Ma Mère

I've decided to bring in the 2017 New Year by attempting my first-ever 365 photo project. I will take one photo (if I'm feeling ambitious maybe more than one) everyday for the rest of the year. The purpose of this project will not only help keep myself motivated to shoot everyday but to exercise my creative side and challenge myself to make better portraits. I've always struggled to create portraiture that I like so I've decided to photograph ma mère, a woman dear to my heart who despises getting her photo taken. Although hesitant at first she agreed to be a part of this project because we both have a desire to improve on something. For her, it's feeling comfortable in front of a camera as she has struggled with her self image most of her life. 

It is no doubt this project will allow you to learn a lot about my life and about the woman who gave it to me.

Images will also be posted to my Instagram. Check it out!


1/365.

Every News Years day my mom Lisa makes black-eyed pea soup. Our family believes black-eyed peas bring luck and prosperity into the new year. And so does a little red wine


2/365.

Mom gives Gibson the "look." 


3/365.

Every Tuesday and Friday mom teaches yoga at Limber Tree Yoga Studio in downtown Billings. She arrives an hour early each time to warm up and get into her yogi state of mind. She hopes to someday open her own yoga studio. 


4/365.

Some of my earliest memories are bouncing around in the back seat of our then, 1975 Jeep Wagoneer. When the engine of that lime green machine quit running we both cried. That was years ago. Now, my mom drives a 1982 pale yellow Jeep Wagoneer. She calls it Pearl. 


5/365.

My mom has always been the primary fire-builder in our house. She loves doing it and learned from her mom, my grandma who I call Mimi. She says to always start a fire small and build it up so that it lasts. 


6/365.

Another cold night in Billings. Mom and my stepdad Mike snug up to watch old Italian films. They've been happily driving each other crazy for 18 years. 


7/365.

Mom washes her face every morning. 


8/365.

My stepdad Mike calls this photo "pound cake crazy woman." My mom is serious about her poundcake. Anyone who knows my mom has had her pound cake at least once or received a brick of it on their door step. In my family, if you've had the pound cake- you're in. 


9/365.

Mom and Mike read the news while munching on grilled cheese and tomato soup. My stepdad makes my mom laugh, a lot. It's my favorite part about their relationship. 


10/365.

Mom works at her desk at her office in downtown Billings. Along with being a yoga instructor, full-time wife and mother, she is also the Executive Director of the Downtown Billings Alliance where she has basically revitalized downtown and engaged its community through events and advocacy for 12 years. 

11/365.

After a cold day and a twelve hour shift, Mom can be found warming up next to the fireplace. 


12/365.

Mom received roses today from my stepdad Mike. 


13/365. 

Mom watches Billings Lady Broncs take on Billings West High Bears basketball game tonight at MetraPark. 

14/365.

Mom gets a little help with technology from my big brother William. 

15/365. 

Bozeman in the rearview mirror and we are Billings bound. 

16/365.

La La Land was amazing. 


17/365.

She's got a lot on her mind. 


18/365.



19/365.

Mom decided she was gong to resign from her job today. It's time to move on. 

20/365.


21/365.

Mom stands outside of the State Capitol in Helena during the Women's March on Montana. Organizers of the march estimated 10,000 people who participated. 


22/365. 

23/365.


24/365.


25/365.

26/365.


And then she went to Virginia...

27/365.

My mom flew to Virginia Beach, Virginia to suprise my cousin, Evi, for her 13th birthday. To continue our project she is sending me photos taken by my cousin. 

28/365.

29/365. 

30/365.


She's back!!!

31/365.

Mama returns to Montana to heavy snowfall. 


32/365. 

After 12 years my beautiful mama has decided to step down from her position as Executive Director of downtown Billings and move on to the next bold and beautiful step in her life. It's not easy though! My mama has put her heat and soul into making Billings a place for everyone, not just some. So tonight she chings her glass with our good friend, Joe, to a job well done. She's earned it. So proud of her tonight. 


33/365.

Mom made the front page today. 


34/365. 

35/365.

36/365.

37/365.

38/365.

39/365.

40/365. 

Mom and Mike staying informed. 

41/365. 

Movie night.


42/365.

I have the most beautiful mother in the world. I love our Saturday mornings.


43/365.

Mom is making home-made eggrolls.

44/365.

45/365.

46/365.


47/365. 

One of the biggest reasons why I wanted to do this project was because growing up I was surrounded by images of my grandma on my mom's side. I grew up calling her Mimi even though I never met her. 

When my mom was pregnant with me she died from a long battle with cancer. 

I've always been captivated by her photos, and I've always felt a connection to her. I do feel her presence in my life. It's weird because I don't believe in ghosts and I wouldn't even consider her a ghost more like the voice that makes up my intuition. 

It's pretty amazing how you can get to know someone you've never met just by looking at their photograph. Maybe that's one reason why I wanted to become a photojournalist so I could share that experience. 

It's definitely one reason why this project about my mom is so important to me. 


48/365.



49/365.

As we were shooting I told mom to think about her future. At first we giggled as I kept taking shots. However, I think she really was thinking about it. 


50/365.

51/365.


52/365.

53/365.

54/365.


55/365.


56/365.


57/365.

58/365.

59/365.


60/365.

61/365.

62/365.

63/365.


And then my camera broke... Here we go Iphone!

64/365.

65/365.


66/365.

67/365.

68/365.


69/365.


70/365.

71/365.


72/365.

73/365.

74/365.

75/365.

76/365.

77/365.


78/365.

79/365.

80/365.


81/365.

82/365.

83/365.


84/365.

85/365.

86/365.


87/365.

88/365.

89/365.


90/365.

91/365.

92/365.


93/365.

94/365.


95/365.


96/365.

97/365. 

Happy Anniversary mom and Mike. These crazy kids have been together for 14 years!


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