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Moms on Film Valerie Metz
Mother Stories

Moms On Film

Moms on Film Valerie Metz

Written by Emy Merritt

Photography by Moms on Film

Photographer Valeria Metz is looking to capture the artful nostalgia of old-school photos of our own mothers with her project, Moms on Film.

What inspired you to start this project?

"I have been a photographer for over 10 years, shooting weddings for all those years. I felt burnt out and was craving a flexible schedule for more family time and was also needing a creative reset. I became passionate about tying motherhood and art together (two worlds that are often divided) and began Moms on Film."

What makes shooting in film special for you?

"Film is special to me simply because it's timeless and nostalgic. I want to be able to give our kids something tangible like film so they can feel the same nostalgia we feel looking at our parents' photos."

“Motherhood is art. There is pressure in every area when you’re a mom, so I love making mothers feel confident, beautiful, and creative.”

How do you connect with your subjects?

"I ask them questions about themselves and usually create a mood board with them. It's fun to dress up and have fun, but I also want to make sure my clients feel like themselves!"

What is your philosophy around shooting mothers and portraying motherhood on camera? Is there a narrative you are trying to change?

"That motherhood is art. Society looks down on mothers whether they're working too much, not enough, etc. There is pressure in every area when you're a mom so I love making them feel confident, beautiful, and creative. I also focus on bringing other cultures into the mix. My culture is a huge part of my identity as well as my mom's, so it's important for me to connect with clients who can trust me to bring their culture to their shoot."

How do your own experiences as a mother influence your work?

"I just feel like I can relate when I'm photographing moms. If I'm working with a baby or toddler who isn't feeling it, I know how to relate and connect with that mom because I've been there! Like everyday—haha. There is so much safety and relief in empathy and connection."

All of your images are gorgeous, especially those that feature mothers outside in nature. What role does location play in your photography?

"Thank you, I really appreciate that! My location just depends on my clients. Not everyone loves the beach or is down for a rooftop city shoot, so anything natural just feels timeless for anyone. You can also play with the light and the colors of the sky so beautifully when you're out in nature!"

What have been some of the biggest surprises, tiny delights, and challenges you have encountered during this project?

"I'm surprised at how much people love film! I was a little worried about making the transition 4 years ago, but people really see its beauty and understand it."

"Tiny delights have been experiences I've shared with clients—we've cried, hugged, prayed. Some of my clients had been waiting forever to bring life into this world, so getting to capture the story is so fulfilling. Thankfully, I haven't had many challenges! I feel like film is so niche, so clients hiring me for that purpose understand that there are imperfections in the process."

What do you hope to communicate with your work?

"I hope women feel like art. I see every woman and mom and just feel so inspired by their uniqueness, their way of parenting, their perspective, and I hope others can feel that too."

“Film is timeless and nostalgic. I want to be able to give our kids something tangible like film so they can feel the same nostalgia we feel looking at our parents’ photos.”

Do you have a camera that you are partial to?

"I have two. My Contax because the flash is unreal! I'm a sucker for fashion and editorial looks, so it's fun tying that into the mix! I also love my Canon 3—it shoots with digital glass, but with film and the photos always come out crisp. It's a good substitute for medium format."

Where do you find inspiration these days?

"It looks different depending on the season I'm in, but overall, I get a lot of inspo from movies and music. I think in another life I would've been in the filmmaking business. I love that you can feel an experience when you're watching movies with the right cinematography, music, and colors. So I hope to bring that same feeling of 'experience' when I shoot. It really is about telling a story! Music, too—sometimes I envision a shoot with a certain song. It's really cool to see it in my head and then bring it to life. Other times, I feel inspired by human connection, whether that's a coffee date with a friend, quality time with my husband and kids, meeting with other creatives, events, etc."

How can women connect with you to be featured in your work?

"Follow me on IG ;) say hi! I'm horrible with inquiries through DMs, so emails work best for booking shoots!"

What’s next for you? Any exciting projects in the pipeline?

"Yes, a few things. I hosted an art show last summer featuring my work with Moms on Film, it was an amazing turnout, so I'm working on the second one this summer! I'm also working on a book/zine and working on a Mother's Day market event in May. I'm all about bringing it to real life—there is only so much I can share online, but real life is where it's at!"

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