Mom, you aren’t merely loved by your children.

You’re irreplaceable. 

Appreciated. Valuable. VITAL. 

No matter how old they'll get, sometimes all they need is YOU. 

Because while hugs & kisses are all fine and dandy, sometimes it’s the most difficult moments that will build their character the most, and that's when they turn to you.

As their Mom, your pride comes from molding them into happy, healthy, value-infused little people. 

Don’t be invisible in their childhood photos. 

You’re too indispensable to be omitted from their past.

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After spending what felt like a lifetime boxing up my family's belongings in preparation for a recent move, I came across a box that had gone unopened for the 2 years we lived in our small apartment. Recognizing what it was, I happily took a break from packing and began to dig deep into this box of my greatest treasures: photos of my life, starting from the day I was born. 

I come from a large family, and it was fun to see the images of my siblings and I exploring the world together. Occasional family photos were mixed in, but I couldn't help but notice that one person in my life seemed to be missing from all photos except those rare group photos: my mom. I started looking through my childhood photos with a mission of finding all the pictures of myself with my momas I was growing up. I found 2. Just 2. One was of her holding me in the hospital right after I was born; the other was the day I officially moved on to my adult life: mywedding day. What happened to the in-between?!

I know she was there- she was a stay-at-home-mom after all, and she was the one taking me to dance class and swim class and to the pumpkin farm. But you'd never know it from the photos- it's like she didn't exist. That realization was hard for me to swallow, as a photographer, as a mom myself, and as a daughter. I can remember my mom being "camera shy," and not wanting her photos taken. But I wonder if she realized what she was sacrificing?

This all got me thinking about the other moms in the world who may also be missing from the children's photos...and I wonder WHY? 

​Maybe it's because you're the one always BEHIND the camera.

Maybe you plan to take some pictures "after you lose those 20 pounds" or when "your hair looks better/clothes are nicer/you look less tired/etc."

Maybe you just don't think you have the time.

Maybe you don't realize just how important it is to your children to be able to relive those moments with you

​Let me tell you, Mom to Mom, I can use every single one of these excuses. Of course I'm usually the one behind the camera (hello, I'm a photographer AND my daughter is just about the cutest thing in the world (I'm not at ALL biased lol) so of COURSE I want to take pictures of just her!). And yes, my weight fluctuates, I always look like I need a nap (the kiddo's almost 4- she'll start sleeping through the night soon, right?!), and my clothes are usually from the "it may be wrinkled but it's clean and comfortable so I'm going to wear it" section of my wardrobe (yeah, like there's another section of my wardrobe- ha!). And yes- I definitely fall into the trap of thinking that time is this limitless thing and one day I will just magically have "enough" time to fit in everything I want to do. 

Guess who doesn't care about any of that? My daughter. She sees ME. Mommy. Her happy place to snuggle with in the morning before we officially start our day, her safe place to come to when she's feeling anxious in a new setting, her place for healing when she gets hurt (nothing heals like a Mama kiss!). She doesn't see the extra pounds, disheveled appearance, or sleepy eyes. And when she sees a picture of the two of us laughing together? Pure joy- it's priceless.

Whatever your excuse has been in the past, give yourself permission this Mother's Day to celebrate the wonderful, crazy, loving, impossible-to-it-into-words bond you have with your children, and join the Celebrate Mothers Project! 

These are the Moments you want to remember, and I can promise you, you will never regret having these memories to cherish forever.

Taking my own advice, this is me with my little girl :) :)

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So What Exactly Is the Celebrate Mothers Project?

~15-20 minute outdoor photo session of you and your children showing off your warm, loving relationship

~Heartwarming question & answer pages for both mom and kids to fill out, so you can remember what was most important to you about your children during this time of your life and can hear & feel how much your kids appreciate you with their answers (written or drawn dependingon their age :) )

~Your choice of 1 piece of artwork: 8x12" Modern Metal, 16x20" Gallery Mat with 11x14" Print, or 8x10" Print Wrap

~FREE 8x8 artist's choice word & image collage: The mixture of beautiful photographs and words from you and your childrenwill bring you right back to this moment in your lives ($16 value!!)

~Private Online Viewing Gallery for viewing, sharing, selecting, and ordering additional photo products if desired

~Gallery will be up by April 19th in time to order for Mother's Day!

3 Days Only!!!

~Sunday, April 10th, 2016

​~Friday, April 15th, 2016

​~Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Session Times run from 8am-6pm

Locations: Sheehan Park & Burke Park

Price: $97

+ 5.5% sales tax

To book your session, please email me at NickiHandelPhotography@gmail.com, call me at 608-807-7377, or reach out to me on Facebook messenger!