Crushing on: Christie MacLean’s “Ghost Mother” Pet Portraits


GGC Issue 4 contributor (see: “Bukonzo Joint”) and Portland-based photographer, Christie MacLean, has a new photo project we’re pretty enamored with. Based on Victorian era “Ghost Mother” portraits: a uniquely odd type of photography owed to low emulsion sensitivity and lengthy exposure times–it was nearly impossible to capture a child sitting still. So the 19th century work around was to “hide” the mothers behind fabric, rugs, chairs to comfort the child and attempt to hold them still. 

Christie’s modern take on the “Ghost Mother” photos:

“I’ve been wanting to do a pet portrait project for some time now but wasn’t quite sure how to proceed until I started looking at ghost mother photography and realized this was a great way to capture not only the pet, but the relationship between the pet and owner.”

Christie is a New Englander at heart but lives on the West Coast. She is a photographer that never has a properly working camera. She is always scheming up new travel plans, looking for swim spots and drinking coffee with friends. 

Check out more of her work over at @christiemaclean and