A collection of photographs and words celebrating the complexities of motherhood, curated by The Luupe

Motherhood is complicated. It’s filled with love, joy, struggle, beauty, and sorrow. To celebrate these many layers, we invited photographers from around the world to share images that represent its many possibilities. Becoming a mother, being a child, the struggle to conceive, the exhilaration of birth, the delight in watching them grow, and the drive to protect them.

The complexities and nuances, and even the decision not to become a mother, and the fear and inevitable loss that comes with all of this. And then – the pandemic. These 100 images represent a global and intergenerational take on motherhood’s many forms.

 

“An amazing person called me a modern-day Persephone recently and I thought it was such a beautiful compliment. I have been thinking about how much I relate to the Greek Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld. I come alive in the Springtime and struggle during the winter. So I’ve been really attracted to imagery of her. In a way, I am romanticizing my seasonal depression, but really just trying to cope. I’m in the beginning stages of prepping for the darkness. This year it seems the odds are stacked against me with everything that has gone on in the world. However, I find strength in the love I have found for myself and I am my own ruler in the dark.” – Bri McDaniel

 

“My daughter and I practiced putting on masks, though we didn’t go beyond the stoop for weeks. I never expected to be a mother. She could all too easily disappear.” – Jennifer McClure

 

“A celebration of motherhood, culture, fashion, and the baby-to-be.” – Amanda Lopez

 

“I live in Los Angeles, CA with my husband and daughter. Both of our families live across the country. Our daughter was born during the pandemic with no family to receive her. A few weeks before she was born my husband’s father passed away from a long battle with illness. We had a zoom memorial but our large family could not gather to celebrate his life. We gathered to remember and celebrate him in March. We then visited my family in Tennessee. I became a mother in isolation so it has been important for me to see my daughter with her grandmothers. Both grandmothers have been vaccinated but there is still the shadow of the pandemic over everything. I think it’s easy to assume gathering with family after extended time apart would feel completely freeing and like it used to be, pre-pandemic, but it was not. There is joy at being in each other’s presence but a heaviness at the time lost. Pictured here: My daughter with my mother in Chattanooga, TN. Luna is wearing a dress I wore as a baby.” Bethany Mollenkof, originally photographed for the New York Times.

 

“This past year has been the most challenging by far: from being pregnant and giving birth during a global pandemic, isolating from family and friends for what felt like forever, and teaching from home while parenting a toddler and a newborn 24/7 – all things I never considered in previous years. This year has surely been hard on all of us. And then, I look at these two amazing kids who keep me grounded and give me perspective every single day and I feel nothing but thankful.” – Brittany Marcoux

 

“My favorite muse, Cherdericka.” – Jass Durhal

 

“During the first lockdown, I started taking a photo a day of how we coped as a family. A lot of mess, chaos, tears, fights but also lots of love and contentment.” – Jaskirt Boora

 

Sandra and Lilje. Lilje was born after insemination treatment with eggs donated from Sandra’s sister in Finland. About her decision to become a single mother, she says: ‘ When the doctor came in and told me I probably shouldn’t wait too long to have a child, I thought: I’ll just do it – straight away! One year later, I was pregnant.’ – Loulou d’Aki

 

“This is Sydney and Owen. Sydney and I have been best friends since we were nine years old and met at summer camp in the Hill Country of Texas. Nemo (the cat) and Tiger Lilly (the pup) decided to sneak into the photo. It reminds me of those Hidden Picture games we would play as children.” – Kelli Radwanski

 

Brooklyn, NY, April 2, 2020: “After bickering over schoolwork neither of us wants to do, Lola releases pent-up energy. Ambulance sirens blare outside. They have been non-stop for weeks. I am grappling with the instability and anxiety these days hold, and decide in this moment to forgo phonics and math in favor of just about anything that sparks joy.” – Emily Schiffer

 

