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Portraits and 40 mothers' moving, personal stories provide an honest look at the highs and lows of the motherhood experience.

Hi. My name is Ali Smith and I'm a photographer. For the past 12 years I've been working on a book called Momma Love; How the Mother Half Lives

Gloria Steinem says "Ali Smith has given us a gift with Momma Love: a fresh, eye-opening manifestation of motherhood's contemporary realities."

Mothers are made to feel that if their parenting experience isn't all soft focus moments of bliss and fulfillment, they're doing something wrong. But as any mother may admit in private, motherhood is a really hard job. It's a 24-hour-a-day, unpaid job for which mothers receive varying degrees of support from partners, employers, lawmakers and society at large. 

Hannah and Lizzie, Christmas Dinner
Hannah and Lizzie, Christmas Dinner

My first book, Laws of the Bandit Queens, was about strong, groundbreaking women who'd succeeded while questioning the status quo. This book carries that same spirit of questioning and searching over into the motherhood realm. 

Kitty and Olive, Dessert Truck
Kitty and Olive, Dessert Truck

In the media, mothers tend to be sanctified or vilified. There isn't a lot of honest reflection on the daily motherhood experience as most women are living it. The 40 women whose portraits and deeply personal and moving stories are featured in Momma Love tell all!

Women included range from Oscar nominated actress Amy Ryan, who discusses parenting in image and youth obsessed Hollywood, to Diana Colbert, figuring out how to parent her toddler well in the face of her own pending death. 

Diana and Lily in the Hospital
Diana and Lily in the Hospital

Six months ago, I signed a publishing deal for Momma Love. Three months later, the publisher abruptly folded and took with it the money that I'd contributed towards the book's production. But now, with the support of people and organizations like Gloria Steinem and MomsRising, I've decided to self-publish.

I'll be printing with an eco-friendly, green printer based in the US. This beautiful bookwill be released May 1st, just in time for Mother's Day making it the PERFECT MOTHER'S DAY GIFT!

Momma Love is the forming of a community. It's a call to arms for anyone who is or who loves a mother. And it's the celebration of the potential for the most powerful manifestation of love: Momma Love

Please join me in making Momma Love a reality. I'm sending much Momma Love to you!

**You can see the complete list of perks to the right, but check out some snazzy pix of a few of them here!

Momma Love vintage tattoo
Momma Love vintage tattoo
Toddler Tee or Onesie
Toddler Tee or Onesie
My book, your coffee table!
My book, your coffee table!
Tote bag art
Tote bag art
Momma Love gold necklace
Momma Love gold necklace

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Momma Love is COMPLETELY WRITTEN, PHOTOGRAPHED, PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED, EDITED, COPY EDITED, AND PROOFED. The printing just needs to be funded! I found my eco-friendly, green printer through an incredible book publisher called Little Brown Mushroom that produces amazing photography books. Delays might only occur due to acts of Momma Nature or if I received a truly mind boggling amount of orders here. In which case I will still do my absolute best to fulfill all orders as promised with the help of some amazing people who have volunteered to help fulfill them!

FAQ

  • Unfortunately it seems that a person cannot purchase more than one reward. There are two ways to get around this. 1. You can contact me directly, pledge in the amount of the multiple items you'd like, and I will send you what you wanted when the time comes (you are able to pledge MORE than the "sticker" price for a reward). or 2. You can create a second Kickstarter account and pledge from there. The Amazon account can remain the same.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    10 backers

    WHO LOVES YA, MOMMA: Be the coolest kid in the playground (or the coolest parent at pick up) sporting this vintage-inspired, original MOMMA LOVE TEMPORARY TATTOO! (As modeled by Harper) Plus a hand written "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" Momma Love postcard from me.

