A series of portraits of women. All women in whatever stage of life they are in.
My vision for this came about when I was scrolling insta and seeing so much perfection, so much pressure on women to be a certain way.
In December last year I dyed my hair for the last time. It has been so freeing just being myself. Yes it was awkward growing it out and embracing the grey but it was really liberating to accept me as me.
So I decided I wanted to document women as they are. No fancy clothes, no gimmicks just them.
Behind every portrait is a story. A story that should be heard, a woman who should be seen.
My first sessions are breastfeeding mothers. I decided this as my starting point as it was world breastfeeding week and I wanted to give back to those mothers who helped me in my breastfeeding story in a round about way. My breast-feeding journey begun nearly 12 years go when my first son was born. I went on to feed all 3 of my boys, my eldest till 18months, and my other 2 till over 2. It was HARD, exhausting, time consuming, it hurt, did I say how exhausted I was and it was totally magical also. Over the years I have learnt through talking to other mothers who breastfeed, even if its for just one day or 100 days, we all tried our best.
Mothering is tough and we all have to do whats right for us as a human being. As long as your baby is loved and fed thats all that matters. Having that support from other breastfeeding mothers helped me continue. So I hope this can inspire someone who may be having it tough.
I had a full day of beautiful amazing women flowing through my studio. They had so many stories to tell and I can only hope I documented them true to themselves.
These portraits are for them and all the women to see how glorious we are.
Thank you to each of you who helped get my project off the ground. Without you I would have never started.
I cant wait to document more strong women.
Lily & Indi
I have been breastfeeding for 15 months now. I never thought I’d make it this far but I see how much Indi loves it, takes comfort in the fact that it’s her little safe net and how healthy she is. The only thing I can honestly say I don’t love about breastfeeding is now she has teeth and bites down occasionally. What I love about breastfeeding is when she looks up at me and smiles, she’s happy and knows I’ve got her in those moments as if nothing bad could ever happen if she just stays in my arms feeding.
A'teha & A'shiah
I have been feeding for 18 months. I love breastfeeding...I love the bond I feel with my daughter from it I love that it can feed her, comfort her, help her when she’s sick or teething. I love watching her eyes gaze up at me whilst feeding with an adoring look of contentment. I love that it gives us quiet moments together away from the noise of the world. I love that I know how incredible the benefit of it is not only for Shi but myself. I don’t love the judgment, the stigma the comments of how easy breastfeeding mums have it because we don’t have to sterilise bottles etc because breastfeeding comes with its own sacrifices like all nighters! I’ve been asked to turn around and face a wall whilst feeding, I’ve had dirty looks, head shakes been made to feel uncomfortable numerous times and that has been the worse part for me about feeding knowing I’m doing the right thing but people trying to make me feel like it’s wrong.
Liz & Amelia
I have been feeding her for nearly 23 months I love feeding her because I know that what she is having is good for her and exactly what she needs. Also I know that when she has hurt herself then boobies makes her all better x
Amber & Mia and Lachy
I have been feeding them just over 11 months (1 on the 5th sept). I love the look they give me every time I feed them! But most of all.. I love how playful they are when they feed ( they like to feed while standing/bending over with their bums up in the air). Very entertaining to watch. They also hold hands while they feed together. It's very special. There isn't anything I don't like about feeding. It was hard at the start.. . But glad I kept on going through those hard times.
Alana & Arya
I have been exclusively breastfeeding my daughter Arya for 12 months today. She was amazing at it from the start. I definitely credit the success of our breastfeeding journey down to her knowing what to do & what she wanted, not me, I was so clueless at the start. I feel so blessed to have been lucky enough to be able to breastfeed my babe for so long with minimal issues. I know so many mummas struggle for so many reasons and am so thankful our journey has been a fairly smooth one. Much respect & admiration to the expressing, mix & formula feeding mummas - they are truly hero’s in my eyes. I will be starting back at work very soon and am hoping I will still be able to continue to feed mornings, nights & weekends but know this might be the start of the end of our journey. Looking back at all the (very) many sleepless nights, sore cracked, blistered nipples & endless hours stuck sitting - it was all sooo worth it. She’s Amazing. And I pray the bond we’ve created lasts our lifetime 💕
Hailey & Piper
We have breastfed from the start but she's my second and I breastfed my first daughter for 10-11 months. I love breastfeeding and am so pleased I've been able provide my babies with the benefits and comfort that or brings but it doesn't come easy to me. I struggle with vasospasms so learning to breastfeed in winter with both babies had been really difficult for me. Both girls had tongue and lip ties which made it harder again. I've wanted to give up both times but managed to get through the toughest part and stick with it. The first time things came good just in time. The second time, my partner helped me remember that the shit times pass and that I love breastfeeding once I make it through the first 6-8 weeks so that helped me persist. Bloody tough journey for me which makes me appreciate the breastfeeding experience so much more once wet make it through. But once the tough times pass, my babies and I love sharing breastfeeding and my partner loves that I can offer the natural nourishment to our girls when they after most vulnerable.
