An Interview With Claiborne Swanson Frank On Motherhood

We’ve loved Claiborne Swanson Frank’s now iconic book, Mother + Child, ever since it hit the shelves. In all her projects, Claiborne is a gifted storyteller through her lens, offering perspective + insight into the multi-faceted lives of the people captured. In this collection, she shows us an innocent, delicate + intimate view of modern day motherhood through varying accomplished + influential women. Having grown up in California, moving to NYC in her twenties, getting married + having children, and discovering herself along the way, we asked Claiborne about her own journey through motherhood and what has inspired her aesthetically, personally + maternally thus far.

Mother + Child
Photo:© Claiborne Swanson Frank​​

GDV: What is the best advice your mother gave you?  

CSF: My Mother always told me to follow my heart and that the universe would show me the way. 

How did your childhood influence your path? 

I had a deep love of nature as a child. I loved running through our vineyards, the breeze at my back feeling wild and free. Nature gave me peace. Nature is a powerful and constant source of inspiration in my work. I am always collaborating with nature.

What inspired you to create and gather such beautiful images of striking, multi-faceted women, immersed amongst their young children, for your Iconic book, Mother and Child?

Becoming a mother transformed my world and inspired me to create my book " Mother and Child." I set out to document modern motherhood and was inspired to capture through my lens the love between a Mother and a Child.

What wisdom would you most wish to impart upon your own children?

To live passionately, love deeply and reach for the stars.

Mother + Child
Photo:© Claiborne Swanson Frank​​

Did becoming a mother impact the way you see/feel subject matter through the lens?

Motherhood forced me to let go of my need to control. In letting go of control in my life and in my photography I found my way to the moment. It is in the moment that true beauty and love live.

Pairings with 

Mother and Child

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