What is a Breastfeeding Portrait Session?
First things first, maybe this is the first time you’ve heard of a portrait session specifically focused on documenting the special time between you and your little one as you breastfeed.
A Breastfeeding Portrait Session is exactly as described. If you haven’t seen beautiful portraits of mothers celebrating this stage of their motherhood journey, you need to, right now! Keep scrolling for a few photos, then get onto Instagram or Pinterest. Prepare to fall into a beautiful breastfeeding rabbit hole!
For too long, mothers have nursed with their little ones covered underneath a muslin cloth for ‘modesty’, or even having to leave the room to feel comfortable, nursing in bathrooms, going to another room to breastfeed, away from friends or family who perhaps feel uncomfortable or awkward.
For too long, mothers have nursed with their little ones covered underneath a muslin cloth for ‘modesty’, or even having to leave the room to feel comfortable…
A time to celebrate
Thankfully, there is a big movement to Normalise and Celebrate breastfeeding. A Breastfeeding Portrait Session is part of that movement. A photoshoot capturing you in all your beauty doing the most natural thing in the world; giving your little one all the nutrition and comfort they need. The shoot should include portraits, as well as close-ups of the little details you will want to remember. How they reach up to play with your necklace, touch (or pull!) your hair, their gaze up to you as they nurse.
These photos are primarily for you to treasure a time that often flies by in a sleep-deprived haze! But they can play a bigger part in the movement to Normalise and Celebrate. Social media is a powerful tool, and by sharing these images, along with a little of your story, you can support and encourage other mothers who are perhaps struggling on their breastfeeding journey. Maybe a future Mum who is isolated and doesn’t personally have the support of a breastfeeding peer.
It’s more than a pretty photo
Most Mums don’t find breastfeeding easy. They’ve overcome challenges such as tongue-tie, mastitis, blocked milk ducts, sleep deprivation of cluster feeding, reflux and more. A portrait session of you calmly nursing your little one is going to be something you’ll treasure forever. It’s more than a pretty photo, it documents an incredibly special time between you and your baby.
It’s more than a pretty photo, it documents an incredibly special time between you and your baby.
A number of Mums choose to have a Breastfeeding Portrait Session as they had a tough pregnancy and traumatic birth. Breastfeeding has been the first part of their journey as a Mother which they have felt proud of. These photos will be a celebration of your determination as a mother and all you’ve been through to get to this point.
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.
Below I have some suggestions for outfits, but the single most important tip I can give you is to always place comfort as the top of your priority when picking out your little one’s outfit. A comfortable child is a happy child.
I love photos with the baby nudie to show their chunky arms, legs and back rolls. It’s beautiful when Mum feels comfortable with more skin out to photograph skin-to-skin nursing and a more intimate portrait. I have only shot one Mum like this and would love to create more photographs in this style, so don’t be shy!
1. Choose pastels, earth tones and neutrals.
2. Coordinate colours, but don’t over-match.
3. Add layers for texture and accessories for interest.
Different textures of fabric in your clothing create interest. Necklaces, bracelets, etc add an extra little touch to an outfit and translate really well in photos.
4. Discrete, partial covered or all-natural with skin out.
Think about how much or little skin you want in your portraits and plan your outfit with that in mind. If you want to show minimal skin in your portrait, wear a high necked top with a vest underneath to lift up to breastfeed.
What not to wear
-Avoid saturated colours
-Avoid crazy patterns
-Avoid fashion fads
This article was originally published in Belfast Birth Photography. You can read the full article here.