Peta & Kylo
Been breastfeeding for 13months. I love the cuddles and special bond it has created between us. Also, how you just forced to stop and relax for a while. I don’t dislike anything about it. Maybe just the time he bit me.
Bree & Carly
She is my first beautiful baby and we have been breastfeeding for 5 months and hope to stretch that out above a year if all goes as planned.
Some things I love about breastfeeding is the bond I have with my daughter, it is unbreakable. The way I have something that soothes her that no one else has with her makes me really feel so special to her. My favourite feeds are the ones in the dark hours of the night, when I pick Carly up and she holds onto me so tightly cuddling her boobie likes it’s her world! My favourite time.
Something that is hard about feeding I struggled to believe in my supply, not seeing exactly how much she was eating when I was a new mum really gave me anxiety, I always doubted myself and stressed she wasn’t getting enough. A few months down the track watching her grow and put pound after pound on my trust in my body has gotten SO much stronger!
Sarah & Jace
I’ve been feeding my son for 9 months so far, and my daughter fed for 18 months. So collectively I’ve breastfed for 2 years and 3 months. I love the bonding, and being able to soothe my child when they’re upset or sick. It’s always a fail safe when it comes to calming my children. I love when they look up at me lovingly as they feed, and slowly fall asleep in my arms. As for what I don’t like... I can’t say I disliked it at all while feeding my daughter, but my son has been a much tougher journey. He isn’t interested in a dummy, so being the one thing that can calm him can be very draining. Not to mention uncomfortable when he just wants to comfort suck for hours on end.
Michelle & Charlie and Thomas
Thomas & Charlie were born at exactly 34 weeks. They were in the SCN for 11 days & fed through a NG tube up until our first tandem feed at 7 days old. At 5 weeks I got mastitis really badly & my supply dropped big time so we relied on top ups of donor milk.
We’ve been very lucky & the boys haven’t had any nipple confusion, thank goodness.
They are now thriving almost 11 month old boys & I don’t even think they are even nearly ready to wean.
Our first goal was 3 months, then 6 & I desperately wanted to get them to 12 months.. well we are almost there!
Kristy & Jett
I have been breastfeeding for over 3 years I stopped feeding my girl when jett was born and started with jett.
I LOVE it, I was very lucky in the fact that breastfeeding was very easy no issues nothing making it hard. No plans on stopping either
Louise & Eli
I’ve been feeding for over 3.5 years (4.5 months of those tandem feeding) and will probably continue until my son self weans. Breastfeeding is definitely challenging and whilst I know it helps give my children the best start to life, I wishy son wouldn’t wake so frequently at night to feed haha. All in all I haven’t had too many challenges with breastfeeding and I’m excited to have one of children breastfeeding captured on camera.
Kaylene & Isaiah
I have been feeding my son since his birth 4 weeks ago. I love feeding him as the connection is absolutely amazing, but unfortunately, my supply wasn't great and within 2 weeks, he only gained 65 grams. After trying all the fancy breastfeeding cookies and drinking tons of water, my supply still wasnt enough to fill him, so i had to supplement with formula. I eventually found peace with giving him formula, as any mother would, I was devastated I couldn't feed my baby, but knowing it was helping him gain weight, I was happy. He gained just under 450 grams in a week and a half just by having 3-4 bottle of formula a day. I plan on continuing breastfeeding as long as my supply lets me.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, I hope this will lift my sprits about breastfeeding and with my next child, I can try again xx
Preya & Leena