Sometimes you meet a family and can’t help but think, “Wow, they are awesome.” Mary and her family are just that: incredibly fun, so kind, and a joy to work with and be around. After such a fun shoot, I knew Mary would make a fantastic Mother of the Month for July. See for yourself!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, your partner and how you met. Why you decided to have kids. Was it an easy process?
My wife Nicky, and myself, are 41 and 52 respectively. Several years ago, we decided we wanted to have a child. We selected a sperm bank in another state, and a donor that was open to a possible one-time meeting with our child when he turns 18. It took us a year to pick the donor – it was a rollercoaster of emotions. Finally, we decided to treat donor selection as if we were doing some online genetic shopping…. which in a sense we were! We selected a donor, ordered sperm, and after a few attempts, Nicky became pregnant via IVF with our son. I adopted him formally at about 4 months just to be sure my role on paper was solid. It stung a bit to have to adopt my son, but that was fleeting and I feel better having done it immediately.
I think being 52 is sometimes more impactful on a day to day basis than being queer. Mostly I go with the flow but there is the odd occasion that I am mistaken for his grandmother. At 52, this mom gig is hard and glorious and I am so grateful to have the chance to do it.
2. What is your secret to a good relationship? OR what is your secret to happiness? OR How do you want to guide this little person in the world?
Life seems overwhelming and scary so much of the time. As older parents, we have some diverse life experiences we bring to the table, and we hope, helps us sort out what is important in our family. We laugh a lot – all of us love a good fart joke. In terms of relationships and compromise, my friend once asked me, ‘is that the hill you want to die on?’ Letting go and just ‘being’ are practices that make me the happiest. And being grateful.
3. Tell me about why you decided to have professional family or maternity photographs, and why you trusted me to take these special photos.
We had a rare occasion when our family was to be all together. I wanted to have great photos taken as a gift to my parents. Too, I was hoping for some great photos of our son. I loved your black and white photos and when I learned that you have a journalism background, it all made sense. As an queer couple, we want to be seen as we truly are. I feel you really meet people as they are and create beautiful art which happens to be family photos.
4. Tell me what the experience was like to work with me, and anything special that you came away with or learned? Anything that I did that made this a special experience? Or anything that was different working with me?
I can’t thank you enough for the gifts you have given our family. You had a tough and complicated job, to photograph a number of people as well as create special photos for my immediate family. We will treasure these as art, really for a very long time. I loved how you can achieve results from anyone – a toddler, a mom, a grandparent, a teenager. Your dedication to quality is refreshing.