In honor of Mother’s Day this year, we caught up with West Hartford, Connecticut based Motherhood Photographer, Victoria Gloria. Between capturing families’ special moments through photography and beautifully articulating her own experiences as a new mother on her own blog and Instagram, Victoria shared with us her thoughts, inspirations, and favorite memories from her work.
Where did your career in photography first start?
I was a nanny for a photographer when I was 19. I was always into art & photography but didn’t realize it could be a lifelong career. At the time I was going to school to get a degree in food science. 2 months later I dropped out of school and decided to open up my own photography business photographing families! It was a big, scary, but exciting moment for me.
What is the source of your inspirations?
Nature! I love going on hikes with my little family and watching how the light dances on everything. Or anywhere with flowers, specifically Elizabeth Park during sunset in June when the roses are blooming. Bonus points if there’s orange wine and a taco in my hand haha! And getting together with my sweet friend Cammy who is another photographer - we have so much fun dressing up for photos and playing around with the light, poses and new camera settings.
Tell us about your aesthetic and the type of imagery you love to shoot?
I love photographs that have real, raw emotion. I know I captured the photo I wanted when it warms my heart. Or what I like to say is “Like a painting”. I strive for my work to feel like a painting you would see somewhere cozy and inviting.
Congratulations on becoming a new mother! What was some of the best advice you received before becoming a mother?
Awe thank you so much! It has been a wild, beautiful ride. An experience that can’t be put into words until you’re in it! Truly! A client turned friend once told me that “Every child, every mother, every parent is different. People will share advice with you, just to share. Take it with a grain of salt. People like to share their stories, it’s healing.”
What wisdoms can you impart on expectant mothers?
Ride the waves of motherhood. Everyday is going to look different, feel different, be different.. There will be days where you feel like you’re drowning and other days where you feel like you’re absolutely rocking it as a mom.. On the days where I feel like I’m drowning I openly communicate what I’m feeling with my husband, mom and a friend. It’s very therapeutic to talk it through to people who just get it. And who will step in to help you when you need it.
What surprised you the most when becoming a mother?
A lot! A lot of things! But what comes to mind first would be the deep love you feel for a human. It’s not like any kind of love I’ve felt before!
How has motherhood changed the way you view your work?
I would say I feel my work shifting into more documentary now where I was a bit more posed and polished before. And something about black and whites now with moody lighting makes my heart sing! I always loved capturing the “in the moment” photographs and this rings even more true now that I’m a mom. I love seeing our natural expressions in photos (even if they’re tired faces). Motherhood, especially in the first year, goes by so fast and there are so many moments I want to go back to - like my newborn sleeping heavily on my chest in our bedroom with a messy nightstand after a long night.
How do you find balance in today’s world?
Gosh. Balance! I’m still trying to figure it out, ha! I think it’s important for me to be fluid with my time as a mom (as best as I can!). I love a schedule but I’m learning to loosen up a little bit and just ride the wave of the day to day. Callen’s naps are currently off so there's been a big shift to what our days look like. Some days are dedicated to relaxing at home in sweats with a messy home while playing with Callen, other days are for cleaning, or going out on an adventure.
Tell us about your most memorable photoshoot?
It was one of my firsts! And it was with my sister and nephew. He was 3 months old and we went outside during sunset and I found a pretty weeping willow tree on the side of the road. My sister looked so at peace breathing her little baby in the golden sun. It was such a simple shoot with a big impact. It was the first photo I captured with emotion. The first photos I shed a tear on while editing
You’ve written very beautifully about creating memories for families to look back on. What about photos and videos is most important for this?
For me, I like to think about the moments I want to remember forever. I recently took photos of my family in our backyard while my husband was doing yard work one evening during sunset. It was super simple, we were all relaxed and enjoying the sunshine. We just had a fence put in so we were all excited to just be in our backyard watching our dog run freely. Callen, our son, at the time was 10 months old so this his first time exploring the outside world. I really wanted to focus on him just being him - taking in the outside world. Once you capture a moment you’ll have that memory with you forever whenever you look back at that photo or video. I’ll list some other moments that my heart is aching to capture for future me to remember; First birthday party, Callen eating a watermelon with a diaper on, backyard BBQ, family hike, Callen at the beach, bathtime, rocking and nursing Callen to sleep for the night, a portrait of Callen with his grandparents….okay I can go on!