Documentary Photography / Atlanta, GA / Brittany Knapik Photography / More Than Mom - A Personal Project

As a part of the mama-hood tribe, we all have one thing in common: We are all mothers. We have children who light up our lives, who we love more than we ever thought possible, who can (and often do) drive us nuts, who we would do most anything for. We all answer to the same name; mommy, mama, mom. But we are also so much more than mom.

Way too often when I meet a new mom all we talk about is our kids and all things mommy. Talking about our kids is like a crutch; the topics are, for the most part, superficial and don’t require a ton of thought - they are safe. But we all have interests, things we love to do, work, friends, hobbies, passions, fears, dreams, relationships, and so many other things in our lives that have nothing to do with the fact that we are moms. I mean that with all the love in my heart. I truly feel that in order to be a good mom, I need to be the best version of me and that means I need to do things that are just for me. My son needs to see me as a well-rounded person, as someone who still exists when he leaves the room. When someone asks him who his mom is (years down the road, because let's face it, my 18-month old isn't really doing much more than saying NO to everything right now) I want him to be able to answer proudly and be able to speak to all of the things that make me who I am.

So here is my resolution/goal/project/whatever you'd like to call it for 2016: I want to get to know you. More than just the mom things. I want to push past the milestones-talk, dig deeper than your thoughts on potty training, and forget that our bodies have been forever changed by the babies we made, even if only for 30 minutes.

Every week I will meet with a mom - a friend, friend of a friend, or a complete stranger to find out more about the woman behind ‘the mom’. One quick meeting, 30 questions, a few photos of you being you with your babes, and the reassurance of knowing that you (and at the very least 52 other moms) are doing your best to share the whole you, for your kids, for your family, and most importantly for yourself. I will document your answers and post all of my MTM meetings for anyone who is interested in following. At the end of the year I want to be able to give myself a book, 52 pages long, filled with inspiration and reminders that while we all have the best job in the world and no title could ever compare, we are all so much more than mom.

Family Documentary Photography / Atlanta, GA / Brittany Knapik Photography / Brouillard Family

I am lucky. Lucky to be doing what I love and lucky to have incredible clients who make doing what I love so easy. I am lucky to have friends who allow me into their everyday real lives, with their houses not 100% perfect, their kids who love to run around screaming and dancing, neighbors popping by, husbands coming home from work, cookie dough for dinner with a side of noodles and hot dogs, you know real life. I am lucky to have clients and friends who trust me enough to show me their honest day to day happenings AND let me bring my camera to document all of the beautiful moments that happen during the mess. (I love the mess!) I am lucky to have friends and clients as awesome as the Brouillard Family.

Seriously one of my favorite family sessions to date, Jess, Brian and their kiddos Sydney and Jack were so much fun! Normally I try to melt into the background when shooting story telling sessions; it is easier for everyone to go about their normal craziness once they forget I am there. With the Brouillards that was never an option! Between sweet hugs and kisses from Jackie Moon, Syd showing off her b.e.a.utiful princess dresses, Jess watching Coulter spit his hotdog on the cookie sheet at one point (yes I had to bring my kiddo for a play date beforehand because he LOVES this crew too), and joining in on not one but TWO pretty epic dance parties once Brian got home, there was just too much fun going on to sit in the background!

These sessions, these families, this kind of everyday beautiful is why I love doing what I do! 

Every day is beautiful.