questionswhy do women who breast feed in the open at a…


Fair notice - i have no opinion against public breast feeding. Its not to be ashamed of, nor regulated by old men in government. BUT, in the same way a woman should be free to feed her baby anywhere, any time - people are going to take pictures at parties... no negotiation there. There's also a layer of common sense, in my opinion. There's a reasonable expectation that at a party, there will be pictures taken. There's also a reasonable expectation that at said party, where pictures are taken, the lights might be dim, and therefore your feeding (or your sensitivity about it) will go un-noticed, in favor of the scene at hand. I'm more than a little annoyed that her background scowl killed a bunch of otherwise GREAT pictures. There's also the matter of why she was subjecting her baby to the very extreme sound levels present - but it's not up to me to question her Her discomfort - while regrettable, can't become the deciding factor of which pictures get taken, IMO.


Many folks just don't like having their picture taken for whatever the reason. It's just best to move on and find somewhere else to get the shot. Further, churches may have restrictions on when and where you can shot during a wedding ceremony (and maybe even during the reception). The day is about the bride (and groom) as well as friends and family. A photographer should not interfere with everyone's enjoyment. In addition, many of the best shots will be when folks interacting naturally and not posing for the camera. Keeping everyone happy may mean future business for a pro.


It's simple. She had a double standard.


They do make nursing covers if she is concerned about a picture after whipping it out in public.


I am annoyed by people who want privacy in public. By that I mean, if you're doing something you wouldn't want seen by strangers, do it privately. It is a reasonable expectation that there will be photographs at gatherings for any reason but especially at a wedding reception. When I nursed my children I used discretion, not because it was shameful but because I was aware of my surroundings. Hopefully, you're good at cropping.


@mattysc: wasn't in a church, and i didn't pose anyone :) just saying. I'm not a pro, i was merely a guest who happens to have very good equipment. Didn't interfere with anyone's enjoyment, except this particular woman's. Moving on to the next shot might have been a good idea, had i even known she was there, breast feeding. She was never the subject, merely in the frame. I also don't agree with the idea that every shot would need to be planned around her - even if i DID know.


Their biggest concern could be this new thing called the internet. Check it out, you'll see all kinds of "unintended" stuff there.


@xdavex: to that point - there isn't a single picture with exposed breast - at least nothing discernible, since she was at best a background subject.

@heartlandbaker: i'm tending towards the same opinion. Had I invaded her personal space to get a picture of her and the baby, while she was feeding - then certainly i could understand the annoyance to my insensitivity. But that wasn't the situation, at all. It's annoying enough that I'm wishing i never would have volunteered to bring my equipment and get some shots (money was an issue, so they weren't having any pros do the shooting) - but then i catch myself and realize i did it for them, not for the woman with the baby, and so shouldn't let her ruin the feeling of the occasion.

For what it's worth, the couple also had a bunch of disposable cameras at the tables, and the woman has requested that any shots with her not be included.. So it's not just aimed at me personally - seems more about her own hang-up.


Why is she bringing a newborn to a wedding?


"...breast feeding. Its not to be ashamed of, nor regulated by old men in government. BUT, in the same way a woman should be free to feed her baby anywhere, any time - people are going to take pictures at parties... no negotiation there. There's also a layer of common sense, in my opinion."

And the common sense is that if the lady requests not to include her in your photos, you don't. I have take a lot of wedding and reception photos, and have had requests not to include some guests, and deleted or cropped those photos. (Photoshop is a great tool...)


A wedding is a time for remembrance. People pay thousands of dollars to have every second captured on film. As a photographer, you are expected to snatch that precious second and get those key shots: the rings slipping on the finger, the first kiss, the toast, the best man speech, the first dance, etc etc. The photographer gets immunity/access to places people don't stand during a wedding. In short, you're there to capture every single special moment for the bride and groom. If someone is doing something in such close vicinity to these special moments that they don't want photographed, it's not your fault and they should have known better. I'd bring it to the bride's attention. She'd probably cut off the woman's lady parts for screwing up her wedding photos...


I am in complete agreement with the double-standard comments above. Please side-step your anger and remember all of the good you did for your now married friends and the wonderful feelings that were shared by ALL but -one. If she were so miffed, she or her other had all the opportunity to ask you to please delete that pix which I am sure you would have done.


