With all the controversy out there about breastfeeding, some can lose sight of what makes it beautiful: A powerful connection between mother and child that prepares the little one for the world to come.
Tammy Nicole, a Munich-based photographer, has a special vision of that connection. In her photos, she focuses on pregnancy, newborns and breastfeeding. HLN spoke to her about what she creates and what motivates her to continue.
HLN: Why did you choose to focus on breastfeeding?
Nicole: Breastfeeding photography is very special to me. It is one of those things in life you cannot seem to find the correct words to describe what it makes you feel. I feel transported elsewhere when I am shooting a mom breastfeeding her child. It is as though I was feeling their connection, and all that energy gets under my skin. I started this journey only a few months ago, I asked a friend of mine who has a baby if I could give it a try… and I am so grateful I did. The feeling during that first session was overwhelming. I felt as though I had found my calling.
I love taking these photos and they make me happy, and the moms are thrilled they got these moments captured, so that's all I am focusing on. Also there are many opinions about how long you should breastfeed your child for, or whether doing it in public is appropriate or not. But again, everybody has different points of view. I believe the decision of doing it, how you do it, how long you do it for… it is all personal so we all have to choose what is best for us.
HLN: What has the reaction to the pictures been?
Nicole: The feedback I have received so far with these photos has been amazing over all. People are very encouraging and there is a big movement nowadays to normalize breastfeeding, so they show lots of support when an artist decides to show its beauty. Of course, everyone has different tastes so these photos are not everyone's cup of tea, which is perfectly fine!
HLN: How did you get into photography?
Nicole: I don’t remember a time in my life in which I didn’t want to be a photographer. It is all I ever wanted to be. But for some unknown reason I was denying this to myself, and I also found out that there were not many options to study photography. So I started studying architecture and graphic design, and I quit both because my [favorite] professors told me I should be a photographer, after seeing my work. So I stopped denying it and I went for it. Life didn’t make my path an easy one, and it took me over a decade to actually have my own business. I am proud of myself for what I have achieved!
HLN: What's next for you?
Nicole: The breastfeeding photography is part of a project I called “Walks of Motherhood,” and the aim is to follow moms along their journey, from the moment they are pregnant until their kids or no longer kids. My clients understand that I can make not only a technically beautiful image, but that there are feelings captured on my photos. And that's what moms ask me to do: They want the feelings and emotions between them and their children immortalized in a photo.