Of the entire spectrum of human relationships, the mother-daughter connection can be one of the most multifaceted and – for the daughters – defining. American photographer Molly Matalon (born 1991) – who we recently featured in our list of photographers to follow on Tumblr – has been working on a series devoted to her cheerful mother, using a mix of portraits and still lifes to make a portrayal of her and her lifestyle. The series is simply called Mom.
Hello Molly, thank you for this interview. What are your main interests as a photographer?
To get the shot.
Your series Mom is a portrayal of your mother in her daily life. What is she like?
My mom is a makeup artist and esthetician. She is about a foot shorter than I am, and I am not very tall to begin with. She loves to cook, she is the loudest one in the room usually. She’s funny and quick witted, sassy but caring. She’s a Sagittarius. She loves to entertain. She gets her hair done professionally on a regular basis. She loves pigs and cheetah print and finding deals.
Judging from the portraits of you on your website and Tumblr, you look a lot like your mother, but you seem to have a different personality. What are you like, and how is your relationship with your mother?
We do look alike! People always think we are sisters and I think that’s how I would explain our relationship, it’s less mother/daughter and more sister/best friend. She calls me to gossip about her mom, my grandma. I think we are still trying to build our relationship, we we never close when I was growing up, I had a bumpy childhood.
What am I like? I am pretty quiet upon first meeting me, but I have a big personality. I am a Virgo. I am really sarcastic and blunt. I am also very observant and analytical – I spend a lot of time in my head.
Why did you decide to make a project about your mother?
I wanted to unpack and restructure our relationship and think more about women.
What did your mother say of the final work?
I’m still trying to make it all come together, but she is excited about it. I mean, it’s all about her and I think it’s pretty positive.
Your previous works are also focused on people you know well – your friends, as well as yourself. What is photography for you? What do you use it for?
I like to use photography as a tool to get to know someone. Photography is also fun, I think people tend to forget that. That’s why so many people “are photographers these days”.
We think not enough people even realize that they can enjoy photography just like they enjoy films or music, and not necessarily as photographers but simply as viewers. What would you tell these people to pique their interest in photography?
Just freaking try it out, gosh!
If you could change or improve one thing about the photography industry, what would it be?
We should be hiring people who relate to the subject they’re shooting. More lady photographers shooting ladies, more people of color shooting people of color. Instead of hiring the easy well-known photographer we should be taking risks and give people chances, and absolutely no more pictures of homeless people!!
Do you have any other passion besides photography?
I really like food and beauty/skincare stuff and plants, but they definitely are not as big a passion as making pictures.
Choose your #threewordsforphotography.
Truth. Lie. Ideal.