I have never understood why people expect privacy when doing things openly in public. My example has to do with folks who park their cars in handicapped spaces at my kid's school while dropping of their children. I politely (and with a smile) remind them that they're not supposed to do that, and that handicapped people really do need those spaces to be left open, they typically respond that it's not hurting anyone and they're only going to be there for a moment. Yet when I say "okay, I'll just snap a photo of your car and forward it along" they get all snippy. :) Doing something wrong in public is okay, but having someone document it and hold them accountable isn't? Lol!


@goatcrapp: Actually, that I can respect. My brother-in-law and his wife are OK with people taking photos of the baby. They are not OK with people posting pictures of, or talking about their baby on Facebook. Period.


A = Everybody knows there will be pictures at a wedding.

B = There is nothing at all wrong with public breastfeeding, and so no reason for a photographer to go out of their way to avoid including it.

A + B = If you're too modest to be comfortable having innocent pictures of your boobs hit the internet, don't publicly breastfeed at a wedding.


Stupid people are everywhere, unfortunately.


why don't you post all your pics of her breastfeeding here for us to judge. Then we'll be more able to tell you who was out of line, lol!


@mattysc: You got downvoted into oblivion, and I think it is because you are ranting about professional photogs rather than answering the question (OP explicitly stated the informal nature of the pictures).

However, in a sense I do agree with what you are saying. Pictures should be taken naturally. I was at a friend's wedding where the photographer kept moving people out of the shot. People were NOT allowed to be in the background of any pictures, under ANY circumstance. Oh no! Someone might be seen to be ENJOYING themselves at their friends' wedding! The HORRORS!

That said, you completely ignored the question. If pictures are to be taken naturally, one negative person should not be allowed to ruin all the pictures. Breastfeeding is natural. Taking pictures at a wedding is natural. If this woman feels nobody should be taking her picture while she is breastfeeding, she shouldn't be at an event where some people hand out disposable cameras to let their friends take pictures.


@olperfesser: Ummm...common sense is if you are at an event with 100 cameras and don't want to be in any pictures, you GTFO rather than attempt to ruin everyone else's day.


Back in the early 70's nursing was out of style for most women, and those of us who breastfed had very little social support, no legal support, and a lot of scowly, down-the-nose glares from every Mrs. Grundy in the room. My solution was to take my son into another room when visiting friends or to simply drape a very lightweight receiving blanket over my shoulder to make a small tent effect. I had a modicum of privacy and could till see and talk to him, and no one closer than 2' from me could see a thing. If the mere knowing that I was nursing a baby was a problem for them, they managed to keep from saying so. D*mned good thing, too.

There's a strange dichotomy of mindset that proclaims nursing in public to be perfectly natural and expects everyone to avoid looking. I personally loathe having people insist on taking my picture when I don't want them to do so, but that's not what was happening, and you shouldn't feel bad at all.


@kenbuzz: Good for you! My former husband is a police officer. Back in the early 90's, when handicapped spaces were relatively uncommon, he carried his ticket book when we went shopping. (He'd seen my mother struggle with her MS when she was still able to drive but had significant problems walking.)

My own guerilla tactic was to take 5"x8" dayglo orange lick-and-stick signs that said in huge print "don't park in handicapped spaces!" and glue them on the driver's side window of cars parked illegally. And then walk away very briskly.


@magic cave: well spoken, and a good historical perspective. I love learning things on woot.


Personally, I don't think you did anything wrong while taking the photos. It sounds like you were helping out friends in a way that you could. For this woman to actually scowl in the photos is indicative of her lack of manners. I can certainly understand if she did not want to be photographed (which you did not know) but she could easily have excused herself to feed her baby somewhere a little more private. There must have been somewhere nearby -- even if she went off to the side of the room or a corner with a decent chair to use. If she did not want to be photographed AT ALL, she was definitely at the wrong type of event. Unless she stood on her chair and made an announcement to everyone at the wedding -- there were too many cameras in the room including cameras that guests may have brought with them.

Common sense isn't so common.


I am still blown away that anybody would go to a wedding and get all bent out of shape when they appeared in pictures. How could you possibly think that you wouldn't appear in at least some of the pictures?

