three weeks before these photographs were taken, this mama bear fled her abusive husband in the middle of the night with her two babies and half her home packed in the minivan.
she moved back into the house where she grew up, into a place where she will rebuild, recover, and rediscover peace.
she is strength upon strength and bravery embodied. she is bold, courageous, and all love.
her boy, fifteen months, and her girl, who is practically wearing newborn clothes, will grow to know the meaning of separation like it’s a part of their identity. but they will also grow into bodies that know what it feels like to be held, they will grow into souls that understand strength, and they will grow into hearts that know the depths at which love can stretch - miles and miles and oceans.
I had the complete honor of photographing the hard, holy, and hope-filled moments three weeks after the most traumatic and overwhelming experience of their lives. this mother of two is walking through fire with her head held high and I couldn’t be more thankful that I had the chance to document this weighty, raw time in their story while it’s happening.
her story parallels mine in so many ways that when I stepped into her home and first met this woman, I felt as if I was meeting my mom for the first time - twenty years ago - when I was the itty bitty wearing newborn clothes and moving back to my grandparents home. it was a powerful thing and one of my favorite moments as a portrait photographer.
these photos were healing.
her story was being shared and through that telling, my story was being shared. she moved past shame and into courage, vulnerability, and authenticity. I hope that I can be as brave as she is one day.