Portraits of Motherhood, the beautiful heartbreak.
How do you prepare the humans beings you grew inside your own body to eventually leave you? This is a question that I will never be able to answer.
The power of photographs.
The other day I accidentally stumbled across an old set of family images and it was like looking back on a previous life. This previous life was so full of physical exhaustion, nappies, carrying, wet wipes, healthy little snack packets, hugs that saved the world, reading stories, plasters and irrational tantrums, that I wondered whether I had fully appreciated it at all. Then my physical reaction to these beautiful photographs of my tiny children rose in my throat in a nanosecond. Before my brain could compute what was happening my heart was breaking for moments that are gone forever. I wept hard, fast, loud, aching tears for my babies that are now growing faster that my own emotional readiness for it.
I had to loudly remind myself that it’s all part of the process. These tiny beings are growing tall, determined and brave in their own versions of self and they will continue to amaze me daily. But my heart still breaks at what they are no longer. And what that represents for me as a mother. Then my mind races to questions of self doubt, was I enough for them? Did I enjoy them enough? Play with them enough? Was I enough? Please tell me I’m not alone?
Unpaid overtime but extra benefits.
Motherhood is beyond a doubt the most important job I have ever had, but the sheer weight of the responsibility of it leaves me torn wide open. And vulnerable, so vulnerable. I want to prevent the world ever causing them pain but I can’t stop anything on their journey. This doesn’t feel fair on either of us. The fleeting state of constant change and flux causes me so much heartbreak. Why can’t they stay the same, it’s like a beautiful trauma. You want them to grow strong but you can’t protect them forever.
I’ve turned this pain into beauty by documenting every moment I can but it’s like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it. Wow was deep, a stream of thought that has made my chest physically ache.
And this my friends is why I felt the need to create Portraits of Motherhood. And it was a need. A strong urge to create of piece of work that wasn’t commercial, just artistic and deeply personal. Created for arts sake and none other.
I think the reason I take photographs is to document our lives so I know I can relive the precious moments after they have gone. To physically mark a slow transformation. Because if I lose myself in this journey I will have nothing left once our mutual task of growth and letting them go has reached completion.
To celebrate this beautiful heartbreak I created this series of test shots for my Portraits of Motherhood series. I had such a strong vision I was worried if I could translate it in real life but Rachel and her stunning family bought so much love to the shoot that it made my job easy.
I wanted the images to have depth, intimacy serenity and a vulnerable privacy. I also wanted there to be love, messy love, with hands needing attention and yearning that is real. They also needed layers and texture of old fashioned photographs, a painterly composition and yet they needed to be true to my style. Thankfully I love them all and I’m so happy I achieved my goal. If only motherhood felt quite so easy at times.
I really hope you like them too and this blog has resonated on some level.
NB If you want to see these images as larger photos simply click on them individually.
Love Kika x