“We’ll love you forever and ever, no matter what” were the first words we said to our daughter while she lay on my chest. Our lives were changed forever in that hospital room. I went from exploring my dreams and discovering myself through graduate school to sacrificing my sense of self and my goals to help my daughter learn and discover. While grieving the loss of my identity and relationship, I had stopped taking photos completely. It was not until I was challenged to turn inward and focus solely on my daughter that I began to feel inspired again. As the daughter of a photographer, my child was already at the center of many of my photographs, but I also started to capture my own experiences as a mother. It was during this time that I found my creativity rekindled by the exact situation that had extinguished it.

Our journey as parents has been full of sacrifices in the name of love. This project explores those sacrifices, their impact on our family, and the relationship we seek to foster with our daughter, exploring the intersection of motherhood, marriage, and a journey through depression and pure joy. I have spent the last two and a half years documenting my family and our experiences. I will use those photographs as well as others to design a photobook. This book will also include writing that explores our thoughts and feelings to complement the photos. An original video, a visual letter addressed to our daughter and created in the style of a home movie will feature letters read by my husband and me. The letters open the conversations of individual and family sacrifice. My hope is to inspire this same honest conversation in other families and give other parents the courage to express their true thoughts and feelings.




Hailey Trejo | Visual Communicator, Mother, Veteran

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