The bond between a mother and her daughter is one of the most profound human connections to exist. They understand each other’s emotions better than anybody else. Mothers and Daughters exist as oblique mirrors of each other.

Minha Querida depicts the powerful bond created between a mother and her daughter and the impact they have on each other. I cannot think of anyone who I relate to more closely; my mom is a part of me and who I am. All my life, I have been told that I am just like my Mom but to me, we have many differences that make us the individuals we are. This series celebrates the ways in which my Mom influences my life while still exploring what makes us unique.

“Minha Querida” means “My Dear” in Portuguese using the feminine conjugation that the English language does not have. The title captures the essence of womanhood within the title itself, a prominent theme carried throughout the series. Minha Querida captures the dynamic within a Mother-Daughter relationship that speaks to womanhood on an intimate and generational level.

Minha Querida is meant to highlight the importance of those relationships you share unconditional love with. Unconditional love is like an infallible trust and sense of safety that is a powerful and precious thing to share with another person. It is these types of relationships that ground us in the times when we are lost. This series is an appreciation of these relationships where love is being offered freely.


I understand that the relationship you have with your mother is very strong. Can you talk about how it changed or developed throughout your life?

When I was little, my mom was my teacher and caretaker. I looked up to her as an all-knowing person who had the answers to everything. As we get older, we evolve more and more in our independence until we don’t need them anymore, but the bond with my mom has only gotten stronger over the years.

Now that I am older and have become more independent, my mom is still my teacher, but also my best friend. She understands me better than anyone; she is my rock. What is different now is that both of us are learning from one another and we both have grown in ways that were only achievable by having each other in our lives.

The relationship I have with her now is undoubtedly different from when I was a kid, but it is because we went through so many phases in our lives that this bond has changed and strengthened. I’m sure it will continue to change as more time passes.

What choices were you making with your very intimate and raw aesthetic choices?

Considering the nature of this project, I knew I wanted it to include self-portraiture in the early stages of the process. I knew that by using my relationship with my mom to create this idea, I would allow myself to do it in the most meaningful way possible.

I wanted our closeness to translate into the images. I also wanted it to be clear that the series was portraying a strong bond between a mother and daughter. I started by making a long list of keywords such as vulnerability, connection, family, etc., and then used them to inspire me on how and what I would photograph.

I kept the tones of each image warm and bright so that it could maintain that sense of home and comfort. I paid close attention to how I would interact with my mom in the images and what we did when we were individually photographed. To me, the small decisions influence the potential of a photographic series.

Which images were the hardest to take in terms of how personal they felt?

Thankfully, both my mom and I are comfortable in front of the camera so that allows for flexibility with my creative decisions. However, the hardest and most personal image to take would have to be the one where my mom is holding me in her arms like a baby. Although we have no issue with physical touch, I have never been held like that by her, at least not in many years. I’m an adult now, so it felt awkward. My mom didn’t care at all, she was totally fine.

I needed that photo to not feel rushed and stiff. So what we did was we slowed down, took our time, and laughed a little, which ultimately allowed me to relax and accept that it is for the sake of art. It’s funny now because that image ended up being very important to me in its representation and contribution to the rest of the series.

How long have you been exploring this specific narrative? 

This project is sort of a continuation of another series I created in my second year that related to the theme of family. In the last semester of my third year, I began to consider this concept as a potential topic for my fourth-year thesis. I wanted it to be about something not only that I’m passionate about but also that is a part of who I am. Because of this, I ultimately picked the most personal, significant topic I could choose; my relationship with my mom.

Where do you see this project going moving forward? Will it inspire new ones or is it something you will continue to explore over time?

I am happy with the state in which the series is in right now. But considering its topic, it could certainly grow with me as time goes on. Right now, it is about unconditional love and the bond between a mother and a daughter. But as time progresses, we will get older, and gain new experiences, and my relationship with her will continue to change. Who knows! Maybe one day, I will be a mother. Because of this, how I perceive this topic will also change meaning it could one hundred percent evolve with me as I go through life. That is exactly what I plan to do with it, too. If I feel inspired to continue it, I will, but for now, with the form it holds as of today, I am satisfied with where it is at.


Sabrina Dewes is a Latina-Canadian photographer and visual storyteller based in Toronto. Her work is known for exploring themes of identity, human experience and fashion, showcasing a deep appreciation for portraiture and narrative visualization. Sabrina uses photography as an outlet for self-expression and creative thinking to capture her ideas and perception of the world around her. Through her lens, she intends to display her passion and creativity of the world in hopes that it will resonate with people alike and conjure inspiration.