Behind the Scenes of Motherhood {Mandy}

There are moments that are our everyday. They become so ordinary to us, such a part of our lives that we don’t even think about it. It’s those little moments of cuddles, getting ready for the day, and family dinners that seem like they don’t need to be documented because they are your normal. Those simple moments that you wish you could get a picture of, because you realize that those little moments don’t last forever. –TahJah Harmony, photographer


When I initially agreed to allow TahJah come to our home and photograph “everyday motherhood”, I was excited to see how her eye would capture the mundane routine we cling to. But as the day of our photo shoot got closer and closer I wondered what in our chaotic, messy, disorganized world she would be able to see as ‘beautiful” or worth capturing. I wondered if she would leave our home feeling like this photo shoot was a total bust or that I was a sham of a mother. We are constantly editing our lives via social media- only posting our most beautiful and victorious moments- and here I was welcoming a stranger in to photograph (and share!) whatever she wanted and I couldn’t control the outcome.



When TahJah arrived, I immediately felt her warmth and acceptance and my worries were starting to melt away. But within 2 minutes of her entering our home, Jo climbed over the back fence and took off running. Parenting moment of the year. We wrangled him back inside and started our routine of dinner, bath, bedtime. TahJah quietly melted into our sequence of events and her camera clicked away. Despite all my grand hopes for the evening, there were tears, there was applesauce thrown across the room, Jo stripped off all of his clothes, my husband and I had to eat dinner separately because Jo refused to sit at the table with us, there were time outs…it was a mess. But it was our everyday. I kept looking at TahJah and saying “This is everyday motherhood”.  The chaos and the mundane is my everyday motherhood.

 When I got the e-mail that the pictures were ready, I hesitantly clicked the link, closed my eyes, and held my breath. I wasn’t sure what I was going to see, but I couldn’t be more pleased. Despite my feelings of inadequacy and the doubts I had about the beauty of our home and lives, TahJah showed me a part of my world I never get to see- the quiet, still, simple moments that we share a beautiful bond as a family. In my mind the night was ALL chaos and yet there was so much peace, laughter, and happiness reflected in our photos.
Being able to see how I look at my son in the still, quiet moments is a gift I could never say an adequate thank you for. What I learned through this experience is that in the chaos there is so much beauty, so much to be thankful for. We are so much harder on ourselves as moms than we really need to be. I will forever cherish these photos because they reflect my family in such a pure form, challenge my understanding of how “boring” our lives seem, and have allowed me to see the incredible complexity of the mundane.

 Hear what TahJah had to say about Mandy’s shoot and see more photos over on her blog.

qwtileadHiya, my name is TahJah Harmony and I am the whimsical creative behind Quaint+Whim. Where I specialize in fine art lifestyle photography. I have a huge heart to document family portraits and motherhood. I believe that every family has a unique story, and the best way to capture that story is through photographs. I have a strong passion to keep my photos authentic to your everyday so when you look back on your photographs you can remember 10 years from now like it was yesterday.  Motherhood is something that means a lot to me even though I am not a mother, I was very fortunate to be an adult and watch my mom raise my baby brother (We are 19 years apart in age!). It gave me a whole new perspective on how to look at motherhood. Not from the eyes of being a mother, but from the eyes of being a daughter. I am so thankful for that gift.
Mandy was born and raised in Shreveport and married her best friend, Dustin, in 2008. When they moved to Baton Rouge in 2010 for graduate school, they had no idea how much this city would change their lives. After meeting some incredibly inspiring people, they decided to become foster parents in 2011 and adopted their bundle of energy, Joseph, in 2014. Mandy works part time as the Safe Families for Children Coordinator, a program that aims to support and stabilize families who are experiencing a crisis. She spends the rest of her time managing Joseph's therapies for autism and living out the gift and honor of being a mom. When she has a few minutes of spare time, Mandy loves to bake, draw, hit the pavement for a run, or even better- NAP!


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