Winky Lewis usually gets you with the eyes. There’s brightness and joy in the eyes of the people she photographs. There’s sadness, too, and sometimes just emptiness. But whatever’s there lurking, Lewis finds it.

Lewis, 49, has been making photographs for as long as she can remember. Growing up, she made pictures of her family and her siblings. Now that she’s a mom with three kids at home, she mostly shoots her kids, their games and the lives they lead in the West End of Portland and on Isle au Haut, where the family spends its summers. She calls the island “a photographer’s paradise” with its wash of color, moody vegetation and boundless horizons. But what makes it compelling for Lewis is the effect of the island on children: They become free-range kids, wild in their play and endless imaginations.

She has made it her life’s work to capture the moments and moods of growing up.

In April, Down East Books will publish a collaboration with her friend and West End neighbor, the writer Susan Conley. “Stop Here. This Is the Place.” is a West End mother’s journal. Lewis took photos of the neighborhood and shared them with Conley, who reacted to the photos with her writing. Lewis has two sons and a daughter, and Conley has two sons. The book freezes 52 moments of childhood over one year, one moment at a time. In a stressful life of sports, school and work, “Stop Here” forces us to pause. The book is as much about motherhood as it is about childhood.

Lewis was the middle child of three, with older and younger brothers. They lived an idyllic life in the countryside of Maryland, until their mom got sick when Lewis was 8. When she was 13, her brother built her a darkroom. Photography was a way to cope. She studied photography at Princeton University and worked commercially in New York after graduating.

She and her husband moved to Maine in 2001 and began raising a family. She stopped working to raise her kids, but didn’t stop taking pictures.

The book is her coming-out party. She’s never shown her work in a gallery and has mostly shared her photos among friends on social media, to positive response and encouragement.

“What I am doing now reminds me of my own childhood,” she said. “I catch things. I’m good at catching moments.”