Nourish Me Mini Sessions 2017
I've worked with this family before - last time it was at the Vanier Sugar Bush with their oldest son, another time at Petrie, and this time it was at the Byward Market with their youngest. It was so fun to meet this little guy and see his Mom again for a feeding photoshoot.
I asked Mom to tell me a bit about her experience and why she chose to have a session like this one.
Why have breastfeeding photos? What do they mean to you?
I had been following my favourite Ottawa photographers hoping they would offer breastfeeding mini-sessions so I could also get some done with my second. Luckily - you did! After the experience with my first breastfeeding photos, I knew I wanted to capture some pictures of me feeding my little guy, particularly because he's (most likely) the last baby I'll have.
For both babies, there were two main reasons I wanted to get breastfeeding photos done. The first is that I found breastfeeding to be so intense - the feeling of connection and watching my babies grow and thrive from something that my body was giving them - gave me a sense of awe and wonder. (Neither of my boys ever took to the bottle even though I tried! I'm sensitive to moms that can't or choose not to breastfeed so I don't want to make it seem like I think it's better that I did. It's just what worked for me/us.) I wanted to remember the feeling of holding them, of how they "fit" in my arms, of how "nice" it was - even if it wasn't "nice" all the time. The second reason is that I developed Bell's Palsy (half of my face was paralyzed) a week before my first was born. I didn't and don't have a lot of pictures of me that I like since then. I'm also the family photographer - my husband doesn't take pictures much (he comes by it honestly). So I wanted some "good" pictures of me with my baby, just being a mom. Not posed. Not rigid. Just natural.
The pictures capture all of that. One of my favourite pictures of my firstborn and me is one from my first nursing photo session. This time, too, captured me interacting with my youngest in a way that was natural for us. So it's not just the breastfeeding, but the entire way of interacting that was captured in these mini-sessions. The closeness. The easiness. The cuddling before they're old enough to either not fit well or not want to be cuddled. They are not necessarily pictures I will print and frame and put on the wall. But they are very important pictures to me. And I hope, someday, to them too. (Though they'll be adults before they realize how special the pictures are!)
Tell me about your baby's personality. Do you have a favourite image from your session? What about it makes it your favourite?
Unfortunately M was not in a good mood during our mini session. He was tired and just not feeling it. In most of the pictures he is very serious. There is only one picture that captures his amazing, winning, smile - and my "exposure" makes it not fit for general viewing! But...even that is okay. While the pictures will jog memories of all the hours I spent holding him (how lucky I am!) and cuddling and nursing him, his expression will remind me of all the times I did when it wasn't fun and games. When he wasn't feeling his best. When he needed extra cuddles "just because". Of the quiet way cuddling or breastfeeding could help him cope or feel better or whatever, because we were close.
I love the one with his smile - because it's his normal, happy self. And it reminds me how he pops off and plays when he's happy. It captures his curiosity - he is FOREVER popping off if he hears something or thinks something interesting might be happening just behind him. :) But I also like the one of him by himself, facing the camera, looking so serious. He rarely shows that side - or we rarely capture it because it's usually gone in a flash. But he is VERY observant and always watching and learning and figuring things out. And I think that one just captures it. But then I also like the one where he's pulling the strings of my shirt because he does that a lot too.
Are you looking for a way to capture moments of your feeding relationship with your baby or toddler? Breathe In Photography offers indoor and outdoor mini sessions year-round all over Ottawa.