Untitled (Zucchinis and belly on blue), 2017, pigment print, 24 x 32 inches. “I rarely see images of the pregnant body in art. I was already making work with my body and felt I wanted to continue this journey throughout my pregnancy. The mirrors turn the body into a form that could be seen as a fertility goddess with many breasts, arms, and legs.” – Heather Rasmussen

 

“In this photograph, my mother and I pose together to imitate the sexualized photographs of women’s legs taken by the late fashion photographer Guy Bourdin. ” – Natalie Krick

 

“I found the photos of our eyes… The photographs evolved naturally as we confronted the most human of destinies:
–As if I could ever get used to it –As if the picture would somehow wish it away… An extended portrait, “si je meurs / if I die” explores an inter-subjective, diasporic space that balances absence and presence. I pay homage to the relationship with my mother, Janine Janowski, construct my own sense of identity and allude to the legacy that she left behind.” Ojos (Mami y yo), from the archive, Washington, DC, archival pigment print, 2015.  © Muriel Hasbun

 

“By engaging with imagery over the last seven years, my mother and I have been building Indoor Voices around intergenerational womanhood, matrilineal responsibility, and the symbolism in quiet intimacy. The work is a collaborative discourse of familial and female complexities that makes a testimony to our lineage and experiences.” – Hannah Altman

 

“October 19, 2017 – The last day pregnant. Remembering all those ambiguous feelings, a mixture of joy, excitement, and anguish. To be a mother for the second time. Will I love him as much as the first one? Am I strong enough to face this one more time? A self-portrait a few hours before childbirth. To remember that we are strong and that we can accomplish anything.” – Chrystel Mukeba

 

“My sister-in-law comforts her first child, my nephew, during a visit. – Jennifer MacNeill

 

“With her back turned to us, we are drawn to the mystery and posture of this woman in red. She feels strong and secure, holding her baby in a private moment of solitude.” – Angela Lewis

 

“Eylse Fox is one of the coolest mothers I know and gives so much to the communities she has built. She is the founder and Sad Girls Club/Sad Boys Club, both of these organizations hold space, create community & provide resources to better your mental health for people of color. Her son Basel is a superstar and you will most likely find him modeling for your favorite brands.” – Dee Williams

 

“This image was made during quarantine with my mother. It is from my current body of work, gravity locked her in rotation, which explores the chaotic reality, frustration, and sacrifice entrenched in motherhood and the gendered expectations that manifest through this tension…We refuse the tropes of motherhood and embrace an uninhibited exploration of our fears, frustrations, and joy. Centering the work on our own unique experiences validates the complicated and nuanced understanding we have of ourselves as women and mothers” – Allison Debritz

 

“After doing a beautiful glam maternity photoshoot in January for new mom Nephtalie, I decided I needed more raw and realistic portrayals of motherhood in my work. While I’m often one to highlight the beautiful and glamorous sides of things, I’m no stranger to the not-so-glamorous side and love to find the beauty in natural settings of life. In April, I took this image of young Haitian mom Nephtalie and her firstborn Camella in her home.” – Kavozia Glynn

 

“When this mysterious new roommate plopped into my arms, purplish and covered in white slime, I just stared at him. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something behind him. It was shiny, dark-red, and it looked like human tissue. Was it my heart, my liver, or my stomach? The doctor held the object closer to my face and asked me if I wanted to keep it. I realized then that she was holding up my placenta. I read on pregnancy blogs that women encapsulate this organ to ingest it, just like when a feral cat cleans up her afterbirth, not wanting to leave the scent for predators. Shaking my head, I declined the offer; at the moment, my hands were full of the cargo that came from inside that crimson spacecraft.” – Julie Grace Immink

 

