The LLLI photography contest, Focus on Breastfeeding, has come to a close. Contestants submitted photographs in four categories: Breastfeeding and Working, Skin-to-Skin, Breastfeeding Everywhere and Special Moments.
The panel of professional judges chose a winner for each category, and one overall winner.
- Breastfeeding and Working: Christine Wright, Reconnection
- Breastfeeding Everywhere: Christina Forga, In the Backyard
- Skin-to-Skin: Silvana Ximena, Happy Girl
- Special Moments: Manuela Epureanu, Love of my Life
- Overall: Manuela Epureanu, Love of my Life
I am from New Jersey, USA, and am a mother of two girls, ages six and four. I’ve been photographing my own children since my first was born. I fell in love with photography and a year ago started thinking about pursuing it as a career. I now specialize in in-home documentary photography and birth photography. I am an LLL Leader with LLL of Bordentown, and I also serve as Council Secretary for LLL Garden State Area Network.
“Reconnection” is an image of my friend Adrianne and her son Johnny. Adrianne works part-time as an IBCLC and, at the time of the photo, her family was living with her parents while their own home was undergoing renovation. I documented her as she returned home from work, transferred her pumped breast milk from a small cooler to the freezer, and greeted her three children. She then settled in a rocking chair and nursed Johnny. In the chaos of a full house, dinner preparations, and evening routines, Adrianne and Johnny shared this beautiful and peaceful moment.
I am a second generation LLL Leader with the Saint Paul Metro Group in Minnesota, USA. I am the oldest of six children who were all breastfed. My mother, Michele Lein, has been an LLL Leader for over 30 years. I started attending LLL meetings as a child with my mother. I have attended multiple LLL Area Conferences and was even fortunate enough to attend two LLLI International Conferences over the years.
I am the mother of two beautiful boys, Benjamin and William, who are both still actively breastfeeding. I am pictured in the backyard with my first son, Benjamin, when he was six and a half weeks old. Benjamin is now three years old and is tandem nursing with his little brother William, who is four months old. Photo by: Emmanuel Suárez
Breastfeeding became a huge passion of mine once I had my daughter and struggled with producing enough milk. My biggest fear had always been the birth and not once had I ever questioned what my breastfeeding journey would be like but I reached out to lactation consultants for support and did an exhaustive amount of research to solve my many issues. Through this process, it really highlighted to me how difficult breastfeeding can be in American society. Considering how beautiful a bond it is between mother and child, and how beneficial it is for both, I made it my personal mission to help people to start learning more and understanding it better.
I have started using my art and profession as a photographer to try to drive education and awareness about breastfeeding. I am currently building a series of photographs featuring breastfeeding mothers around the world.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to do my best to breastfeed my child. Of course, after I gave birth to David, I realized that this act, which seemed very natural when I looked at other breastfeeding women, was not as natural as it seemed!
In the hospital, the nurses tried their best to ensure that David was attached properly however I still encountered mastitis and damaged nipples, but I didn’t stop breastfeeding. We had a difficult start, but after two weeks we were on the right road and we are still there. I will give him his favorite milk as long as he wants. We will stop breastfeeding when he is ready to stop.
The moral support during those first two weeks of difficulty came from my family. I also valued the information I found online to support breastfeeding, including articles published by the website “La Leche League Bucuresti.”
“Love of my life”—my baby boy David—expresses my desire to raise a healthy child with life, love, care and confidence through breastfeeding,