Photographer Captures the True Beauty of Motherhood

Thanks to social media, we are inundated with photos of moms flaunting their postpregnancy bodies. But where are the photos of the women who don't worry about turning their former baby bump into a six-pack, the ones who embrace their stretch marks and C-section scars? These women became the subject of Jade Beall's debut book, The Bodies of Mothers ($35, originally $50). Beall, a photographer and mother, became interested in the topic after her own battle with postbaby weight loss two years ago. Read on for a sneak peek of her new book. Source: Jade Beall


"I felt like a failure because I couldn't shed the 50 pounds that I gained during pregnancy," she shares with us. "To feel like a failure because your body has changed and you're too wrapped up in the fact that you have this new human to take care of, it’s hard."

Eventually, Beall realized that she had nothing to feel bad about. So rather than criticize her body, she decided to celebrate it by taking photos and sharing them on her website. Source: Jade Beall


That would have been the end of Beall's adventures in postpartum photography, but after a few of her photos went viral, she began to hear from other like-minded moms.

"I was getting all these emails from women who were like, 'Oh, I want to be photographed and tell you my story. I want to feel beautiful and to show you my amazing stretch marks and see what you think about them,' Beall says. "And I'm sitting there with my still very young baby and thinking, 'Oh my gosh, a book of all of these women who are asking to be photographed would be amazing.' " Source: Jade Beall


So, in June 2012 Beall launched a Kickstarter campaign to help turn her idea into a reality. At times, Beall worried that people would not support her project, but she tried to keep an open mind.

"My partner was very good in helping me," Beall says. "He was like, 'Let's try it! What's the worst that could happen? If no one watches the video and you don't get funded on Kickstarter, we live on!'" Source: Jade Beall


Luckily, the campaign was a success, and in July Beall began a series of photo shoots. Getting the models was easy, as many women reached out to Beall before the book was ever an idea. It was, however, a struggle to make sure every type of woman was represented.

"I really wanted to make sure I could reach different variations of beautiful mothers," Beall says. "Really that's my purpose; to give a voice to all the women who don't feel seen when they look on TV or in magazines." Source: Jade Beall


In addition to putting a spotlight on real women, Beall hopes her book reminds women that they are irreplaceably beautiful and they need to empower one another.

"We women have the ability to be the role models of kindness and beauty," Beall says. "If we can really support each other in all of our differences and all of the things we do differently, I think that we would all live a more peaceful life."

Scroll through to see more photos from Beall's debut book, available this Mother's Day. Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall


Source: Jade Beall