“This image from my series PROCESS was made during the time I was trying to become (and failing to become and to remain) pregnant. I was learning that cycles of nurturing, gestation, fruition, collapse and destruction interconnect and overlap. Blood was too literal a subject matter, so I began exploring ideas through various media, including transformation through cooking, ceramics, and installation art. I did ultimately become a mother. I’m grateful that I was able to explore my struggle through my art and grateful for the support of the many women who shared with me their own struggles to create and sustain life. Lifeforce and creative energy are incredibly very powerful and not at all linear, as many of us are taught to believe. It runs through all of us, mothers and others.” – Alexandra Rowley

 

“This image captures 3 generations—my grandmother, my mother, and me behind the lens sharing a moment with them. My mom, Zdeňka, lived with grandma and was her main caregiver for many years until grandma’s passing a couple of years ago. It wasn’t always an easy task and my mom faced many challenging days in the process. During those times, I did my best to offer the support my mom, herself, needed. We grew closer in the process.” – Jana Ašenbrennerová

 

“This image is part of a broader project about mothering, particularly through the pandemic. It explores the physical and emotional experience of the domestic space as our worlds become smaller.” Inga Hendrickson

“Motherload is what I call the body of work Ive been making for 21 years. This image is a group of sculptural photographs which I am calling “The Crying Game.” They show 21 years of my children crying, pouting or screaming. When I couldn’t get my kids to be reasonable or to feel better, I picked up the camera and took pictures to calm myself. The explosive shapes of the sculptures mirrors both the turmoil felt inside the child throwing the tantrum — as well as my feelings of inadequacy as a mother who can’t keep her children happy.” – Tabitha Soren

 

“We do have concerns about Quest being the only black girl in the classroom,  but she will understand where she comes from, she will understand what makes her different, she will be proud of that, and she will help this next generation of people understand what diversity looks like, what queer families look like, and that’s the change that we wish to see in our small town” – Christin and Quest, Surface Tension, 2019. Photographed by Manjari Sharma

 

“My work references the Victorian era photographic practice called hidden mother images in which a mother was hidden behind a piece of fabric to ensure a sharp image of her child. I create formally similar images as a metaphor for the unrecognized physical and emotional work that mothers do to support and nurture their children in contemporary times. The interplay between hiding and revealing in the images explores the complexities of motherhood and functions to illustrate the mutability of identity and in some cases an erasure of self.” – Megan Jacobs

 

“Mi Mamá immigrated from Costa Rica to New York in 1969. She gave birth to me at the age of 42 and raised me as a single mother. Now that I’m a mother, and understand first hand how hard it is to raise small children, I’m in awe of her and how she managed to do it while being so far away from her family, language and culture.” – Michelle Arcila

“I constructed a series of still-life portraits of mothers and of the relationship that was shared between the mothers and daughters. This process encouraged us to confront one of the most difficult parts of grief – the realization that our mothers will never be with us again and that loss will be never-ending.” – Denise Orlin

 

“this quasi-staged image is a self-portrait that depicts myself as a young, somewhat conflicted mother. It also marks the beginning of my journey as a photo-based artist. Witness the many clues and details in this photograph that speak to my life then: my trusting little boy in his footed pajamas, the subjects of the framed photographs, my turned back reflected in the glass tabletop, the camera’s release cord, the old mac, the mismatched furniture, the east coast architecture. Little did I know the joys and sorrows I was to experience.” – Rebecca Webb

 

“My mother showing my daughter how to use a mortar and pestle during our recent visit to Nigeria. The last time we were there was 3 years before, so it was amazing to experience home through her eyes and capture moments like this.” – Iko-Ojo Mercy Haruna

 

“‘Imminent’ (2012-2019) began as a series of self-portraits and progressed to include numerous pregnant women photographed in their homes. The resulting scenes of hesitation, reflection, confrontation, and concealment, explore some of the contradictory emotions and thoughts driven by the journey of becoming a mother.” – Jennifer Long

 

“My mom’s spent every summer of her life in Wellfleet, every summer timing her days with the tides. When I think of her, I think of her there.” – Anne Vetter

 

