I can’t think of a parent who doesn’t obsessively photograph their kids. Sure, the photos often are out of focus, include the blur of a finger half-covering an iPhone lens or feel so manufactured-ly happy that we just can’t believe the moments are real, but they’re something we can’t quit.
Even more than whatever meal we feel compelled to immortalize.
For many parents, like photographer Ashly Leonard Stohl, it's a form of self-portraiture - a “portrait of parents” that reflect on how we see ourselves, our fears and reflections of our childhood projected on our children. Stohl’s latest book The Days Are Long & The Years Are Short, published by Peanut Press is the culmination of years of Stohl photographing her kids as a mirror to herself. It's also a response to how the challenges of motherhood are often omitted from public conversation. Stohl’s photos balance the cherished moments with the ones not outwardly discussed. Hunting for a Halloween costume while wearing a disdainful frown. How time can move painfully slow, yet evaporates before our eyes. The moments you don’t see in Parents Magazine.
As a photo-obsessed parent of a one-year-old, I’m drawn to Stohl’s eloquent and honest approach. We spoke to talk parenting and the unfortunate stigma of “Mom Photography".