Ali Smith has been a ballet dancer and a recording and touring musician, but it’s in her role as professional photographer that she explores and shares her passion and interest in the value and quality of the lives of women. Just in time for Mother’s Day, her latest book, Momma Love, How the Mother Half Lives, presents an inspiring collection of portraits of women who are living and experiencing the daily truths of modern motherhood.

Ali’s first book, Laws of the Bandit Queens: Words to Live by from 35 of Today’s Most Revolutionary Women, features portraits of and interviews with strong, groundbreaking women, who succeeded while challenging and questioning society’s conventional standards. Momma Love carries the same spirit into the motherhood realm.

The 40 women, whose images and deeply personal and moving stories are featured in Momma Love, give us an honest depiction of the daily motherhood experience, one that isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. The women candidly share their innermost thoughts, fears, conflicts and the undeniable love they feel for their children and for themselves as mothers.

Gloria Steinem says “Ali Smith has given us a gift with Momma Love; a fresh, eye-opening manifestation of motherhood’s contemporary realities.”

The featured portraits capture some incredibly raw moments. Women included in the book range from Oscar nominated actress Amy Ryan, who discusses parenting in an image and youth obsessed Hollywood, to Diana Colbert, who had leukemia and was figuring out how to parent her toddler while faced with her own impending death. Becoming a mother herself during the years while creating the book, Ali also shares her own realities of motherhood.


Amy Ryan & Daughter – © Ali Smith


Diana Colbert and Daughter © Ali Smith

Momma Love has been a labor of love for Ali. After working on the book off and on for twelve years, she signed a deal with a publisher that suddenly folded and took the money she had contributed towards the book’s production with it. Undeterred by the unforeseen circumstances, Ali took matters into her own hands, and with the support of Gloria Steinem and the group MomsRising, she launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of self publishing the book. And we are so glad that she did!

Already a runaway hit with readers, Momma Love is receiving critical acclaim in the book publishing industry, having just been awarded the silver medal in the Women’s Issues category of the Independent Book Publishers Awards.

Ali sums it all up: “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.”

More about Ali Smith

AliSmith_headshotAli has been profiled on the Oxygen Network and in New York magazine, and has had her work featured and reviewed in a variety of publications. She has also shown her work at the International Center of Photography, New York University, Alfred University and Barnes & Noble. She enjoys teaching photography to teenage girls, and has volunteered, taking family portraits at a shelter for homeless teenage mothers.

You can order your copy of Momma Love here.