There are countless essays, books, poems and films describing the emotions and experiences of being a mother. But often the most powerful way to express the power of motherhood is through photos.
Caitlin Domanico would agree. The photographer started capturing images of motherhood in 2007.
“I was instantly drawn to the intimate bond that radiates from a new mother and her baby,” the photographer told HuffPost. “Looking back now, I can say for sure that I was greatly influenced by the relationship I shared with my own mother.”
Domanico was only 20 years old when her mother died in 2003, but their time together greatly affected her life ― both in her career as an artist and her experiences as a parent when she became a mother years later.
Over the past decade, the photographer has taken countless images focused on the bond between mothers and children and even made headlines for her “United We Feed” series, which depicts moms nourishing their children in a variety of ways ― from breastfeeding to bottle feeding to tube feeding.
In 2017, Domanico and fellow photographer Jade Beall released Photographing Motherhood: How to Document the Lives of Women and Their Families, a book of images and tips for taking captivating photos of mothers at various stages in their lives. For Domanico, it’s all about the small things.
“My eye is drawn to the little details ― the way a baby holds his mom’s necklace while eating, the way a mother tenderly strokes a baby’s toes, the way a baby gravitates toward her mother’s hair, twirling it in her tiny fingers,” she explained. “I try to document the teeny tiny things that are so rote, routine and seemingly normal, that one day ― it feels like in the blink of an eye ― just disappear as our little ones grow.”
Domanico hopes her photos give families members sweet memories to hold on to as life moves ahead at its “lightning-fast pace.” As for other viewers and fellow moms, she hopes her images give them “warm fuzzies” and encourage them to appear in more photos with their kids.
“I hope it surfaces happy memories of your childhood or your children’s early years. I hope it inspires you to step in front of the camera, no matter what you are wearing, whether or not your hair and makeup is done and no matter what your weight is right now,” said the photographer.
“Jump in the picture, capture memories and do it without hesitation,” she added. “Do it often, even if you are setting up your phone on a self-timer, just do it. Your family loves you today, for exactly who you are, without even trying. I promise you, if you do, your children will thank you one day.”
Keep scrolling for more love-filled photos of motherhood from Domanico’s book.