As mothers, we all know the struggle that is taking the picture. We tend to be the ones behind the lens, rather than the one captured in the moment. Sometimes it’s because we’re not actively participating, or Dad doesn’t take the picture. But more often than not, it’s our own insecurities, and shame about our postpartum bodies.
It’s a trend that photographers Aimee and Jenna Hobbs set out to change. The duo noticed that several of their clients often chose to either not participate in photo sessions, or they would select photos that didn’t show the mother in them.
“It broke our hearts to see moms effectively removing themselves from the visual narrative of their family, whether intentionally or unintentionally.”
In an effort to break the stigma, and shine a light on the beauty of postpartum bodies, the sisters-in-law created a photo series called “A Mother’s Beauty,” which showcases mothers all in a raw and vulnerable state to make an empowering statement.
“We wanted to capture a real mother’s beauty,” Jenna told HuffPost. “So often portrayed in media is the pressure for mothers to ‘get their pre-baby bodies back.’ We wanted to stop and celebrate women, as they were ― whether they had a baby four weeks prior to the photo sessions or 14 years prior.”
She continued, “Childbirth and motherhood change us, physically and emotionally. It leaves scars and changes our shapes and mindsets. We wanted to not only capture that, but celebrate it, because it really is an amazing thing mothers are.”
Both mothers themselves—Jenna to a set of 4-year-old twins, a 9 and 6-year-old and an almost-2-year-old, and Aimee to a 9 and 10-year-old—the photographers join forces to capture the beauty of motherhood.
Each summer, they cast volunteers and create some true magic for about 15 mamas—some who pose with their children, and some without.
“When we’re photographing these sessions, we’ve learned that yes, the experience of being photographed from a place of love and empowerment in a way that really shows your vulnerability and strength definitely has a direct impact for the mamas who participate,” Aimee said. “That was what we hoped to accomplish when we set out ― that we would be able to show a handful of women the beauty in their ‘imperfections’ and help them in some small way.”
They hope the series touches mothers everywhere and inspires self-love, while also shifting the lens on what makes something or someone “beautiful.”
“The more people see something, the more normal it becomes,” Aimee said.
Jenna echoed her statement saying that she hopes women know how much motherhood changed them for the better, and that “they are enough.”
“For those that see the photos, I hope that they see true beauty in these women, and see themselves,” she added. “Possibly the same shape, the same scars, the way they kiss and hold their babies. If they can see beauty in the mother in the photograph, perhaps they can see beauty in themselves, too. A mother’s beauty.”