When my baby was a baby I did my best at the time to breastfeed her and did so with formula supplements for about 8 months. I never would breastfeed in public though. I wasn't particularly modest, I just never thought it was good. I was also living in South Carolina and driving a car with no air condition during most of those 8 months so retreating to my car wasn't a viable option either.
There was one particular incident. I was about 25 minutes from home and without formula for some reason. I can still hear her crying as I drove her home to feed her. She is 15 now.
It wasn't until just a few years ago when I began doing birth work and spending time with other birth workers that I began seeing ladies breastfeed their babies whenever and wherever the baby needed to eat. Oh. How neat. You can do that. You should do that. I wish I had thought of that...
This got me thinking about my own experience and wondering if I had seen ladies nursing throughout my life if I would have been able to avoid a hungry crying baby that day and had an easier time with breastfeeding in general.
All of that was the impetus for me to start a breastfeeding photo project local to Richmond, VA. I am in the process of collecting photographs of at least 100 moms nursing in public around Richmond. Once I have them all they will be displayed together somewhere that I hope the next generation of moms sees it. My hope is that the large number of pictures will invoke a sense that a lot of people do this (nurse in public) and that it is okay and acceptable to do this.
So far I have 50 pictures. Here is a picture of the pictures that I have collected so far
This is almost 3 years of taking pictures and halfway to the next phase of compiling them and finding a place where young ladies will see them.
I am pleased with what I have so far but I do want more of a variety of skin color and ethnicities. For the time being I am only photographing African American and Asian breastfeeders so that the finished piece will be something that all young ladies may relate to.
This is what I am offering breastfeeding models: Allow me to photograph you nursing in public. The location is your choice. I am hoping to get you feeding somewhere "distinctively Richmond" I also want you to sign a model release. In exchange I will do a short 20 minute mini-session that is the style of your choice and deliver 5-8 developed images to you via email or CD. No exchange of money, just awesomeness :)
Please help me find my last 50 breastfeeders. Please pass this post along to any African American or Asian moms who you know that may be willing to participate. They can contact me here to make arrangements. Thank-you for helping me connect with the people that can change perspective for the next generation of moms.