Breastfeeding Portrait Sessions
Choose to celebrate Breastfeeding and play your part in going one step further to accelerate the normalisation of Breastfeeding in NI.
It might have been a natural and easy for you to breastfeed, or it could have been challenging, painful, exhausting....and now you've finally overcome the challenges and it's a special time you adore.
Your journey and story is unique. Mark this time with beautiful photos to look back on.
Normalising and Celebrating Breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Portraits are a brand new session I’m offering, inspired by the ‘Through The Glass’ portrait series I did to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of interest shown in one week, showing that there is a real need for this service for breastfeeding mothers in NI. While I was documenting these beautiful moments, and hearing the Mums’ stories about their challenges and journey to breastfeed their baby, it really fired me up! I think a lot of women look at the blissful contentment and apparent ease of a mother nursing her child, but don’t always realise the hear the difficult back story. It’s important for me to share words from each of the mothers with their photo to educate and encourage other mothers who need the support.
These portrait sessions are not only my way to show my support for the movement to normalise breastfeeding, but also to provide beautiful images to Mums in acknowledgement and celebration of the hard journey they’ve made to breastfeed their child.
“Breastfeeding Photography isn’t just the latest trend, it is a way to promote and normalize breastfeeding. Photographs have a powerful impact in our current day and time. With the use of technology, a photo can reach millions of people. What better way to spread our message of acceptance for breastfeeding than with beautiful portraits?”
Why book a Breastfeeding Portrait Session?
For me, offering the service of documenting Breastfeeding, is a natural progression from my Birth and Newborn Photography. A couple of the Mums I photographed said how they felt that breastfeeding was one part of motherhood they could really celebrate following difficult pregnancies and births.
Everyone has a unique reason for booking this session, but all the parents will receive beautiful, candid, timeless photos to treasure. A snapshot preserving this time of connection between them and their baby. For some parents, the photos may be documenting the end of this phase in their lives. Perhaps having decided to have no more children, the photos will have an added value.
I want all parents to feel included and be represented on my social media pages and my website; breastfeeding Mums, Mums who pump to bottle feed or via NG tube, parents bottle feeding from milk donor donations, chest-feeding parents. If you aren't visible on my pages, I want to hear from you! I'm offering pro-bono portrait sessions for parents that aren't yet represented on my website.
Where do you hold Breastfeeding Portrait Sessions?
Your Breastfeeding Portrait Session can take place in your home or on location. For my 'Just Born' sessions, I love photographing in the home rather than a studio for many, many reasons, but the top reason is that I want these photos to be full of memories and home is where your everyday memories are made and where you first really bond with your new baby. Children tend to be more relaxed and everything you might need is accessible. I generally recommend the room with the biggest windows for your session, to let all the natural light in.
Tip! If you're taking your own photos, position yourself in front of the biggest window in the house. If it's a sunny day, move in a little from the direct light. If it's overcast or cloudy, get as close to the window as you can. Soft, natural light is the best! My 'Through the Glass' series shows you how good facing the natural light is!
I am obsessed with other photographers' location breastfeeding shoots! We are spoilt for choice with natural beauty in Ireland and I'd love to photograph you in your favourite beauty spot. As part of my usual session fee, I will travel to any location within an hour of Helens Bay. Any further, please ask anyway! I'll do my best to co-ordinate with other enquiries, or request a small additional travel fee to compensate for the extra time involved.
What is a photoshoot with you like?
There are no formal poses, fake smiles or pose checklists in front of my camera. Your Breastfeeding Portrait Session is all about documenting you doing your thing. We’ll chat and get to know each other, and let your little one feel comfortable and relaxed. Know that you don’t need to perform in any way in front of my camera. Think about it like having a friend round for a chat, and that friend has a really nice camera and loves documenting breastfeeding from a professional and celebratory perspective.
For newborns and younger babies (and older babies who are milk monsters), you'll know if your baby will always latch on a feed when offered your breast. We will schedule the session however fits best for you. For older babes who are feeding on demand, we’ll plan around their usual breastfeeding schedule. Even if they are more interested in playing and chatting, and only nurse for a few minutes, I’ll be at the ready to shoot away at different angles, taking in all the details for you to have saved forever. I’ll take photos of you and your child cuddling, playing and enjoying this time together. The most important thing I want you to have is a great experience. Feel confident, comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. That way I’ll get gold for you!
As a parent, you’ll know that there’s no way to force a child to do anything they don’t want to do! So we’ll just go with the flow and follow their cues. If you have any special hints or insider info for me to have in my back-pocket, that’s always a help to get shy little ones on side. Maybe their favourite song, if they love peek-a-boo (what kid doesn't love a bit of peek-a-boo?!) or little game I could play.
You don’t really need to bring anything to the shoot. No need for props, but I do recommend having your child’s favourite toy, blanket, or any other item that is used for comfort and soothing. Snacks, water / juice, baby wipes and a change of clothes nearby are always useful too. But I think that's a part of every parents' everyday never-leave-the-house-without-kit! A back-up change of top or dress for Mum is a good idea, just incase.
I love to get a few photos of your baby nude to take in all the gorgeousness like chunky thighs, or dimply bums. This is high risk, but with high risk comes high reward! A towel and change of clothes are a good back-up if nature goes against us.
What to wear
In terms of what to wear, the outfits you choose for your session are one of the most important factors in your photos. Not only do they play a huge role in the visual aspect of the photos, but whether or not your child feels comfortable has a huge effect on their mood and energy. This is should be at the top of your mind when picking their outfit. A comfortable child is a happy child.
1) Choose pastels, earphones and neutrals.
These types of colours work best with your newborn and baby's skin tones. If you are both wearing a neutral palette, it keeps the focus on your connection and expressions, rather than attention being drawn to your outfits. If your shoot is on location, it's likely we'll be somewhere beautiful in the natural world and this palette will compliment rather than compete.
2) Coordinate colours, but don't over-match.
Earth tones, pastels or light neutrals will have the best results on camera and give your photos a cohesive look without being "too matchy matchy."
3) Add accessories for interest and layers for texture.
I love seeing a baby reach up while nursing to hold onto a necklace that you know has sentimental value or holds meaning for a Mum. With newborns who need to be swaddled for comfort and warmth, blankets which complete and have a different texture add beautiful visual interest to your photos.
What not to wear
Avoid saturated colours
Avoid crazy patterns
Avoid fashion fads
But, if everything above is your style. You do you! I'm here to celebrate you and tell your story.
The number of Mums I've spoken to who regret not having any photos, or any good quality photos of them breastfeeding is a big motivation for me to get the word out. I hope that this type of portrait session becomes widely offered by photographers throughout Ireland, so that all breastfeeding Mums have these special photos to look back on. But for now, I'll start with you!