“When I became a mom, I became acutely aware of time. Where there was crying, time stretched. When there was exhaustion, sleep only lasted a minute. These days time plays tricks on me. All of a sudden it’s time to clip their nails again. Their clothes no longer fit. My face and body remain constant. No, wait. Are those little white hairs hiding beneath my hairline? I blink and a month has passed. Blink. A year. Blink. Another year. These days I try to slow time even though my mind constantly nags me to rush. Keep up! Be quiet. Let me just enjoy… this embrace.” – Arin Yoon

 

“I visited Cait and Tara Love before the pandemic to document their sharing of motherhood. The two got married in 2015 and have now brought four children into this world. I find their unwavering ethos to keep love and family at the center of their life an inspiring journey to document.” – Desdemona Dallas

 

Divya, Molicia and Aliya, Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, 2017. While not being able to have children myself, I fully admire strong women, passing on that wisdom, strength, and beauty to their children.” – Valery Rizzo

 

“I made “Shadow Mother” during a particularly dark period of climate grief. The photograph uses metaphor to grapple with the psychic weight of knowing that the climate crisis is rapidly escalating, with profound impacts expected for generations. I wanted to illustrate the physical intimacy of motherhood and consider how my bond with my children connects my present to a future they will inherit.” – Allison Grant

 

“This photo of my friend and her baby encapsulates every feeling I have about motherhood: the longing to give them all of you and the ache of not being able to; the heartbreak of growing separation as they grow up; and the inexplicable love story of being so intertwined together–from pregnancy to babyhood and forever in the stories we tell of our roots.” – Brooke Schultz

 

Two mothers, two survivors. I took this self-portrait while I was in chemo treatment for breast cancer. My mother is a domestic violence survivor who spent thirty years in an abusive marriage. We are both mothers connected, not only by our lives together but also by overcoming something we never wished for.” – Anna Rathkopf

 

Meeting You. A Cesarean Birth in Denver, Colorado. © Nicole Monet 

 

Motherhood self-portrait of Makala Lee and her daughter, Kai Lee, creating a joyful moment during the pandemic. © Makala Lee

 

From the series: Practicing Motherhood. A visual manifestation of my obsessive relationship to the notion — Mother. “I challenge the known representations of the mother figure and reshape the narrative of her archetypes. Through exploring a queered kinship I search for an image of what family can look like outside of the binary. Considering the question ‘Can we all mother?’ Playing on questions of identity— motherhood and sexuality are intertwined within the work; opening up a much-concealed discourse on the relationship between the maternal figure and her sexual being.” – Madeline Swainhart

 

“Mother-Daughter-Collide is a depiction of the all-consuming, continual see-saw of parent-child relationships, identities sliced in half, in a perpetual search for balance. In the photograph, we get ready for the day one morning, and in my role of mother, I allow my daughter space to play in the foreground, while in the background the urge to complete practical tasks simmers intensely. The internal dialogue of conflict surfaces and breathes through image-making.” – Adele Mary Reed

 

“A sweet and tender motherly moment with a young girl in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, whose mother asked if she could take a photo of her daughter with our model Tyra Mae. Tyra suggested they show off their cute purses for the camera! ‘This is the best day of my life’ the kid said to her mom…”   Diane Allford

 

“This is my son Nick, when he was 4, exhausted (yet refusing to nap), “hiding” under the couch in his monster slippers, a metaphor for the weariness of life. The image is from my 2018 photobook, Too Tired for Sunshine (Yoffy Press)” – Tara Wray

 

“This is a self-portrait I made as a way to start sharing my story about surviving postpartum psychosis and postpartum anxiety after the birth of my son in 2018. I began a series about the importance of sleep for mental wellbeing. The series is in part inspired by something Brene Brown said; “When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.” – Carey Kirkella

 

“Vika(9) holds onto her grandmother, who is raising her after the death of her mother. Grandparents often raise their grandchildren in rural Russia, as parents leave to find work or are claimed by illness and instability. This portrait is part of a 10-year long project I have been photographing in the Russian village of Alekhovshchina, where I used to spend my summers as a child.” – Nadia Sablin

