Breastfeeding pin-up challenges society's view on naked mums
A happy coincidence has seen Lower Hutt photographer, Jane Nelson, win a top award for her depiction of a breastfeeding mother the same week breastfeeding was being celebrated around the world.
The image (above) earned a Silver in the 2015 New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers’ Iris Awards in Queenstown.
But Jane, a mother of two, says the image is not just about breastfeeding. She wanted to address society’s view on post-partum bodies in all their beauty and with their perceived flaws.
Model Stella Mackey says she jumped at the chance to be photographed with son Cooper when Jane put a call out for breastfeeding-mums with recent post-partum bodies.
“It was a scary prospect knowing that while Jane was going to take some amazing photos that Photoshop was not going to be a big feature.
“Pregnancy and birth changed a whole lot of things and to be honest I'm still getting used to them. I will probably never like my stretch marks and I don't have to like them either, I'll just get used to them. Am I completely happy with my new body? Not really but I'm the only one who can change that both physically and mentally, and I'm okay with that.
“I say screw what society thinks, what your friends or family think. Being a mum is super hard work, being a woman is hard work and the only person you have to please with your body is you."
“Who knew I could breastfeed on one leg, in heels, half naked, carrying a crate of glass milk bottles? But here I am deifying the odds,” Stella laughs.
The breastfeeding image of Stella and Cooper is one of seven photographs Jane entered in the Iris Awards, five of which have scored silver and one won bronze.
Jane Nelson runs Photography by Jane, a portrait photography business out of her Belmont home, in Wellington, New Zealand. She is an award winning NZIPP qualified portrait photographer. See more of Jane's work at www.photographybyjane.co.nz
World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week runs the first week of August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
World Breastfeeding Week commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Photo credit: Photography by Jane
Published 13 August, 2015