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North america

Supply the Love: North America/Mexico Part 1

Supply the Love: North America/Mexico Part 1

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Jenny in North America/Mexico

Mother, Me (Part 1)


Project Overview:

Mother, Me is a storytelling project in collaboration with young mothers in North America (most
recently taking place in Northern New Jersey and Mexico City). Supply the Love has generously
supplied instant film and cameras for the young mother participants to take home portraits of
themselves and their newborns. This is the first in a of two blog posts from the Mother, Me

Dispatch #1:
“Do you want to listen to Ariana Grande or Beyonce while you give birth?”

Cheyenne (1) shakes her head no with a small smile in response. She is holding her house mate Alicia’s sleeping 5 month year-old daughter while Alicia and I help her curate a birthing playlist
of music for the delivery room. Cheyenne is both days away from her due date and her 18th
birthday. Both Alicia and Cheyenne are residents of Zoe’s Place—a residence program designed
to provide safe housing for pregnant teen moms and their children.

In the United States more than half of the teenage girls who bear children never graduate high
school, and less than two percent earn a college degree by the age of 30. Recently funding
programs for teen pregnancy prevention, support and research has been significantly reduced
nationwide (2). When Alicia was pregnant with her daughter she was still in high school and
needed help. “I was looking for help, and I learned about the Zoe Place’s program from a
counselor at school,” she says. “I met with the staff and they helped me finish school and get a
job. I always have wanted to be a nurse.” Alicia recently earned a certificate as a medical
assistant and has a part-time job. She is saving up for a car and apartment and making plans to
live on her own with her daughter.


Originally as a Lewis Hine Fellow (3), I got to know and share photography with the young mothers support group at Zoe’s Place. The tight-knit group consists of both past and former Zoe’s Place residents. In addition to providing a safe place to live, Zoe’s Place staff offer comprehensive child care and assistance programs like the young mother’s group in order to meet the critical need for education, parenting skills and support services that will enable the teens to become self-sufficient in the long term.

In addition to making a instant photograph portrait of each of the young women and child, we collectively look at different photographs related to motherhood and/or photographed by mothers. One of the photo books we worked at during this particular workshop was Latoya Ruby Frazier’s book The Notion of Family.

We were looking at a photograph in the book titled, Mom Relaxing My Hair in which the
photographer and her mother gaze intently into a vanity mirror as her mother does her hair.
One of the group members starts flipping through her phone while we are talking about the
photograph. I worry that she has lost interest until she shoves the flip phone in my face
giggling. I look at the phone screen and see a reminiscent photograph of her braiding a young
girl’s hair in front of a large mirror, who she goes on to explain to me is her sister. I love how a photograph can make us look both outward and inward, cultivating human
connections and common ground in the process.

I see this reflected in the young women’s faces when they hold their instant photograph portrait, watching as it develops. In more than one case, I’m told this is the first printed photograph of themselves with their child they possess. I am immensely grateful to Supply the Love for the opportunity to connect with these young women and their children through instant photography.


(1) names have been changed to protect privacy of participants