Portrait: Leah

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

Adelaide is my second child. Nursing has been such an incredible and unique experience with both of my children and it is painfully clear to me how fleeting this time is. I would love to memorialize the moment for myself personally while contributing to a movement to make breastfeeding more acceptable and less controversial.

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

It is such a powerful thing for mother and baby to share, and so beneficial to both.

#NormalizetheFeed

Portrait: Gladys

This is me, your photographer, nursing my youngest and last of three boys.  I feel that it’s only appropriate that I not only participate in my own project, but kick it off.  I was inspired to do this project by the conversation that was already happening in the world and being branded with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding.  As a mother of three, breastfeeding quickly became a non-issue.  I was just doing what I needed to keep my babies happy and healthy.  After my first hospital birth, I quickly relinquished most of my sense of modesty when it came to my breasts with nurses, lactation consultants, and doctors coming and going, helping me learn how to get baby to latch, or checking to make sure we were doing it right. I was grateful to be able to do what I know not all mothers can for whatever the reason, and shame was not part of the equation for me.

After seeing more and more stories about mothers being shamed for discretely nursing their child in public, or being criticized for boldly doing so; and seeing stories about models and politicians unabashedly nursing on magazine covers or on the lawmaking floor, I decided that I needed to add to the conversation.  I needed to create images that show breastfeeding as the relationship of nourishing, nurturing, and bonding between mother and child.  I have had a strong participant response and look forward to bringing the images of these mommas and their little ones as I photograph them and share their feelings about breastfeeding and their motivations for participating.

So on this, the first day of International Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, I bring to you the first image in the Normalize the Feed portrait project.

#NormalizetheFeed

First four shoots scheduled!

I’m happy to announce that the first 4 photo shoots have been scheduled.  I’m very excited to capture the images and stories of these brave mommas!  There’s still plenty of opportunity to participate.  If you’re interested in participating, please visit the previous post Project Model Call to submit your information and I will get back to you asap with more details!

Project Model Call

I’m looking for nursing mommas in the SF Bay Area who are interested in participating by sitting for a portrait of you nursing your little one. In exchange for your time and model release, I will deliver as a thank you, a digital copy of your portrait to cherish and remember this special time in your relationship with your child.

 

Normalize the Feed: A Portrait Project by The Naked Artisan Photography

As a human animal, it is the most natural of things for a mother to take her hungry infant to breast for nourishment and comfort.  In modern America, our hypersexualized, post-Puritanical culture has villainized female sexuality, and declared it improper and immoral for breasts to be seen.  This has left mothers the target of condemnation, disgust, and ridicule for doing what they were meant to do: feed and nourish their hungry, precious babies.  There is nothing inherently sexual about nursing a baby, and thus there is nothing that should be considered shocking or offensive, yet women are criticized, judged and expected to hide themselves when they are only trying to feed their babies the most perfect food created for them from nature’s perfect delivery system.   
 
In a society where it is more acceptable to see a woman’s breasts on a movie or television screen than nursing a baby in public, the time has come to reclaim the breast for it’s original purpose within Western consciousness.  It’s time to remove the stigmatization assigned to breastfeeding.  It is silly that our society expect mothers, and the new lives they are trying to nourish, to go through ridiculous measures to protect others from witnessing the wholesome, nourishing, and comforting act of breastfeeding.  
 
This project was inspired by the #NormalizeBreastfeeding conversation.  As a mother who happily breastfed her three children, I want to help alter the perception of breastfeeding by creating portraits of women nursing their children.  I want to keep the conversation alive and challenge the notion that breastfeeding is vulgar and scandalous by showing what it really looks like.  I want to remove the stigma by highlighting the truth of the matter: breastfeeding is about mothers nourishing and bonding with their children in this mutually beneficial biological exchange.  Breastfeeding is not shameful.  It is not obscene.  It’s beautiful and natural and I want celebrate this special time for mother and child one portrait at a time.  
 
#NormalizeTheFeed

Newborns-209_c