Taking a break and getting straight to the point


So with my book dummy printed, bound, shown, seen, discussed and dissected; with Photo Book Bristol lived, breathed and enjoyed to the full – I am trying to take a break from my book project. I need time to digest the feedback I’ve been given.

I am distracting myself with a new project, making portraits of women breast feeding their children. I first started this series a few months ago, but as with all my work it takes a while before I can uncover why I am taking these pictures and what the work is about.

Here are the reasons I have come up with so far:

1 I want to make the photographs that other people don’t make. Now that everyone is a photographer this clarifies my role and helps me to focus on the gaps that I see. I only see images of women breast feeding when it’s in conjunction with a breast feeding cause. Vernacular photographs of breast feeding woman are also rare.- But that’s not a reason, just a nudge in the right direction.

2 I am aware of a disconnect in our culture, as the NHS promotes breast feeding when we still have page 3. – This could be a reason to explore the subject…

3 I often felt uncomfortable breast feeding my daughter in public. I did it, but I wasn’t as laid back about it as I thought I would be, and as I wanted to be. I was disappointed with myself for it. – I think now I am getting somewhere.

Here are Holly McNish’s words on the subject in her spoken word performance ‘Embarrassed’. It’s brillaint -watch it!


  1. Stephen Mather said:

    I’ve always been surprised about the negative comments made about women breast feeding in public. In my experience(!) when I’ve seen it happen, it’s very discreet. It’s a pretty natural thing to do! From what I’ve seen in the media it seems to be mostly women who voice their displeasure…..from the male perspective that is immensely baffling. Great project to undertake.

    • Thanks for the comment Stephen, this subject is so emotive and complex. I think very deep down it can stir feelings of jealousy in other women. That may sound strange, but I think that many people don’t even understand their own feelings of opposition to such a natural and basic act. It can make some people quite angry to see a breast feeding mother in public, but I think that anger is actually misplaced jealousy, maybe they didn’t get that opportunity with their own child…

  2. Mrs Helen Pilbeam said:

    This is a timely project and a necessary one. Time to investigate where this prejudice is coming from instead of making assumptions. I do wish you well with this worthy cause.

    • Thank you Helen, I hope you’ll check back to see where this project takes me..

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