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"Self-care is not selfish" | Pittsburgh | Family Portraits

On the day of Steph's in-home family session, I arrived and was greeted with the biggest smile and hello. I quickly noticed the beautiful light spilling into their home, art projects, and family photos lining the wall. This was their first in-home family session, and it was the first time I was meeting them face-to-face.

There ease and excitement to get up-close and cozy with one-another made the session feel effortless. The session was great, but for me, photography is about so much more than just the final product. It's about helping mamas, like Steph, preserve these times while also serving as a reminder that they are doing a good job at being a mom.

I would like to share some of Steph's journey in motherhood. In this blog, you'll read how childbirth was one of her biggest challenges, what she wants other moms to know about PPD & self-care, and her advice regarding the little choices.

My biggest challenge-

In the age of the #metoo movement, we know that sexual assault is all too common for women. We hear their stories of resilience and strength, but we don't often understand the long term effects of this trauma. Stephanie is a sexual assault victim and one of her biggest challenges thus far as a mother was the experience of childbirth and pregnancy.

She says "Pregnancy and birth were challenging for me. I'm a sexual assault victim, and the whole process of birth was incredibly challenging to cope with. I'm so thankful that the team of midwives at Magee hospital was trained and educated on how to make the process less triggering for me. With their assistance, I was able to get through it as best as possible."

What you should know -

We put an alarming amount of pressure on ourselves to be perfect, with social media's constant highlight reel many of us quickly find ourselves spiraling down the rabbit hole of comparison. We believe that what we see is real and the wondrous beauty of our lives begins to pale in comparison. Stephanie believes that social media profoundly influenced her Post-Partum Depression, she said: "I struggled so hard with PPD, and I think a lot of it stemmed from seeing those gorgeous Instagram moms and thinking that if I wasn't like them, I wasn't good."

Stephanie wants mamas out there struggling with this idea of perfection to know

"that self-care is not selfish and you're not a failure as a mom if you're struggling mentally at any point. There is so much pressure on modern moms thanks to social media. It's not going to be perfect, and that's perfectly okay. Seek out the beauty in the imperfections :)."

I hope I remember -

Twenty years from now Stephanie hopes that she will remember "all the snuggly moments and the moments where we felt connected as a family." Her advice for other moms out there is to stop stressing out so much about "the little decisions like what organic fruit snack is best" because in the long run of life which snack you buy doesn't matter. What matters is "loving your kids and cultivating an accepting, loving, and kind environment."

Concluding thoughts-

Now, I'd like to know what part of Stephanie's story resonated with you the most? Leave me a comment below and share a part of your story!

Whether you are the woman learning to love the daily imperfections of life, embracing all those snugly moments, or practicing self-care your not alone. We are all in this walk of life making perfectly imperfect decisions doing the best we can.


Hey there, I'm LeeAnn!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

If you love reading about other kick ass women daring to follow their dreams then you'll want to be apart of my monthly newsletter where I send out up dates on blogs just like this one!

A little about me. I am an elementary art school teacher turned photographer, storyteller, and motivator.

I have never been much for superficial living or "small" talk. I love connecting people on a deep level and then sharing their stories through thought provoking imagery with the rest of the world!

If you love getting to the heart of things and want to share your story on my blog contact me and we will set something up!

Much Love,


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Hey friend!


I'm LeeAnn a Pittsburgh-based personal brand photographer helping womxn and queer-owned businesses create memorable brands with unique captivating photography.  

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