A beautiful new project normalising the incredible act of breastfeeding
Supporting the breastfeeding community
Award-winning and published photographer Laura Parkin loves using film (and especially vintage cameras) and has a beautiful, raw, organic look across her work. She very rarely poses people and instead aims to catch the most natural, wonderful moments.
Towards the end of 2020, she decided that she wanted to focus more on motherhood as a photographic subject as the past 5 years with her own two children had just been so incredible. This led her to photograph a fair few breastfeeding sessions and the response from mothers and the photographic community was immense. Laura says that she has had ‘so many people tell [her] about their own experiences (both good and bad) of breastfeeding.’
“Leading on from these sessions I discovered just how much education is needed around the subject- there is still a lot of a taboo about seeing women feeding their children, especially in photography and in public. It is now at the point where Instagram bans accounts for it and I actually experienced a ‘shadow ban’ because I was sharing breastfeeding images which showed female nipples (male nipples continue to be shown freely without consequence however?). Unfortunately Instagram throws breastfeeding images in with ‘intimate’ and pornographic ones if any nipple is on show (which is incredibly insulting and demeaning to my work).”
She now has an ongoing project, inviting women to be photographed feeding their babies/children in her studio in Northleach and on location in the surrounding areas. It not only helps support the breastfeeding community by normalising it, it also points out the outdated and misogynistic societal flaws associated with breastfeeding.
As well as featuring the incredible images on her website, Laura also setup an instagram account to use as a ‘safe space’ for photographers to showcase their uncensored breastfeeding images (it’s wonderful for discovering motherhood photographers as well). She says “think of it as a sacrificial account, if there is a shadow ban then we take the brunt of it. Not only that but it is a great platform to protest the censorship of breastfeeding from.”
Shortly after setting it up Kade Bailey approached Laura about her project and Laura asked her to come and help moderate the instagram account. The formidable pair now have Hannah Bracher-Smith joining them too.
These women are all incredible artists, so please make sure you take a look at their work on their websites and on Instagram.