to normalize what IS normal. We set out to make sure black women were honored and I am so in love with my time spent within this community. I was accepted and trusted to capture an intimate moment, that will live as an encouragement to other generations. Black or white these images will empower ALL women to own their breastfeeding journeys and know that it is normal, amazing and truly life changing!

 

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Is there anything better than Saturday morning breakfast!? I think not…. and what makes it better is a fun large family, that wanted to capture it on film!
I have such fond memories of lazy weekends and yummy breakfast made by my mom. How I wish now I could look back on those moments and have those memories flood back, in living color! How amazing would it be to see my sister and I (bed head and all) sitting at the butcher block counter, see our mom in her robe with coffee in hand, making us something yummy and full of comfort!
Why it seems silly to capture something so routine, it is these routine moments that make up our childhood. They create a sense of family, happiness, warmth and all encompassing love!
I so wish I could see more of my childhood in this way! See all the details, that my aging brain, just can’t remember.
The fact that families invite me into their homes, to give their kids this gift, is priceless!
It truly is leaving a legacy of themselves, to look back upon. It fills my soul with all the warm fuzzies 🙂

 

 

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