MC: How did the concept of shooting life with Mia occur?

AA: It all began as kids started going back to school last August. My friends were emotional about sending their kids off. As a stay at home mom of a toddler, I wanted to show how I felt about school starting up.  I had a lot of fun shooting the photo and my friends enjoyed it, so I shot another one. The rest is history. Being around a two year old 24/7 is an endless amount of inspiration for a new photo. If I couldn’t laugh at some of the ridiculous situations I’ve been put in. I just might go a little crazy.

MC: Which is the funniest of the moments you share?

AA: I couldn't pick one. I love getting to be silly with her all the time. Since her birth, I've realized that every parents get's to experience two childhoods. Their own & then their child's. I think the second one is even more magical than the first. It is wonderful to watch her, taking in the world for the first time & now that she can have conversations to me, I am fascinated by her thoughts & opinions on what she sees. Sometimes I'll initially feel a little uncomfortable being over the over the sop silly with her, but when I do, her laugh is so rewarding I just can't stop. She'll laugh uncontrollably If we pretend to be puppy dogs together.  She is fascinated by the sky and loves to go on moon hunts in the evening. One night recently when I was rushing to get her to bed, when she decided she wanted to go out not the porch to tell the moon goodnight. She then proceeded to blow kisses to every star she could see. It took a solid five minutes, but I'll never forget how sweet she was wishing all the stars a goodnight. I'm constantly reminding myself to slow down and experience the world from her point of view, and to be a little bit silly together every day. 

MC: And the hardest ones?

AA:When I am shooting the photos, Mia is more interested in the photography aspect of it. She wants to adjust my camera settings or try to take a photo herself. I shoot the images with my camera on a tripod and I photograph her & myself separately. So when I am off across the room posing for  photos, and she is about to knock down my camera, it get's a little scary!  She also has her own and very strong options about what she wants to be doing in the images. Since I usually have a vision for the image based off of a recent and real life scenario, it can be hard to have her in the right positions and making the appropriate expression for the photo.


MC: You had your daughter so young that you are practically growing up together. Would you advise her to have children as young?

AA:The maturity level of a twenty-one year old can vary greatly, depending on the person. Maybe I was born with an old soul, or maybe it's because of my upbringing, but I never felt unprepared for parenthood because of my age. If Mia chooses to have children one day, I want her to understand the importance of being in a loving and supporting relationship before starting a family. I'll also encourage her to pursue her other dreams, whatever they may be, before starting a family. Ultimately, when you become a mother, your children are your number one priority. That sometimes requires a lot of self-sacrifice. Continuing your education, and pursuing your dream job is very important, but If you have to juggle school, work and running a household/raising children, something will inevitably fall through the cracks, most likely your sanity.
I think that having a season in life for taking risks and having the opportunity to live on your own is an important step into adulthood.  Being a good mother is a demanding, albeit  fulfilling, job. In this season of my life, nothing is more important to me than giving Mia the best childhood I can. I know I am very fortunate to be able and do what I love while raising Mia, but my photography always comes second to my family's needs. Whatever age Mia is when she chooses to start a family, my hope for her is that she will have fulfilled her other dreams and found the right person to be by her side, allowing her to enjoy all the wonderful moments of motherhood.