 

“Regina and her teenage daughter Kendall, photographed in a park near their home in the Bronx for my on going ‘Mothers and Daughters’ project.” – Jena Cumbo

 

“This image is from my Birthing The Resistance Series which is an ongoing collection that centers the Black Mothers that are on the front lines of revolution birthing the ongoing resistance but also holding space for their children. This image is of Saudia Durrant and her daughter Jihanna at the Black Lives Matter Rally for Walter Wallace, a young man murdered by Philadelphia Cops. Saudia is an activist/organizer in Philadelphia that helped organize this event for the family of Walter Wallace and the community.” – Koren Martin

 

“This is a self-portrait I took with my infant son. No one ever talks about the mesh underwear you wear after you give birth, but if you know, you know.” – Lauren Pisano

 

Mother of a Black Son. ” This self-portrait was taken in May 2020, after the death of George Floyd. As a mother, the burden of raising a black child in the US is heavy. It’s a pain we all need to feel so change can happen.” – Cheryle Galloway

 

“A self-portrait was taken in the garden during the UK lockdown. As the uncertainty of Covid-19 continued, I found myself simultaneously pulled between the mental and emotional struggles of getting through the day-to-day activities at home. This environmental portrait gives the appearance of a nicely domesticated life, but what truly lies beneath is a woman hidden behind all the layers, stood in the shadow of herself.” – Diana Hagues

 

“I chose this photo and my words wisely, I call it a Portrait of Mother + Son, not a portrait of a Bereaved Mother. Because while Bereaved is what I am, the gravity of this role is lost in phrasing, and you don’t truly see the weight I carry, unless I show it to you.” – Katie Cross

 

“Self-portrait with mom (bed), 2020. “This photograph is part of a long-term series documenting my family, which includes myself, my partner and our daughter Elinor, and my mom and her partner, Chris. I have been photographing myself with my mom for over fifteen years and am interested in ideas surrounding family, relationships, and identity.” – Jess T. Dugan

 

Returning to her Family Farm in rural Ireland with 3 young children after her separation, Anna renegotiates this place called home. – © Emma O’Brien

 

“She’s independent and doesn’t want me to hold her hand, comb her hair, put her up, put her down, dress her up or undress her; but when we read, we connect. We imagine together, we create worlds together.” – Ana Elena Alvarez

 

“My son and I, going slightly stir crazy during lockdown. Parenting a toddler, mostly solo, in a pandemic has required an insane amount of patience, creativity and screen time.” – Sinead Patching

 

“Inspired by the traditional and iconic “Throne of Wisdom”. This historic representation of divine Motherhood is what helped birth this portrait.” – Tamara Gavish

 

“Nancy and Kenshin is a photograph of Nancy Fields – a photographer and mother whose experience with COVID in 2020 taught her to live life to the fullest. Her son Kenshin will join her family of three in June, 2021.” – Kannetha Brown

 

Sasha and Boba in Sasha’s studio in The Hague. © Marysia Świelicka

 

Mariel & Tuula © Carmen Cheung

 

“This was the day, we found out my mother was diagnosed again with cancer 2 years in a row and through the grace of God She went into remission again. She is such a strong and caring mother that I am proud to call my own even when we have had our rough moments. My mother will always be loved and appreciated. Love ya, ma!” – Anastassia Whitty

 

“On the beach during a family holiday in Ireland, this photograph encapsulates the free spirit that is my mother.” – Sarah Deane

 

“The bond between my grandmother and my aunt has shaped the way I understand care. I have been shaped by generational care, pain, struggle and love.” – Marissa Stewart

 

Don’t Stare at the Sun.” An image of my daughter, who loves looking west. One of our favorite tongue-twister sayings to each other is, ‘the setting summer sun is something to see.” – Odette England

 

