Anna Ogier-Bloomer had been photographing her family for 15 years before she gave birth to her daughter, Violet — and it was never part of the plan to stop then. Her new series, Letdown, chronicles her first two years of motherhood and how physically demanding they've been.
"Photographing my own daughter was inevitable and made perfect sense, but figuring out how to do that was so hard for me," Ogier-Bloomer told Refinery29. "Violet needed to be held most of the time, and she didn’t sleep for more than a couple hours at a time for the first two years."
Whenever Ogier-Bloomer found the time to take a meaningful shot, "it felt like such a victory," she said. Many of the images in Letdown depict breast-feeding and its effects. Ogier-Bloomer wanted to capture this process and how it changed her body in order to show how much pain and pleasure it brought her.
"Violet loved to pinch and grab while nursing, so I often had to be a little forceful to keep her from scratching me, but it happened a lot anyway," she said. "I also had pain in my hands, fingers, neck, back, shoulders, knees, every part of me, from holding this heavy person for hours and hours, and from lying on my side nursing for hours every day."
Ogier-Bloomer also included several photos of her and Violet sleeping. These serene images depict much-needed rest, as she and her husband were in "survival mode" during these years — even taking a momentary nap on the couch felt like another "victory," she said.
Of course, the first two years of motherhood are just the beginning of the story, so this series is far from complete. Ogier-Bloomer plans to continue documenting her daughter's development, and hopes that the photos depict her own journey, noting that her role as a mother will change with time. After all, so much has changed already: "There's not a single part of my life that's the same as before I became a parent," she says. "It's all changed, and it's amazing."
This article was first published on 12th March 2016