1. Is breastfeeding photography a real thing?
YES! 1000 times yes.
I know you either haven’t seen very much information about it OR have never seen it before at all. That’s because breastfeeding is only VERY recently becoming normalized and valued again amongst the general population. There was a lengthy period of time where breastfeeding was considered inappropriate to talk about and was even discouraged. Thankfully the world is reacquainting itself with the beauty, importance, and NORMALITY of breastfeeding.
My personal motherhood journey and my breastfeeding relationship with my sweet daughter was the eye opener for me. Breastfeeding was such a big part of our lives for her early years – and I wanted to forever remember that beautiful relationship. I want you to have those memories too!
Think about it mama – we photograph all the important relationships in our lives – wedding photographs, maternity sessions, newborn photography, milestone sessions of our babies, family photography, extended family sessions, even pet sessions. Why leave out one of the most precious and short-lived relationships of our motherhood journey?! The breastfeeding bond between a mother and her baby is SO beautiful. It also goes by in the blink of an eye. Breastfeeding photography is one of the very best ways to honor that beautiful relationship and turn those sweet memories into photographs that you AND you’re children will treasure in 20 years when this season seems like a lifetime ago.
2. Should I do it? Why?
So many mamas call me and say “I saw one of your breastfeeding photographs. It’s so beautiful and I’ve never really seen breastfeeding photography before. My breastfeeding relationship with my baby is so important to me…but I feel strange about investing in this instead of a full family session…”
My answer? DON’T PUT LIMITS ON YOUR MEMORIES. If this relationship is important to you – take pictures of it.
This season of life goes by so fast. For some mamas it lasts a few days. For some mamas it lasts a few years. Then babies grow up and life gets busy and memories of early childhood grow a bit foggy.
Never feel guilty for prioritizing the beautiful relationships in your life. There is room for family photography, newborn pictures, photographs of you and your significant other, and photographs of your cute dog.
Whether you take the pictures yourself, or schedule a session with me – breastfeeding photography is definitely something you should do.
3. I’m self conscious – will my boobs be showing?
Your session will be exactly what you want it to be mama. If you always nurse with a cover, feel self conscious about showing skin, and want to commemorate this beautiful relationship in a very conservative way – we’ll design your session to do that.
If you nurse anywhere and everywhere, love photographs you’ve seen of mamas holding their babies skin to skin, and are comfortable showing more skin in your session – we’ll design your breastfeeding photography session to reflect that.
In short – your boobs will only be out if you want them to be!
4. What is the location for a session like this? Is it private?
Breastfeeding photography can take place literally anywhere – but most commonly mamas choose to have their session either in the quiet privacy of their home OR in one of my open field locations.
Either way – we’ll make sure that the location is private and comfortable.
5. What do I wear?
Please don’t stress about this one! We’ll design your wardrobe TOGETHER during our design appointment (whether that takes place at a coffee shop or over the phone).
You’ll have a list of favorite brands that photograph well, access to my pinterest board full of outfit ideas for you and your baby, and my personal guidance and recommendations throughout the process.
If you really want to start getting some ideas – click here to see my What To Wear blog post!
6. How old should my baby be?
Your baby is the perfect age no matter what. Newborn? Let’s do it. 6 months old? Let’s do it. Toddler? Let’s do it.
I’m an advocate of full term breastfeeding, so I’m ready to photograph your beautiful breastfeeding relationship at any point in your breastfeeding journey.
7. What if my baby is bottle fed?
Let’s design a session for you.
No matter how you feed your baby – it’s beautiful and deserves to be honored.
8. What if my baby gets distracted and won’t nurse?
This is similar to mamas worrying that their newborn will cry during their newborn session, or that their 2 year old will act up during a family session.
Mama we’ll make it work and it will be gorgeous.
First of all – Out of EVERY SINGLE BREASTFEEDING PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION I’ve EVER done – I’ve never seen a baby refuse to nurse for the entire session. Almost always – boobs + baby = baby nursing. Even if your baby only nurses for a minute or two – we’ll photograph those beautiful moments – and then flow with the needs of your baby and photograph whatever he/she needs, whether it’s bonding cuddles with mommy, playful tickles, or a bouncing walk around our location.
If your baby DOES refuse to nurse altogether for any reason – we’ll plan out the best course of action together. Either we’ll photograph a gorgeous bonding session of the two of you loving on each other, or we’ll reschedule for a time and place that is more conducive to your baby feeling happy and comfortable nursing.
9. Will other people see these? Do you post them online?
This is 100% up to you. If you feel comfortable with me posting your photographs – I would love to. If you don’t want to show your photographs to the world for ANY reason – I won’t publish them online. That decision is yours.
10. What do I do with the pictures?
So many options!
Mamas often worry that breastfeeding photography is too intimate and personal to frame on the walls of their homes like they would family photography. If that’s you – that’s totally ok! Some favorite products for breastfeeding photography sessions include: a locket with two of your favorite images inside, a velvet album to hold all the precious images from your session, and stunning glass keepsake box containing your favorite prints that can be placed on a bookshelf, a coffee table, or saved away for memory keeping.
Ashley Erin West – Currently Booking Summer + Fall 2020
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Family and Motherhood Photographer based in Nashville, TN and serving the Middle Tennessee area – offering:
Maternity Sessions, Fresh 48 Sessions, Newborn Sessions, Breastfeeding Sessions, Milestone Sessions, Family Sessions, & More.
Nashville Motherhood Photographer