“My daughter waits for a new band-aid from her grandmother (my mother) to cover up a scab she keeps picking at. From my personal project exploring intergenerational trauma, healing, reconciliation, and redemption.” –Tiffany Luong

 

“My mother has lived in her house, my childhood home, for over forty years. When I took this photo, I was home visiting her. We were cleaning out the dining room China cabinet because she will be moving to a retirement community in a few months. Her home is full of memories, mostly of my father, now deceased. It is hard to imagine her living anywhere else. Despite our differences, I know that when I call her, she will listen. Sometimes there are too many miles between us, sometimes, not enough. I am the woman I am because of her.” – Alyson Aliano

 

“Kira and her child, Light, captured in Brooklyn during the Pandemic 2021. This photo captures the nuanced depth of emotion, pride, and heartache of mothering a non-binary adolescent” – Iri Greco

 

“This photograph is part of a larger series entitled Morning Sun that explores the mother/child relationship and the meaning of self within the domestic social structure of home and family. Constructed as narrative tableaus, the photographs depict women and their children in scenes that evoke emotions of desire, doubt, and anxiety.” – Benita Carr

 

“In REGARD, “March 4, 2019″ I am lying on my bed eating macarons while my daughter is in the background ironing a shirt. I had originally composed the shot with my daughter in the foreground, lying on the bed eating macarons, while I was ironing in the background. After a few shots and review, the image did not impress me in any way, and when I showed it to Luigia, and she said that maybe we should do the reverse: she irons and I eat. This is a moment which exemplifies the collaboration between my daughter and I that has been growing out of the series REGARD.” – Anna Grevenitis

 

“My son asks me, ‘why you always at kitchen?’
I answer: ‘Good question.'” – Li Lin-Liang

 

“We often glorify the idea of motherhood and forget about the rawness of emotions and feelings it’s also about. For me, motherhood is a journey from losing yourself to finding the strength you have inside.” – Maisha Quraishi

 

“In the dressing room at Loehmann’s. I was trying on bras and my mother spontaneously raised one to her face like a masquerade ball mask. She was a difficult person but had a great sense of humor.” – Beth Herzhaft

 

“My youngest son is very particular about certain things. As we were getting dressed for his baseball practice, he grew frustrated and he sat down pouting at my feet.” – Karen Osdieck

 

“We are celebrating our 20 weeks milestone in the baby boy growth and my postpartum journey. Also, he loves to said ma-ma and roll from side to side in the bed” – Yeny Ferreras Raposo

“When my sister-in-law was pregnant with her first child we took a trip together to the Dead Sea; a place known for its healing waters. We floated weightlessly together and I captured the curves of her growing body amongst the otherworldly landscape.” – Yael Nov

 

“My image is titled IVF Madonna and refers specifically to in vitro fertilization, but more broadly to fertility problems many women face. It is part of my Madonnahood series, which uses the visual language of Madonna paintings to play with the contradiction between idealized motherhood and the real, lived experiences of mothers.” – Anna Ream

 

“I began exploring motherhood shortly after giving birth to my son in 2012 with a series of photographs, The Second Moment. While the impetus for this work derives from my personal experience as a new mother, the pieces are also embroiled in the wider myth and fantasy of motherhood itself.” – Toni Pepe

 

“This is a self-portrait with my Mama during a shoot I did of her for her birthday last month. I honor and celebrate her fierce support, loving resilience, and joyous spirit. My character, craft, and creative journey are rooted and embodied with the heart values she has nurtured within me.” – Barbara Minishi

 

“This photo, “Family of Three”, is part of series “The Space Between” documenting the complicated feelings beneath the surface and emotional landscape of divorce – a shared reality among me and my two young kids.” – Cathlin McCullough

 

“The day my daughter was born. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2 weeks after the murder of George Floyd. For this moment time stood still.” – Shannon Cottrell

 

“This is an image of my grandmother that I am restoring from 1947. She smelled of cigarettes and perfume and told tall tales. As I get older, Mother’s Day brings up memories of her and those that have lost those figures.” – Emily Frances Olson

