One Monday afternoon all the stars aligned and I was introduced to funny lady and photographer Ahna Tessler through a member of my Playgroup. After scheduling a family photo session with her -- stay tuned for my musings on getting a toddler to sit still and smile for the camera -- she told me about her recent photo series, and I immediately knew I had to share it with you.
Simply put, Tessler taught herself photoshop so she could put herself into all the family photos she was absent from. As she was busy capturing the moments her family was experiencing, she never got to be a part of any of the photographic memories. "...And Mama Too," is Tessler's comedic yet sentimental answer to this. The photographer to me the project was "born out of pure frustration and a little sadness." As a mom she is admittedly "head over heels in love" with her family so why not re-imagine the memories, with mama?
Tessler said she "loves her husband like a crazy person" but couldn't figure out "why it never occurred to him to capture my moments with the babies." He just wasn't born with the "I'm gonna take pictures of my wife with my kids gene." And, whenever she did bring it up things would get all weird; hence a lot of lost, awkward, kids-looking-pissed-omg-what-are-these-family-photos, photos?! So instead of trying to change her husband, Tessler took matters into her own hands and created proof that she exists within her family!
The hope is that moms will connect with "...And Mama Too." That moms will laugh, appreciate the sentiment and say "hey me too, me too!" Tessler told me she just wants moms to know they should feel loved and recognized within their families. This project hit a nerve with me. Not just because I have numerous selfies with Shep and not enough real photos or because my husband (who is pretty amazing at most things) never 'feels' like taking our picture, but also because of something else she said...
"Parenting is the hardest thing but I have no regrets. I haven't slept more than three hours in a night in four years. We've gone on about 5 dates since we've had kids. I take about 12 showers a month. I never see friends. I speak like a 3-year-old and forget what it's like to speak 'adult' but man oh man am I happy I did it."
I thought to myself, "did I write that or did Ahna?" I love being a mom but it's freaking hard work. I say it all the time, to anyone that will listen. At one point in my life I thought I was burned out from working in NYC. I thought my job in fashion was hard...and stressful. I would never discredit my pre-baby life but it simply can't compare to the demands and rewards of my mommy-job.
A year and a half into parenthood, I am not as exhausted as I once was but I am still learning how to be me and be a mom at the same time. My son is the light of my life and that light is always 'on' leading the way, every day.
Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Check me out! I just had to see the flamingos with my fam. And check out Ahna Tessler here. She's pretty rad.