Mothers and Daughters :: Photographing a Special Bond

I never longed to have a daughter. I don’t mean that in a mean way, I just always felt I was meant to be a mom to boys. I was raised with three brothers and no sisters, so raising boys came naturally. As my friends had daughters, I would chuckle to myself as they told me stories of drama and silliness that raising girls brought to their lives. It wasn’t until just recently when I found myself thinking about the future, about kids growing up and moving out, that I realized that the relationship between moms and their sons was dramatically different than the relationship between moms and their daughters. Somewhere down the road when boys leave home another woman becomes more important in their life, more important than their mom, and that’s how it should be. Girls, however, continue that same relationship with their moms and it just evolves into something new. When I thought about those relationships between mothers and daughters, I longed to see what that relationship might look like in front of the camera. I wanted to capture that unspoken bond between a daughter and her mother.

My first subjects would be Sarah, and her mom, Carolyn. I loving refer to Sarah as my Tuesday Daughter. Tuesday was the day I would babysit Sarah and her younger brother. Her mother and I each swapped a day of babysitting while we both worked part time. Sarah has always been Type A. When I say Type A, I mean TYPE AAAAAAA. Always diligent, always going the full measure, never giving anything less. The morning we chose for this mother daughter photo shoot Sarah had just graduated from Notre Dame Law School. She was leaving that very afternoon to begin studying for the Bar Exam. She was planning 10-12 hour days of studying and giving up the first morning to indulge me a photo shoot was putting a lot of stress on her. Not that she wouldn’t want to be pampered and photographed, but Sarah had a plan and I was messing with it! So when she walked through the door at 8:45 am to start hair and makeup, she wasn’t so sure that she loved me:-)

From Carolyn’s perspective watching her daughter’s stress level the night before the shoot was a concern. Sarah wasn’t stressed about being photographed, she just couldn’t “turn off” her brain of all the other things she needed to do. When Sarah asked her mom to snuggle in bed with her before falling asleep, Carolyn knew the morning might be bumpy. As Sarah walked in she looked a bit drained. As the morning progressed Sarah and Carolyn would find that being pampered with hair and makeup by Leslie White was a glorious treat. Leslie brings each client’s best features to the surface and makes them shine. A true talent in the Indianapolis hair and makeup scene. The before and after photos are dramatic. Being photographed together was EXACTLY what the girls needed, and all morning we giggled and laughed and they reconnected.

In Sarah’s words:

In my current phase of life, I spend more time out of the “nest” than in it. When I am home, it is generally for a brief visit at a chaotic time, so my mom and I have not gotten a lot of one-on-one bonding lately.  For me, the timing of this shoot was perfect.  Home for a few days with a million things on my mind, this proved to be a great mental break and a way for me to do something really special with my mom and my “Tuesday mom.”  I loved seeing my mom all dolled up and pampered — something she is not prone to do for herself.  Joanne captured my mom as I always see her, smiling, genuine, and beautiful inside and out.  My mom is usually the one taking the pictures, so the pictures from this shoot are even more special.  I’ll treasure both the images and the experience as I move to my next phase of life and beyond!

From Carolyn:

Precious moments.  It’s not very often a mother and a busy 20 something daughter get to spend quality time together.  Even at 52 and 25 years old playing dress up complete with makeup and hair is a recipe for giggles and laughs. Even more fun, was then watching Joanne magically connect me and my daughter in front of her camera. Typically I am the one taking the family photos, so I was a bit uncomfortable being in front of the camera. While Joanne quickly figured out how to make me comfortable, she also made me feel beautiful.  When I look at the photos that she snapped that morning, it is easy to see the special connection and the beauty.  Yes,  precious  moments.


Beautiful inside and out. Wonderful women enjoying being mother and daughter.

Now it’s your turn. If you are mother of a girl or girls, or you would love images like this with your precious mom, give me a call and lets get it all set up. You’ll be so glad you did.

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