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Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to take breastfeeding photographs

Being married to a photographer has perks. Naima's growing up years have been very well chronicled. Among the top photographs that Stan took which I will really cherish are Naima and my breastfeeding photographs, taken from when she was still a newborn to a couple of weeks ago. We have an array of photos showing Naima in different ages but all breastfeeding. I believe it is important to preserve these intimate moments between mother and child and I look forward to the day when I will share them with Naima.
My husband's studio, The Stork Studio is focused on taking classic baby and children photography and they've been getting more and more requests for breastfeeding photographs. After having attended several lactation consults with me, I'm happy to say that Stan is sometimes able to give his breastfeeding mom clients lactation advice :) That is a pretty unique combination for sure (photographer with lactation tips for free!)
Anyway, I've been after Stan to share his tips on taking breastfeeding photographs. I also found an article which shares tips from Dez Murad, an Australian photographer. Here are some of the tips I compiled from Dez Murad and from my husband, Stanley S. Ong.
  • First, make sure the baby is ready to nurse (but not super hungry) and is not otherwise bothered by wet or dirty diapers.
  • Of course, a professional best knows how to achieve the perfect lighting and pose, but you can also take your breastfeeding photographs at home.
    • Choose natural lighting -- use sunlight and pose by a window.
    • Interact with your baby while breastfeeding (hold your baby's hand, touch her face).
  • You need not bare your breast to take a breastfeeding photograph. Much like nursing in public, you can practice in front of the mirror to see how to much of your breast can be seen when you do a certain pose.
  • If you are looking for a professional photographer to take the photo, contact someone who specializes in either pregnancy photos or baby portraits.
  • Schedule your shoot when your nursing relationship has been established e.g. you've learned how to latch your baby and position her and at a time when your baby/toddler is not cranky.
    • Sessions (whether at home or studio) should not be rushed and a professional baby/children's photographer would know this.
    • When shooting with a professional, discuss the type of photograph you would like and how much of your body you would like to expose.
It is important that the breastfeeding mom is comfortable with the idea of being photographed nursing and feels comfortable with the photographer. In Stan's experience, sometimes moms don't want him to photograph them nursing so his female partner, Ia Genato, takes over. Phone, text or e-mail discussions with your photographer is important so both of you know what to expect from the session.
I feel that it is really important to document this precious moment between mother and nursling. Breastfeeding is the best gift a mom can give to her baby and capturing these moments would make for a priceless memento which your child can treasure when s/he grows up.

1 comment:

Melodie said...

What a wonderful post idea. Kudos to your husband!

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