 

“Mi mamá la trabajadora, my mom the hard-worker. My mother works two jobs; her first job as my mother who loves her family, cooks, and cleans, and her second job as a General Laborer at a printing and mailing factory. She works for either 12 hours a day for four days a week or 8 hours a day for 7 days a week (my mother would take overtime any chance she’ll get). Whether working as my mom or general laborer, my mom prides herself in her labor because she knows it provides a better life for our family in the United States.” – Jennifer Villanueva

 

“Living abroad with no childcare help, my husband and I were determined to raise our son all on our own. I worked days, and my husband worked nights, and we were both completely exhausted as you can see by my eyes. We ended up moving from Grand Cayman Island to Illinois, where I was from, so our son could be around family and we could get childcare help.”- Tytia Habing

 

“This image is from a series I created during the pandemic called The Privilege of Breath, which reflected on the things we hold most precious, and considered what it takes to step outside our place of comfort to grow.” – Cynthia August

 

“Oni, a childbirth educator, midwife, artist, and mother to 1-year-old son Jahai pictured outside home. Settled in her backyard, Oni talks about the joy of motherhood, the importance of Black community, and promoting health and healing.” – Sheilby Macena

 

“Mother (me) and daughter merged into one.” – Sofia Sebastian

 

“The matriarch of my family, Zoila, in her garden. From a series re: motherhood & ancestral trauma that I’m currently working on in my hometown of Los Angeles.” – Veronica Pavan

 

Boule Boule Holding Onto Me as Though I Am Her Mother. This photo is part of an ongoing project through which I am exploring my conflicting feelings towards motherhood. Sometimes I think it’s enough to be a mother figure to my friend’s daughter. Other times being just an aunt has an aftertaste of envy.” – Hady Barry

 

“Motherhood is an emotion that you can’t prepare for.” – Louisa Mayman

 

“When I became a mother to Anita in 2019 I began to turn the camera on myself in a way that I hadn’t explored before. Shortly after Anita was born I had a Multiple Sclerosis flare that impacted the strength and motor control of my upper body. At that time I began to document my daughter and myself in order to see the two of us more clearly beyond the physical and emotional challenges of those early days of caretaking.” – Sara J. Winston

 

“Her name is Rose, and she is a Korean-American mother of six. This photo is part of a series of work, Hidden Mothers.” – Betty Kim

 

“Motherhood is all about the intimate moments in our lives, the moments when the world stops and simple but powerful kisses before bath time” – Mariangela Quiroga

 

“I was raised an only daughter by my mother, grandmother, and aunt, and we were an entire household of single or widowed women, which deviated from the norm in Turkey in the 1990s. This is a photograph of the three of them holding my only daughter, whom I am raising abroad. I ponder a home culture that is oppressive to women and determines very rigidly what a mother should be like, and I challenge that by seeing myself and my daughter the individuals that we are.” – Mehves Lelic

 

“This photomontage is part of my project ‘The Waiting Room’ in which I am documenting difficult moments and emotions that affect women’s mental health. This collage visualizes the anxiety that women experience when they cannot get pregnant.” – Nieves Mingueza

 

“My mother’s stomach, 34 years later after having a C-section with his firstborn son. This image is part of a series about aging within my interracial family.” – Serena Severin

 

“The period of time after giving birth is such a complex one. My identity as a woman was struck with such force and I wasn’t sure where I had disappeared to.” – Nicole Shipman

 

“New to motherhood, it is here where I surrender to a safe space. Warm light nourishes me while warm milk nourishes my baby.” – Jenae Lien

 

“A child is how we remain on Earth; they are our legacies. As I see my son grow I feel my time begin to speed up; I feel my decay. When we think about birth we must realize our death. Motherhood is precious and raw; wonderful and dark.” – Jennifer Georgescu

 

Motherhood in All Forms. © Catalina Kulczar