Documenting the Beauty of Motherhood

Maybe it's because I'm a mother myself, and maybe it's because my kids are growing up so fast, but motherhood has become one of my favorite things to photograph. And the opportunity to document the bond between a mother and her children at an enchanting conservatory in the woods was something I wasn't going to pass up. In early March last year, I joined a few other photographers for a boho-styled motherhood photography shoot at Iris Aisle in Madison County, Iowa. The shoot was wonderfully styled by Ashley Hinners Photography and featured Des Moines mom and photographer Betty Ann and her beautiful boys. All of the photos in this post were taken by me.

mother smiling at baby in her arms during a motherhood photo shoot at Iris Aisle
mother holding baby in air as son dances around in Iris Aisle conservatory
motherhood portrait of mom and sons in the Iris Aisle conservatory
portrait of mother and son looking into the camera during photo shoot at Iris Aisle conservatory

The flow of the session was very relaxed. Mama and her boys were directed where to stand or sit or dance to take advantage of the sunlight streaming in and they laughed and kissed and fell naturally into each other's arms. This connection is what I love most about documenting motherhood. Whether they are connected through physical touch or sharing an emotion, I love creating a space that encourages that connection to naturally unfold.

son laying in mom's lap holding hands and looking up at her during motherhood photos at Iris Aisle

Snuggling, dancing, chasing, playing, holding your babies and just breathing them in - these are all parts of motherhood photo sessions. Have a little one that's hungry? Breastfeeding, bottle feeding and small snacks are all encouraged. Your primary directive during motherhood photos is to love and comfort your child while I document that magical bond between you. (And I might sneak in a few individual portraits of your child or children as well.)

boho styled mother breastfeeding baby during motherhood photos at Iris Aisle conservatory

The Conservatory at Iris Aisle

In terms of location, the Conservatory at Iris Aisle is simply magical. Located about 35 miles southwest of Des Moines, Iris Aisle is an intimate event venue that sits amongst a cedar grove forest. It is frequently used for small weddings and photo shoots. The owners, Raelyn and Earl Ramey, are two very creative and kind souls who built Iris Aisle themselves on the property where they live. In addition to the conservatory, they have recently added a cabin and a bell tent available to rent on their property as well.

I absolutely love Iris Aisle as an indoor shooting location for both family photos and personal branding photos - it's definitely worth the drive from Des Moines. And with the unpredictable weather, wind and cold we experience during Winter and Spring, it's always nice to have a private, climate controlled, light-filled, indoor alternative for photo locations in Iowa.

Scheduling your photo session with me at Iris Aisle is dependent on availability so reach out early if you have your heart set on this location. I do not charge a travel fee for Iris Aisle. The location rental will be booked by me and the cost will be added to your session fee.

mother and her young sons dancing in the sunlight during a motherhood photoshoot at Iris Aisle

Motherhood Session Styling

Of course I can't wrap up this blog post without sharing the details of Ashley Hinner's styling for this session. Mama's dress is by Jen's Pirate Booty, her boho macrame headband was handmade by The Boho Bee and the boys' outfits were both from The Simple Folk. The reason I love these clothing selections for motherhood photos is that they are very comfortable, relaxed and natural. They are easy for moving around and super soft for cuddling. The various textures and detail add interest while the solid neutral and earthy tones are gentle and non-distracting; they help keep the focus on the subjects and their connection while complementing the location beautifully.

detail of mother holding toddler's hands and wearing boho dress from Jen's Pirate Booty
boho styled motherhood photo shoot featuring a long flowy dress on mom and neutral colors on sons
brothers wearing neutral colors and comfortable organic clothing by The Simple Folk

Let's Plan a Motherhood Photo Session for YOU

Because all families are different, I do not offer a "standard" motherhood photography session. Instead, I ask questions about you, your child, relationships, personalities and the types of photos you want so that I can recommend a session length and location that will work best for you. Some kids are shy and need more time to warm up. Some kids are energetic and need more freedom to explore. Some families are more comfortable at home and some love the opportunity to escape to nature. My goal is to identify the environment that will allow you relax and really connect with each other while I guide you with prompts that will elicit genuine smiles and those magical moments in between.

Contact me here when you are ready to start planning a session. I would love to document your motherhood!