Mariah Maddox: A Mother and Visual Storyteller

Mariah Maddox is a photographer and writer. When she became a mother, her creativity began to focus on motherhood. She uses photography to understand her emotions as a new mom and portray the experiences of other mothers.  


Mariah’s goal is to create a visual archive of the experience of motherhood. While she also does traditional, posed photo shoots, she truly enjoys capturing moments of ordinary life. Her images tell a story.  Her style has been described as whimsical, emotional, moving and evoking.

She feels that “oftentimes when we think about motherhood and photography, we think of beautifully posed photos, but you don’t see the raw, gritty images.”

Even more so, with social media, moms compare themselves to families who have a certain lifestyle and look a certain way. Mariah wants her work to be relatable and to help mothers feel less alone. 

Her photography often features mothers and children of color. She explains, she “wants them to have a platform for their experiences to be told in a beautiful way.” 


Mariah decided to invite some mothers and children to get together for a photo shoot because she was lonely as a new mom. The mothers expressed a need to get together regularly, so Mariah started “The Motherhood Gatherings”. Members meet at local parks or find an activity to do together. Anyone interested in going to a gathering can find information on the The Motherhood Gatherings Facebook page. 


Mariah has written a book that is a collection of poetry and prose, which is available on Amazon. “Beckoning of the Wind: An Ode to Motherhood” describes the intimate journey of becoming a mother. 

She also writes two Substack newsletters. One, “Motherness”,  focuses specifically on motherhood. She combines “Mother” and “Wilderness” in the title because, as a first- time mom, she said, “I felt like I was out in the wilderness. I felt like I was alone. I felt like I was finding my way.” 

Q & A with Mariah Maddox

What do you want to tell new mothers based on your experience? 

They’re not alone, to reach out and find community. 

Who is your favorite writer? 

Alexandra Elle because she writes about healing intergenerational pain and healing to provide a better future for your children. 

What is your favorite thing to do with your son in Toledo? 

Going to the park. He loves being outdoors, running around free. His favorite park is Wildwood Metropark because of the playground. 

You have lived in Toledo since you were 12 years old. What do you love about living here?

I love the artistry and the creativity that is in Toledo, if you look for it. 

What do you like to do besides photography and writing? 

I don’t have a green thumb, but I am trying to get into gardening. I also play guitar. 

What is something unique about yourself?

I am from a family of 11. 

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

I would like to be traveling the world, studying and photographing mothers with their children in different communities and cultures. 

Find Mariah Maddox’s work on: 

Instagram @milkandmuseco

Facebook Milk & Muse


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