A Family Session | Dori, Adam, Noah

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I snapped these images of Dori and Adam, with sweet Noah, on the brink of the end of one chapter of motherhood and the start of another. The decision of when to ween a breastfed child is so individual, the signs of such different for everyone.

Just the other month we were out to lunch when I took Sonny into the restroom to breastfeed; the distractions at the table proving too much these days for his little wild grabby hands to settle down long enough to get him to latch. Another mom walked in and said, “aw, you shouldn’t have to do that in here”, insinuating that I was in there for privacy reasons instead of trapping a child that’s not as interested in nursing as I’d like him to be sometimes. After explaining this, she said, “maybe it’s time to start weening him”. The words stung because, well, at that time I was not ready to stop nursing. And truthfully, I knew it was just a phase he was going through.

My sessions with Dori and Adam are always natural, centered around conversation first and shooting second; which is truthfully how I prefer to shoot. We talked about the plan to ween and it was evident in how often he made his way back to her breast that Noah was aware of the plan, too.

The closing of some chapters of motherhood are more painful than others. Even when we know we’re making the best decision for us, there are always seeds of doubt, always a grieving period even when the decision is within our control.

So much love to Dori, Adam, and Noah for inviting me in to capture the end of this chapter. Wishing you guys the best on the pages that have yet to be written.

Past sessions with Dori can be viewed here, here, and here

A Mother & Child Session, with Dori Varga

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Anytime I get to catch up with Dori is time well spent. The last time I photographed her and Noah together was when Noah was just a few months shy of one year old and now, nearly a year later, on the brink of his second year. It’s always a privilege to capture the relationship between mother and child, even more so the second time around; the juxtaposition with the year prior showing the growth of not only a growing little human, but also in the roles of mother and child. The way she speaks to him in her native Hungarian, the way he asks to breastfeed and the way she plays with his toes while he does.

You can check out past sessions with Dori by clicking here and here. And you can check out Tribe de Mama, which she founded, by clicking here.

Interested in hiring me for a session? Email me: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com.

An interview with Dori Varga, builder of Tribe de Mama

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Some time ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Dori Varga, the beauty behind Tribe de Mama. I have been meaning to interview her here every since. Sometimes I get bored with the monotony that seems to have claimed much of social media and the blog world today; but there’s always a silver lining and Tribe de Mama, for me, is part of that silver lining. I love the sense of community and support that flows from Dori’s personal feed as well as from the Tribe de Mama feed; a place where women, all women, can go and feel united and invited. In any event, I thought some of you might be interested in learning more about Tribe de Mama. I’m also stoked to be able to share some more images from our shoot way back when because, well, it’s one of my all time favorites. With no further adieu, here’s Dori…TheStork&TheBeanstalkPhotography-4 TheStork&TheBeanstalkPhotography-6

What prompted you to start TRIBE de MAMA and how did it come about?

The creation and birth of Noah inspired me to get deeper, to dig deeper. Inside me, and outside me. Not a shock as I was doing all I could to prepare for an unmedicated birth, I had to tear all the walls and bullshit down that I had built up ever since childhood.

When the idea came to me I was already in the transition from an art blog to a blog which features artist women, with a specific focus on interviewing mothers who create art. I was, and am still, fascinated by the transformation of the feminine creativity when the mind and soul goes from maiden to mother. Such a special exploration!

Once Noah was born it was clear that I was on a mission, and that is to help to empower women, to inspire women, to help those looking for sisterhood, and to be a bridge between healers and those who seek healing. The rest organically flowed, and is still evolving.

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I’ve noticed gatherings taking place all around the world. Do you have a hand in organizing each of these gatherings? Where have you held gatherings thus far?

Yes, we indeed have events around the world; we have had women come together as TRIBE de MAMA in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Hungary, but our main playground still remains within the US.
Anyone can become an organizer, once they agree to follow our core values; creating a judgment free, safe space, where a loving and empathic sisterhood is gathered.

We make a difference between three types of events an organizer is able to create: gatherings, workshops, and women’s circles. For the latter we are currently creating the protocol.

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What are the gatherings like? What takes place at each gathering?

It depends on what kind of event we are talking about. A gathering can be a picnic, an organized hike, a class or lecture, a movie screening; really the list is infinite. What defines them all is that these events are free for anyone to attend and that they are all infused with our core values.

Can you speak to the power of women coming together? I think it’s such a beautiful thing, something our society really needs more of.

I absolutely agree.

I first felt the undeniable “girl power” while becoming a big Spice Girls fan when I was a young girl. My main attraction to this group was the way they celebrated unity in diversity. Five ladies, all very different, yet equal, best friends, creating sisterhood. Each of them representing an aspect of the woman, the goddess. I always thought whoever created that idea was a fucking genius! They must have had very similar ideas about women and ‘the future is feminine’ movement, as so many of us today.