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    11 backers

    I LOVE YA, MOMMA: You KNOW your baby loves you, so there's no harm in them announcing it to the world with this adorable MOMMA LOVE TODDLER TEE OR ONESIE! (You choose which) SO cute! so cute. (But see the pictures for yourself)

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    15 backers

    MOMMA'S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG: MOMMA LOVE TOTE BAG! A beautifully designed tote bag on it's own, you also get to tell the world that you have "MOMMA LOVE" in your heart! Perfect for shopping and schlepping. (Check out the pic)

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    200 backers

    MOMMA LOVE: You get a SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK, MOMMA LOVE, AT A SPECIAL PRE-SALE PRICE !! Plus a hand written "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" Momma Love postcard from me to you! AN AMAZING MOTHER'S DAY GIFT!!

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    5 backers

    YO MOMMA: ADDED BY REQUEST! You get to choose one of two AWARD WINNING, signed, archival 8x10 prints from the book. Plus a hand written "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" Momma Love postcard from me.

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    71 backers

    FOXY MOMMA: You get TWO SIGNED COPIES of the book, MOMMA LOVE, AT A DOUBLY GOOD, SPECIAL PRE-SALE PRICE !! Plus a hand written "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" Momma Love postcard from me to you! BUY ONE FOR YOURSELF AND ONE FOR ALL THE MOMMAS IN YOUR LIFE FOR MOTHER'S DAY!!

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    13 backers

    MOMMA'S GOT THIS IN THE BAG: ONE BOOK signed with a PERSONALIZED DEDICATION to the momma of your choice, plus one SIGNED 8x10 PRINT of an image from the book, bundled together and delivered in a MOMMA LOVE TOTE BAG!! THIS IS TRULY THE PERFECT GIFT PACKAGE!

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    14 backers

    MEGA MOMMA: TWO BOOKS signed with PERSONALIZED DEDICATIONS to the mommas of your choice, plus TWO SIGNED 8x10 PRINTS of images from the book, EACH SET bundled and delivered in a MOMMA LOVE TOTE BAG!! The PERFECT GIFT PACKAGES FOR EACH OF THE MOMMAS IN YOUR LIFE!

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    3 backers

    Y TU MOMMA, TAMBIEN: A GORGEOUS GOLD NAME-PLATE NECKLACE (pictured) that shows your MOMMA LOVE to the world!! Plus a hand written "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" Momma Love postcard from me.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    IT'S ALL RIGHT, MOMMA: ADDED BY REQUEST! You get to choose one of two AWARD WINNING, signed, archival 16X20 prints from the book. Plus a hand written "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" Momma Love postcard from me.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    MOMMA MIA: LET'S TAKE PHOTOS TOGETHER!! A professional portrait and celebrity portrait photographer for over 15 years, I've taught photography and I lecture at colleges. If you are in -- or can come to New York City, let's walk around, 1 on 1, and take photos together! You can ask me for technical, creative, and / or business advice while we shoot. (This offer is for two hours of collaboration, but if you'd like to arrange for more time for an additional donation, we can.)

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    2 backers

    REVISED BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE: I'LL TAKE YOUR FAMILY PORTRAIT... OR ACTOR'S HEADSHOT... OR PERSONAL PORTRAIT... OR CORPORATE HEADSHOT... OR COUPLES PORTRAIT! We will spend 2 hours together at the location(s) of your choosing. You'll get high quality, retouched images on disc, perfect for printing or posting, plus 2 FREE 8x10 prints of your choice for framing. If it's a gift, I'll send you a BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED CERTIFICATE GOOD FOR "ONE PORTRAIT SESSION" to present to the recipient. (This deal at this price is offered to people based within 30 miles of New York City. If you live further away, please contact me about options -- we can work something out.)

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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    SUGAR MOMMA: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YOUR FAMILY! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be followed around by your own private photographer? This is your chance! I'll stick with your family for a full day, at your beck and call documenting the fabulous (and mundane and fascinating and poignant and beautiful) aspects of your family's life! This offer is also good for an individual or a couple. We'll spend six hours together during which time I'll capture what makes your life unique. You'll receive at least 200 (but likely more) varied images on disc, perfect for printing or posting, plus 2 8x10 PRINTS of the images of your choice. PLUS you'll receive a copy of the book MOMMA LOVE with a personalized dedication. (This deal at this price is offered to people based within 30 miles of New York City. If you live further away, please contact me about options. We can work something out!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)