Photographer documented his wife and new child with his camera lens.
There are few things more beautiful than a mother nourishing her child. Photographer Vincent Ferrané captured this beauty as he documented his wife and new child with his camera lens.

Plenty of photographers have captured magnificent photographs of women in the act of breastfeeding their infants. With gorgeous natural backgrounds or women nursing on their wedding days, it's easy to idealize the practice.

As beautiful as breastfeeding can be, it is also messy and chaotic. The breastfeeding relationship between a mother and an infant is like learning a new language with another human being, a language that does not use words. Photographer Vincent Ferrané uses his camera to capture that message in his book Milky Way.

Utilizing a diary-like narrative, Ferrané displays photos of his wife and child nursing, interspersed between images of natural landscapes and outdoor pictures, as sometimes taken from the window of his home. The changing seasons illustrate the similarities between breastfeeding and the natural progression of the life.

"I tried to show in this series how breastfeeding appears as a pulse that gradually takes its part in the other cycles of life - such as those of nature, the seasons, and of days and nights," Ferrané explains.

The photographs do more than merely capture the act of breastfeeding in a photo-journalist fashion. Instead, the raw images allow one to entirely embrace the feelings and atmosphere that surround breastfeeding. Ferrané acknowledges just how difficult learning how to breastfeed is, comparing the act with the choreography of two dancers.

In an interview with FotoRoom, Ferrané shares, "About the space, when you return from the hospital with a baby, your world has changed, in particular familiar places like the interiors of your home. The environment is the same and yet the presence of the baby will completely modify it. This is why I tried to capture the breastfeeding in ordinary, everyday settings while including symbolic elements."

Ferrané does not simply capture the act of breastfeeding, but all the challenges that go with it, such as the baby spitting up on the mother or the balance of breastfeeding and pumping at the same time. In one photo, he captures his wife trying to express milk out of her engorged breasts in the bathtub.

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The exhaustion of the new mom is palpable through the photos, as she often closes her eyes or covers her face. One even wonders if she is experiencing a touch of depression, as her expression is sometimes blank. She clearly loves her child, but you almost get the sense that she had no idea how hard motherhood was going to be.

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The title of the project is a reference to Greek mythology where the goddess Era creates the Milky Way galaxy from her breastmilk. Ferrané also shares that the title is a reference to the experience of breastfeeding, a balance between everyday reality and poetic symbols.

Photo Credits: Vincent Ferrané