Motherhood is weird. The entrance into this strange new world happens so quickly really. I mean 9 months is nothing when you think about how many years of living and becoming a unique individual that all of us experience first. And then one day you wake up after days, months, years of this new identity called “Mama” and you realize that all those earlier years of your life (the pre-motherhood days) feel so distant almost as if they never even happened. But they did happen. You had an identity before motherhood. You have stories of a life before children. And you will have stories of a life long after your children have grown up and left the nest. What’s more, you have stories that are occurring right now as you live out these fleeting days of motherhood.
We as the family historians become so consumed with the task of documenting our children’s childhood stories that we forget to also include ourselves in their history. We shrink away from the camera. We silence our voices. We disappear from this history which we seek to preserve. We deny not just ourselves but also our children from an incredible gift. We don’t get do-overs in motherhood or in childhood. When the days together are done, there is no going back and starting over. When we don’t show up in the family stories that we tell, we are holding our children back from forever knowing the beautifully complicated and magical identity that is “Mama”.
In my self-portraiture workshop “The Magician’s Cape”, I call upon the students to search their hearts for the hidden stories. I urge the students to embrace themselves not just as mothers but as women so that they can create artistic and revealing self-portraits that tell their unique stories. I inspire them to set the record straight by showing realistic images of what strong, intelligent, and beautiful women look like as they live out the days of motherhood alongside their children.
Below are a few magical self-portraits that the students from the first run of my workshop created during our two weeks together. I couldn’t be more proud of these women and of the special community that we have formed through this amazing experience.
There are still a few active and silent seats left in the spring run of this class. If you are interested, be sure to grab a seat becuase this will be the last time this class will be offered in 2018.
If you would like to learn to take self portraits so that you can be in the frame WITH your kids, head HERE to grab a spot in this amazing class.