“From a young age I always loved children, babies in particular. I was the little girl who carried around her doll everywhere I went. I had all the accessories, from the little plastic baby bottles, to the fake diapers. I loved playing mommy. As I grew, my love for children grew. I went to college and became a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care, where I care for the tiniest patients, while nurturing both them and their families.
When it came time for my husband and I to start our family, I thought it would just happen naturally, I was made to care for babies, to raise and love them. Unfortunately, God had other plans for us. We persevered through a year of fertility treatments. The emotions that accompany an infertility diagnosis are complex. It was a constant struggle for me to keep faith while staring at a negative sign month after month. As I would head to work and care for all the babies, I was constantly reminded that I may never get the opportunity to become a mother myself. I had just about given up all hope, and I was at my lowest of lows, when I finally saw the most celebrated symbol of all mothers, two pink lines.
Fast forward to my now, I am a mother to two beautiful children and motherhood has taken on a whole new meaning to me. When I dreamt of becoming a mother, I imagined rocking my children to sleep in the peaceful quiet moments. I imagined them wrapping their arms around me and telling me how much they loved me. I dreamed of all their firsts and the fun we would have as a family celebrating them together. What I didn’t imagine was how hard it would be. I wasn’t prepared for the sleepless nights that lasted beyond the newborn phase. I had no clue of how much guilt I would have from missing some of those firsts, while I was caring for someone else’s child at work. The anxiety over raising a kind human being, who could thrive in a world that seems so harsh at times, keeps me awake at night. Motherhood is raw emotion, with highs and lows. But the in between moments, when your child lights up with joy, when their innocence reminds you just how little they are, and when the illusion of motherhood that you dreamt of is the exact moment you are living in, makes the struggles worth it.
Looking through my images from my session with Adrianne has reminded me that the struggles are worth it. That Motherhood is not forced smiles with everyone perfectly posed. It’s messy, real laughs. It is joy in your child’s eyes, and a vision of love so deep that it can’t be forged. Motherhood is chaos, and there is beauty in chaos.” Ashley, Mother
“Being a fellow photographer herself, Ashley finds true value in documenting the little moments in life. Every year for Mother’s Day, she asks her husband and children for family portraits and cherishes the experience. She and her family were an absolute delight, were relaxed and warm, and donned the most beautiful wardrobe.
Before I became a mother, no one could have told me the life-altering impact of having children. I have two girls myself and know not only how they physically change day to day, but also how the relationship between us develops into something new as well. Children go from being infants who are completely dependent on their mother to developing their own voice and eventually their own family. I aim to capture real moments that pinpoint not only a stage of growth, but a still moment in the developing connection of family.” Adrianne, Photographer