I do feel bad for the couple. At this point, after the headache this has caused, I'm sure they are thinking "Good grief, I wish that we hadn't invited [whoever] to our wedding. She has turned into a real pill."

I do hope that your friends don't keep this a secret. If they don't then this probably won't ever be a problem in the future, as she isn't going to get invited to very many weddings, parties, and the like moving forward.


I agree with what the majority here has posted. She should of expected photos at a wedding. If she wanted privacy she could of gone off in a corner. She's behaved badly.

I am wondering :
IF she is a first time mom w/ a new baby, she is probably frazzled and her brains are over run with hormones and she is trying to find her way. New first baby = no sleep= no brains left. So IF that is the case, I would certainly be straight with her and tell her in the kindest of terms that she goofed. That in the future, if she is at an event where she does not want to be included in photos, to go nurse in private. She may thank you for it. Maybe not. Depends on the kind of person she is.
A reason not an excuse for her behavior.
And certainly a reason to give her a break and treat her with a little compassion , instead of giving back what you are getting from her.Take the high road

It was very nice for you to help your friends out with the photos. I'm sure you have some great shots.


She was out of line. Both in bringing a newborn to a wedding, then requesting that the photographer(s) work around her personal choices. Not her day, she gets no say.

If you are going to exercise your right to breastfeed in public, you have no right to privacy. You have a right to not be harassed, but no right to disrupt everything around you.


@thumperchick: Wow....nailed it! Her day? No way. She could have easily stepped aside and found a place where XX number of people weren't trying to take pictures, something that is a normal event at weddings.


I have a question. I am ok with public breast feeding but every time, without fail, I spot a public breast feeder here is what happens all in less then 1 second.
My eyes go wide, and I am sure I get a look on my face.
I check the eyes of the mom, hoping she is looking at her kid or anything but me.
-IF yes I look away quickly and am able to continue normally.
-If No I then realize that she is looking at me look at her with the funny face, I quickly look away and feel awkward for my eyes and face.

One day I would like to be cool enough not make that face or wide eyes. How do I stop making that face?


@caffeine_dude: Practice? Second thought: uh, no.

I think it's similar to how most couth people [hey, the opposite of uncouth is couth, right?] handle it when they get together for a family BBQ and walk into the guest bathroom only to discover someone's in it and forgot to lock the door: don't look, don't speak, just back yourself right out. Afterward, no one ever acknowledges it ever happened. Ever.

I've been told it's even worse if you go into the guest bathroom and discover two people in there, but I don't have any personal experience with that variation.


@countdown: Thank you. One of the few advantages of getting older (I'm 65) is having been around long enough to have acquired one's own historical perspective.

It's a double-edged sword, though. I'm still flabbergasted that I could possibly be old enough to have a son who's in his 40's. If I close my eyes, I'm 26. It was nice to learn last year that I'm not alone in that:

@wilfbrim: Check my reply to your answer to the question above. Still waiting for that PM.


As a currently breastfeeding mother, I agree both that it's ok to feed the baby at the table AND that it's reasonable to think that you might be in the background of a photograph doing so. There are also however a lot of jerks in the world that think it's ok to specifically photograph you feeding your kid because LOLBOOBZBOOBIES LOOKIT RIGHT THERE LOL, and even at weddings you it's hard to guess intent (especially if you're not an obviously official photog). Then of course, you have your run-of-the-mill cameraphobes like my own mother, who without the excuse of breastfeeding refuses to be in pictures and is scowling in any that manage to catch her.

As in all things, I vote it depends on both the situation and the woman.


ok here is my thoughts.
I feel breast feeding should be private because its and an exchanging of bodily fluids. Since a wedding reception is as public as a rock concert, that lady should have gone somewhere quiet for her bonding time with her child. No matter how you put it breast feeding is an intimate moment between mommy and babe. Thats why no matter what, you will feel embarrassed for catching someone doing it.


I understand the tunnel vision you get when looking through a camera lens. You were not aware of her, but she certainly was aware of you taking photos. The obvious solution would have been for her to excuse herself out of the room whilst feeding her infant. Don't worry about it. Gift your friends with the photos and let them be the judge of what to do about the situation.
However, if cranky face lady is really prominent in the photos, yeah, photoshop.

Disclaimer: former boob juice vendor, too. A very shy one.