Since then just the representation has changed, the main feelings stayed in me. I am obsessed with the empowerment and connecting of women. I believe that when we come together to celebrate life, to support one another, to inspire and uplift each other, we are raising the vibration of humanity and the entire planet. Through putting our hearts and minds together in a circle of trust and consciousness, we are creating a better future for our children. All you have to do is focus on your closest connections; your mother, your sister, your daughter, your daughter’s friends, your neighbor, her sister and friends, and so on. Your local village is the most important place for the work. Truly living the love, and fully embracing mindfulness and a generally peaceful lifestyle while nurturing our local, conscious, sisterhood is first. A sisterhood of equality and free of judgment.
I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to connect with likeminded women in real life, and for those sisters we created TRIBE de MAMA. To be all that I mentioned already: support, encouragement, inspiration, a safe place to turn to.

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Are most of the participants in TRIBE de MAMA mothers?

Mmm… Good question. I know that the word ‘mama’ confuses some, but we are not only for mothers. This expression is a hint for the nurturing aspect of the woman. This community is a place for anyone who identifies as a woman.

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Where do you see TRIBE de MAMA headed in the next 5 years?

You are not the first one to ask me this… I have no idea. Truly. Just in the first year we have built so much! But things seem to be slowing down a bit. I like to let the community lead the way, and organically set us up for what is to come. Let the ladies decide what they need most, and serve them. I am here to serve.

I look at TRIBE de MAMA as community first, then as a magazine. The community building part is what stands closer to my heart. I have been dreaming of working together with women on a global level for a long time.

Currently we are putting together the protocol needed to initiate official facilitators to hold space for TRIBE de MAMA. I am just starting to work together with Alison Love, shamanic healer, artist, and practiced women’s circle facilitator. She is one of my main co-creators who is helping me create a fresh system, proper guidelines, and a badass marketing and action plan to reach and help as many sisters as we can through our events.

A big part of our community building is the TRIBE FAMILY GATHERING, which we held for the first time in Joshua Tree last Halloween weekend. It was a powerful three days of about 60 men, women, and children. We held workshops, different healing circles, had the most talented holistic chef cook for us, built bonfires, played music, created art. Involving the partners of the TRIBE de MAMA girls was epic. From what I heard, saw, and felt, these men were changed and have been ever since. The brother circle and its work is just as important as the women’s; there is a deep need coming from men to gather and connect on the soul level at this time of life. My lover, Adam, heard this calling, and said yes to it. I am so proud of him for creating such magic for others to heal and grow. The entire weekend was just an amazing and profound experience for all of us that we decided to gather the tribe twice a year. Our next TRIBE FAMILY GATHERING will be in late September. This time we will open the doors for up to 120 sisters and brothers, and from now on we will be keeping to this number. Our aim is to keep the intimacy of the gathering, to truly recreate the feeling of the village.

On the other end, there is our magazine.  We are currently moving from a monthly to a seasonal format, as well as a professional online magazine layout. The website is being renewed as well; so we will be back online with our first seasonal issue, REBIRTH, being released at the end of January.
Since the start I have been aiming for a platform where the movers and makers of the feminine power can join forces and spread their wisdom and message. After a year, I finally feel like we have the team we have been looking for to make this dream come true.
My main assistants are Kristen Coleford, as Production Manager and Creative Co-Creator and Alison Love as Creative Co-Creator. Vanessa Perger as Editor in Chief is an amazing expert of written words, while Erin Erickson is helping her as Editor, and has been one of the main tribe girls ever since the beginning.
We are creating a lifestyle magazine for women of all ages, colors, cultures, and sexual orientations. Our mission is to bring a mindful, holistic, and spiritual approach into the everyday life through these pages, offering suggestions for our rituals in all aspects of life. You will find health and wellness pieces, as well as travel, fiction, interviews, photo journals, storytelling, empowering, informative, and other narrative articles. Our contributor group is also growing; currently we are working with about 60 women globally on the written content. There are another 30 women internationally who create art for us, to make the magazine an artistically valuable platform as well. Alexa Pique is my Art Curator with an amazing taste and voice, which keeps the creative juice flowing. We are co creating TRIBE de MAMA’s side project Kunstblitz together where we explore “Consciously Curated Art to Inspire the Feminine Heart”. Art is still a passion of mine, and I wouldn’t be able to give it up for a second. Connecting with people through paintings and photographs is such a deep way of learning of one another’s soul. I found some of the closest sisters around me through connecting through sharing art with each other.

Besides these parts, we have opened our own BooKlub as well on Facebook, led by beautiful sister KC Brezina, and which will be holding virtual meetings over the phone starting in the new year. The books KC has in mind for our community are truly beautiful readings to inspire the feminine mind and soul.

Lastly, we are also about to launch the TRIBE de MAMA Fundraising Collective with the lead of Ines Tucakovic and Stepha Lawson. Our mission is to support different organizations helping women, mothers, expecting women, or young girls in need, and to raise awareness within our community of the difficult situations of the woman living on our planet. My longterm plan is to build our TdM Fundraising Collective into a legit fundraiser organization, which will be able to co create with volunteer workers and serve the women in need. My biggest dream will come true when this happens.

My hope is that in the upcoming years we will truly be able to create a more diverse community, not only for ourselves but for the world. Each part of TRIBE de MAMA is serving this idea. My continuous aim is for us to clearly communicate that we are open to anyone, and to create an inviting and comforting space for women to join us from all around the globe.

Thank you, Dori, for your time. Again, you can find Dori & Tribe de Mama on instagram @dorideer | @tribedemama and on the web here.tribedemama