A Love Note for Mother’s Day


My mother had a great deal

of trouble with me, but

I think she enjoyed it.

Mark Twain


One of my great pleasures in photographing women is hearing about their life journeys and the remarkable people who have blessed their path.  For Mother’s Day, this extraordinary Powerful Goddess graciously shares:

When I was five years old, my parents’ divorce left my mother in dire financial straits, yet I never heard her complain or say anything negative or prejudiced about anyone. She accepted my lifestyle choices through the 60’s/70’s including those that pushed far beyond limits even for today’s parents. At 15, I wanted to join a cabaret act because nothing makes me happier than performing so she let me use her clothes and makeup and looked the other way. And that was just the beginning of my storied adventures!

She loved the latest fashions, hot pants, go go boots, gowns, etc. While she took my brother clothes shopping at discount stores, she went out of her way to take me to fancier boutiques because she knew how much I loved beautiful things.

My mom is an extraordinary human being, truly a great beauty inside and out, caring, charming, stylish.  Her heart is huge and she loves beyond the unconditional. I love speaking to her freely about my life and problems, including matters I would never reveal to friends.  Thank you so much, Mom, for loving me for who I am, imperfections and all!  You are my life’s greatest blessing and I am eternally grateful!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your love for your favorite woman on this earth.  And make your Mother’s Day happy!



Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947



Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Ala Anna Karenina

My mother never breastfed me–

she said she only

liked me as a friend.

Rodney Dangerfield


While I admire Anna Karenina’s fashion sense, I stand on the opposite side of the tracks in my belief that there is absolutely no man worth dying for. But for a daughter who is joy and beauty inside and out? Let’s talk…

This Powerful Goddess dedicates her portraits to her mom and best friend, the woman who chose 8 months of bed rest when doctors foretold that with her advanced age and history of miscarriage, she would never carry a baby to term. Certainly not the first (nor last) underestimation of a woman’s courage to choose life, yes?

In this Anna Karenina inspired concept to honor her Russian heritage, this Powerful Goddess proudly wears her mother’s green eyes and a touch of her Asian features.  With her mother’s elegant hands, she writes, “My mom taught me to be kind, honest, and caring, to value life and family above all. I never keep secrets from her knowing that she doesn’t judge and will always be supportive. She gave me the ability to see beauty wherever I go. I admire her tenderness and strength, her wisdom, and her naiveté in loving fully and giving generously. I owe her my life and so much more. I love, you, Mama!”

Sniff, sniff! May all our daughters be as appreciative of us…

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share what you love best about the woman who chose life for you.

Happiest Mother’s Day to all and the Happiest Birthday Ever to my gorgeous Anna Karenina!








Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947



Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Valley of Amazement


If evolution really worked,

how come mothers only have two hands?

Milton Berle



For Mother’s Day, this Powerful Goddess honors her mother’s Asian heritage. With features that take more after her father’s, something about her eyes suggests barely a whisper of her Eastern roots.  We found an ancient screen and ceramic stool as a simple backdrop for her robe and chopstick.  I adore photographs that look like old paintings!  I also imagine Vivien, the heroine of mixed heritage in Amy Tan’s latest novel, Valley of Amazement, must have been as beautiful as this.

Valley of Amazement has mixed reviews for being long-winded and predictable. With its countless peaks and valleys, how many mother daughter relationships can really be told succinctly?  Fewer still are those relationships that don’t defy prediction. For who among us can see beyond the wisdom of our years, no matter whatever age?  

This Mother’s day, because I’m in the valley of feeling grossly outnumbered by three teens–each flexing his/her own wings of wanna-be-adult independence minus the responsibilities that come with it–I vow to laugh more knowing that every year that passes is one year closer to being amazed and possibly hearing them say, “OMG, mom was right after all!” A few other funnies on motherhood I wish I wrote:

My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it. –Buddy Hackett

Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. –Ambrose Bierce

A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. -Peter De Vries

Living with a teen is like living with the Taliban: a mom is not allowed to laugh, sing, dance or wear short skirts. –Kathy Lette

The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant—and let the air out of the tires. -Dorothy Parker

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them. –Phyllis Diller

Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them. My mother cleans them. –Rita Rudner

The phrase “working mother” is redundant. -Jane Sellman

When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway. -Erma Bombeck

I was dating a transvestite, and my mother said, ‘Marry him. You’ll double your wardrobe. –Joan Rivers

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what’s amazing (or at least what makes you laugh) about motherhood.






© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947



Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Beautiful Promise

Like charity,

I believe glamour

should begin at home.

Loretta Young

beautiful carole kind on broadway

Two house seats and a backstage tour of Beautiful-The Carole King Musical

Though my teens may disagree and take the opportunity for granted, I value education as the path to a better future.  For the less privileged, giving children a chance at such a future eases the lives of the women who raise them.  So for Mother’s Day this year, let’s make it easy to surprise ourselves and our mom by bidding on the array of unique gift ideas on auction to support The Promise Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underserved children with learning disabilities.

A glamour portrait party for you, your mom, and/or girlfriends are among the fabulous gifts you can choose from on Charity Buzz’s online auction to benefit the Promise Project.  Below are a few other exciting offers.  

A live silent auction happens on May 6th, 2014 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, but don’t be shy about bidding online until May 13th. Thank you so much for empowering women, making children feel loved, and do tweet, share, pin, instagram your favorite picks!


Lunch with Nicole Miller and take home a look from her new collection


Two Tickets to the Spring 2015 Fashion Shows of Carolina Herrera or Badgley Mischka at New York Mercedez Benz Fashion Week this September


Two nights in a Club Level King Suite at The Prescott Hotel in San Francisco plus dinner at Postrio Restaurant

Jet Blue Airbus A320NEO neo

Two round trip Jet Blue tickets to fly anywhere in the US


Sharon Birke

201 697 1947



Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Many Thanks, Many Mothers

 There is no way to be a perfect mother,

and a million ways to be a good one.

Jill Churchill

These photos of 5 generations of mothers are mere copies of photocopies, their originals lost to the gods of posterity.  In the first, I’m the screaming baby on my elegant mother’s lap and, in the second, I’m the chubby new mom showing off her firstborn to her 104 year old great grandmother.   These thin slips of paper are priceless treasures, photography’s unrivaled power to bear witness to our journey of growth.  I am thankful for the many women who have helped get me to where I am today with their love, example, and counterexample.  It all works and it’s all good!

My grandma taught me that gratitude is the key to happiness, my myriad talents are worth exploring without apology, funny is in the irony, and today IS the special occasion for my best dishes.  She taught me to be generous with praise towards myself when others can’t, to forgive and choose to put my attention on what I want more of.

My mom taught me to mind my own business and give advice only when asked, to celebrate myself instead of waiting for others to do so, to have my own money, to speak well of my husband and to be present for my kids.  And if I can’t be the mother they want, that’s ok, too.  One of life’s greatest gifts is that we all get the mother we need.

My aunts, my sister, my friends teach me the pleasures of love without obligation, to bring joy where I am and to welcome more of those who remind me of my fabulousness when I forget, to explore possibilities that thrill my heart, to respect other people’s choices because acceptance and breathing room feed the soul.

My daughter teaches me that no one’s ever too young to want to mother, no one’s ever too old for mothering, and no matter what else I do for my kids, I hope they see that in mothering myself they, too, are the first reliable guardians and mothers of their own happiness.

Happy Mom, Happy Wife, Happy Life!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share with us:  How do you mother yourself well?  


Let’s celebrate what you love about your life today!

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


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