I am a mother to four young children and I document our life almost daily.
Yes, I do it for my children. For their future. For their memories. But these days, in the continual battle against losing myself to the whispers that try to tell me that my life is mundane and unimportant, these days I shoot for me. These photos are for me. Or, I guess the process of making these photos is for me.
I must document what I know deep down to be true. I must document what is right in front of me. Often the photos that I create in these exhausting newborn days that are filled with tantrums and tears and spit-up and diapers are not my best. I mean that to say that they are maybe not my most creative, or not the ones that others may stop at and ponder. But they keep my heart feeling alive, they keep me grounded, and they keep my eyes open to see that my seemingly unimportant days of taking care of four very young children are in fact wonderful. And life-changing. And worth it.
Creating day after day after day without worrying about the rules or about the pressure of just making pretty pictures gives me the perspective that I need. It is the photographic manifestation of ‘one foot in front of the other’.
In later days when I look back at my photos and get a glimpse of how I perceived my life at the time, I am ALWAYS surprised by how beautiful I find it to be. So very ordinary, and yet in that, alive and beautiful. Memories preserved. History documented. Narratives written. My heart in my photos. And, eventually, my gift to my children.
The process of creating got me through, and the end result is for them.
Andrea Wolfe lives in a small northern town of High Level, Alberta, Canada with her husband and four kids, ages five, three, two and two months. She’s an alum of Molly Flanagan’s Visual Storytelling class, and you can see more of her work on Instagram at @kayandflairphoto.
Our “Student Stories” are just a few of the many testimonials and stories of growth we hear about from students in our community, along with some magnificent work. We hope you’re as inspired by these as we are.