Stunning photos of mums and their children around the world show the beauty of motherhood

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother, her son, and their alpaca pose for a photo in Cuzco, Peru.
  • The relationship between a mother and her child is hard to put into words.
  • Photographer Pascal Mannaerts trekked the globe to capture motherhood, resulting in the aptly named series “Mums of the World.”

Belgian-born photographer Pascal Mannaerts sought to capture the bond between mother and child in his series “Mums of the World.”

For more than 10 years, Mannaerts has travelled around the world documenting motherhood by photographing women and their children.

Keep scrolling to see some of the most striking photos from his series.


Mannaerts discovered his love for photography when he was a student.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother dressed in traditional clothing poses with her son on the streets of Porto-Novo in Benin.

Mannaerts was also passionate about travelling.


But it wasn’t until a trip to India in 2000 that Mannaerts decided to start documenting his travels.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsPuja and her two sons stand near the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, India.

It was this trip that made Mannaerts realise how much he enjoyed exploring Asia.


Since then, Mannaerts has travelled to close to 50 countries for various photography projects.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother and her son wear thanaka — a powder made of wood and water that’s used for makeup or sun protection — in Rangoon, Myanmar.

In total, Mannaerts has visited around 80 countries.


He told INSIDER that all the photos from his travels share an overarching theme.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsViviana and her son Che live in a house in Havana, Cuba, with 54 other families.

“In the process of total immersion in every culture I discover, I place the human being as the main focus in my photographic work,” Mannaerts said.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother and her daughter enjoy posing during an afternoon in Maruyama Park in Kyoto, Japan.

He said his photos tend to “open dialogues and arouse emotions and questions.”


After meeting a number of mothers and their children throughout his travels, Mannaerts was inspired to start photographing them.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsMannaerts met this mum and her son while travelling to a monastery in Ladakh, India — a place that is nicknamed ‘Little Tibet.’

This mum and her son live in India’s Indus Valley in a small home made of mud and bricks.


The resulting series took over a decade to put together.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsWhile travelling in Brazil, Mannaerts stayed with Lucila and her son Gabriel (pictured above), as well as Lucile’s husband, Isaias.

Mannaerts said he was working on multiple other projects during this time as well.


He photographed mothers in places that ranged from Sapa, Vietnam…

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsThis mother and her child are part of one of Vietnam’s main ethnic groups, the Black Hmong.

Many of the mothers in this region of Vietnam carry their children on their backs as they walk into town.


… to Harran, Turkey.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother and her son outside of their home in Harran in Southeastern Turkey.

Mannaerts’ favourite photo from the series features a mother kissing her son during a tribe gathering in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsMannaerts enjoyed watching this mother play with her son during a tribal gathering.

Mannaerts told INSIDER he has a large copy of the photo hanging in his apartment in Brussels.


Mannaerts’ goal for the series is simple. “I simply want to show the beauty of motherhood, its universality all around the world, and the richness of its apparent differences.”

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother and her daughter in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

He told INSIDER the photos are all about “humanity and emotion.”


He told INSIDER that most of the mothers he met during his travels were happy to pose.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsMannaerts described capturing this mother and her child at 7 a.m. in Pushkar, India, as ‘a moment of total magic and mystery.’

Mannaerts said that only a few mothers refused.


Some even asked to be photographed after seeing Mannaerts’ camera.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsMannaerts came across this mum and her child walking through the Gorges of Todra in Tinerhir, Morocco.

He said they felt proud to pose with their children.


Mannaerts said he felt good documenting the mothers. “When a mother poses with her child, happiness radiates automatically.”

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother and her son bathe in the holy waters of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

He told INSIDER he also felt a sense of pride, love, and grace coming from the mothers he photographed.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mum and her son in Yuanyang, China.

“Looking at these pictures afterwards, I also feel something very strong — an undeniable beauty and a powerful force that shines bright, all naturally,” Mannaerts told INSIDER.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsMannaerts captioned this photo ‘a moment of eternity.’ It was taken in Bhaktapur, Nepal.

Mannaerts recently published a book of his photography and said he plans to continue his work for years to come. “It’s only the beginning,” Mannaerts said of the photos on his website.

Courtesy of Pascal MannaertsA mother and her daughter walk in Khiva, a city located along the ancient Silk Road in Uzbekistan.

Mannaerts’ book Parchemins d’ailleurs” is available on Amazon and showcases photographs he’s taken over the past 15 years.

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