Place in Time, with Ashley and Lulu
This is the first glimpse into a new series I’ve been working on over the course of the past year titled Place in Time.
Place in Time depicts the endless stages through which a mother travels, from conception through until the end of our lives.
It wasn’t until I welcomed my daughter into the world, that I truly understood the power of a single photograph. It’s through photography, I’ve been able to slow the steady progression of the journey and connect on a deeper level to the moments unfolding around me.
Motherhood, within all of its emotion and complexities, is a dedication similar to none. A complete effortless surrender of the physical and mental realms of a woman’s life. I say effortless in that it happens organically, but of course not seamlessly.
Even the turbulence, chaos, anxiety and exhaustion have their place in time to be honored, respected and appreciated. The stages, each of them, offering something we hadn’t known before.
My work as a photographer has naturally progressed in this direction, and here I find myself dedicated to capturing the essence and senses of motherhood.
This space will act as a journal where I feature mothers in their current stage of motherhood, their unique time and place.
Wisdom, fears, stories and insight will be shared, along with timeless portraiture to help us all collectively honour the place in time we find ourselves.
With plans of bringing this series to life through an exhibit in winter 2019, i’ll be contributing to this project throughout the course of the next year.
I hope, in some small way, this project might help you along your own journey.
This first editorial features Mama Ashley and her sweet daughter Lucille (Lulu).
The inspiration for this shoot was born out of a desire to document the senses, and how they become heightened during motherhood.
Taste, sight, touch, smell and sound.
This story depicts the senses, and ease at which they come to us as mothers.
One could call it instinct.
I’m honoured to have had Mother Muse feature some of these images in their latest print issue (No. 8). It served as the perfect launching point for this project that i’m ready to grow and share. You can purchase this beautiful book here.
I’d like to thank Fete Beach Boutique for providing us with the wardrobe.
Ashley is in the 1st year of motherhood, with her first and only daughter Lucille. Everything is new, everything is pure. In addition to spending an afternoon documenting them, I asked her a few questions about the place in time she is living which you can read below.
“When you look back on you pre-mama self, in which way were you different?”
“My pre-mama self was so different, pretty much night and day. The biggest change for me that came with motherhood was the sense of always wanting to be by Lucille's side. Even now, after 19 months, I still find it hard to separate myself and go out on date nights with girl friends or make time to be by myself. My pre-mama self was a lot more selfish. I made a lot of time for "me" without guilt, or worry. My thought process now when I am out as a mama is "I wonder how Lucille is doing", "Will she wonder where I am if she wakes up?" Pre-mama, my thoughts would have been so much more carefree …"What restaurant or bar are we going to next" or "I wonder if this was the right shoe choice". All I had to worry about was my well being and what I wanted to do. It is so much harder than you would think to find a balance once you have a little one that counts on you to be there for them at all hours of the day.”
“What do you think your daughter was brought into your world to teach you? What do you hope to teach her?”
“Lucille coming into this world has brought me so many wonderful things! It’s hard to pinpoint just one. She has taught me my own strength, patience, and confidence. There is a sense of deflection that you have once you are a mama, in which you are not concerned or focused on other peoples thoughts, you really focus on your little one, your family, your close friends, and everything that matters most. Through this, you gain such a sense of self, and self-confidence. I feel Lucille brought that out in me. Being a mama takes so much strength, strength to make choices that you may not know the answers to, strength to stay awake when all you want to do is sleep, strength to put your child's needs before yours, strength to share your body. Lastly, having the patience to teach your little one, to play with them, and to be in the moment with them even when you have a million and one other things on your mind.”
“What do you see in your little girl that you hope and pray will always be a part of her spirit?”
“I hope Lucille will always have her curious spirit and sense of humour. She is so curious about everything. I find at 19 months she already wants all of the answers to how things around her work. You see her pick something up that she's never seen before and try to figure out how it turns on, or presses each button to see what every single one does. I love watching her play. Lu also has the most enduring playful sense of humour! She loves making people laugh and smile from the bottom of her little heart. She'll make faces or show off her mischievous behaviour with a little grin to follow. She is so infectious to be around and that will take her far in life... I may be a little bias ;)”
“What’s one memory with your daughter that you wish you could relive time and time again?”
“I would time and again relive her first Christmas, which may sound cliche but it is SO true!! It was a magical morning. We were at my husbands parents house, which is secluded and on a lake in South Frontanc Park, so the setting from the get-go was perfect and magical. She woke up (beside me and my husband in one big bed, made up of two pushed together) and I dressed her in white stockings and a red Ralph Lauren dress with a tartan bow that her Nana had gifted her. We went downstairs to all of the warm smiling faces of her extended family, and watched her amazement at the sight of the brightly coloured boxes under the Christmas tree (which she may have enjoyed more than what was actually in the boxes!). After she opened her gifts she was so tuckered. I took her upstairs, held her in my arms and rocked her to sleep for a Christmas morning nap, taking in every last second.”