Imogen Freeland – Birth of a Mother

Describing herself as a fine art and portrait photographer based in London, Imogen Freeland uses her camera to explore the lives and experiences of herself and those around her, photographing people in intimate settings, exploring often personal, relatable and humanist topics with an autobiographical approach. Her work is vulnerably honest in its depiction of her subjects, and her motives for making the work.

Having received a BA in photography at Falmouth School of Art and an MA at the London College of Community, commissions and features of her work include It’s Nice That, The British Journal of Photography, Source, Photoworks, Refinery29, Vice and Aesthetica Magazine where she was listed as one of their ’Next Generation Future Greats among others’.

Her most recent series, Birth of a Mother, depicts her own firsthand portrayal of newfound motherhood, whilst chronicling that of other new mothers at different stages of their parenting journeys. The project attempts to open up a more honest dialogue around the often challenging parameters of motherhood, in a bid to break unhealthy preconceptions and impossible standards that leave women feeling inadequate when their experience of becoming a mother does not match up to their expectations. Though not always explicit within the images, themes on pre and postnatal depression, miscarriage, termination and fertility treatments are present in the work. 

Renowned for her use of natural and ambient light sources, which lend an unusual depth, Imogen captures the evolving vulnerability of the pre and postpartum body with an alluring sensitivity. The project acts as a response to a culturally dispassionate gaze, loaded with the distortion of unrealistic and unrepresentative beauty standards that so brutally discount the heroism of Motherhood. The work aims to expand definitions of beauty to include all body shapes and celebrate them.

What has unfolded is an unexpected revelation of the common triumphs and struggles of motherhood, told through the lens.