Family Documentary Photography: Parenthood Collection, Volume I

Hands down, the best part of 2017 has been the connection and network I've built with other photographers across the world. I've mentioned before that photography used to be a quiet, often lonely pursuit for me. Something that I loved, but did on the side, quietly. Drifting. 

2017 has blown the doors off my expectation of what could be - and to now be able to call inspirational photographers "friends" sincerely blows my mind. Some of these women I've been honored enough to meet in real life - the others are mere keystrokes away as we interact to lift each other up and pursue our dreams. I now have a community of other creatives who "get" it - who never fail to inspire me and provide the encouragement and guidance I need. 

This week, I asked this group of wildly talented photographers to consider the idea of "parenthood". What images have they made that capture this fulfilling, exhausting, hilarious, consuming role? 18 photographers answered this question with images of their own. 

Let me know in the comments - which image is YOUR favorite? What moments of your own parenthood journey stand out as being absolutely quintessential of this part of your life right now? 

1. Alicia Thwaites |

The Clean Up... As Per Dad

When Time Stops and There's Just Them...

When it comes to parenting, there are a few universal truths:
#1: Whether or not your children have mastered the art of walking has no bearing on whether or not you will be required to carry them around.

#2: Although they may wriggle and scream, they love getting smooches as much as you love giving them.

#3: No matter what, the show must go on.

3. Genevieve Williams | 


I debated sharing this photo. But I wanted to remember how raw and real postpartum feels. Tiny baby, leaky boobs & stretch marks. Sore, exhausted and so in love. This is the third baby I've given birth to. I've had 2 miscarriages along the way and lost one of the twins in my last pregnancy. I sure wish I had gotten to experience these moments with those babies and I'm so grateful to have carried this sweet girl for nearly 41 weeks.

Scurrying to do all the things with an infant and a 4 year old while my 18 month old naps. This beautiful chaos, I wouldn't have it any other way.

4. Amber Getsinger |

Curve Ball

Because as parents sometimes what we WANT to happen and what DOES happen are 2 different things. I was wanting a bird's eye view photo of my older son playing with sidewalk chalk but what I ended up getting was a little visitor trying to climb up the ladder with me and I ended up with a much cooler/interesting shot. And because no matter what I try to do, my kids are ALWAYS under my feet. hahaha!

5. Linsey Brigman Davis |

Beautiful Chaos

I’m a homeschooling mom of 5 kids. Days can go by in a blur & be chaotic. But I would not change it for anything.

6. Hannah Terry |

A self portrait of a morning snuggle session with my family! A favorite part of motherhood for me.


This is what parenthood is all about in our household - bathtimes showcase the full range of emotions for sheer joy to outright fury from the kids (and me!). It can be a wrestle to get them up the stairs and that bit closer to bedtime but plonk them in water and they're happy as Larry. Though the littlest sometimes takes the brunt of his big sister's water experiments, it's always smiles again moments later.

10 years from now, this is going to be the image that will remind me so vividly of the past when our children were little. My husband multitasks better than I could ever hope to.

The first week of chaos and bliss.

10. Megan Coleman |

When I look at this image, I can almost hear the joys of parenthood happening, the playful laughter of an energetic two year old and the delicate cry of her new little brother. Thought, even more than that is what I can see, which is team work and trust, as Dad tries to soothe and comfort the new baby, Mom is happy for the break and a chance to play with her oldest!

11. Jessica Hachey |

The look that mum is giving her son here... I can almost hear the gears turning in her head. Does she tell him to get down because it's not safe? Does she stop and just enjoy that he's having fun and trust him to care for himself? I think especially with his age, it's a hard line to walk!

12. Nikki Gould |

Laughs Brought to You by Daddy

One of the best things about being a parent is knowing exactly what it takes to make your children laugh. In our house, Daddy is usually the best at getting laughs out of his little girl. That daddy daughter bond is undeniable in our household!

This image describes parenthood at its finest because this woman was a day away from receiving a lumbar puncture and was suffering massive migraines but still took time to nurse her sweet girl who is beginning to wean at the age of almost 3. She is selfless and that is a parent 100%.

14. Sara Kesler Wroblewski |

This was our first night in our new house. Sometimes as a mom you make sacrifices so everyone else is "comfortable". As you can see, our toddler is probably the only one who is comfy.

15. Jenn Vargas Pressman |

Snack Time

As mom changes newborn sister's diaper, the boys take over the kitchen in search of something to snack on.

16. Jennifer Tomblin Grima |

It’s a lucky day when one of these carts is available!

17. Cara Bettcher |

This image of Dad and coffee really resonates life with a newborn. They sleep whenever and wherever while we as parents exist on coffee and fumes. It’s the privilege and struggle of new babies.

18. Margaret Albaugh |

Beach Sovereignty

I think this is Parenthood in so many ways. It's cleaning up, it's making sure no one is left behind, and it's reminding your kids they don't get to declare themselves sovereign and stay at the beach themselves.

So... which image was your favorite? Which one resonated with your current season of parenthood? Leave me (and the photographer!) a comment below! 
Alexandra Bagley8 Comments