The Saintly Beauty of American Mothers: Captivating Breastfeeding Photos Grab Everyone’s Attention

The photos of Chelsea Craig and her two young daughters were taken by Mae Burke. Burke is a professional photographer who specializes in capturing moments of motherhood, she told BuzzFeed News.

Burke, a mother of three girls, said that she began her photography career by snapping photos of her oldest daughter.

She has since made motherhood photography, especially breastfeeding images, her specialty.

“I thought breastfeeding photography could be a way to separate me from the masses of photographers in Fort Worth,” she said on how she began taking the images.

During the shoot, Craig’s 3-year-old daughter Addy began fussing; the mom told People she decided to stop quickly and nurse.

She also nursed her younger daughter, 16-month-old Emmilyn. Burke said she stopped and grabbed some shots of the tender moment.

“It took all of five minutes,” she said.

The photos soon made a splash online, and were featured on parenting blog KidSpot. But Craig told People she doesn’t consider herself a breastfeeding activist, and wasn’t trying to make a statement with the images.

“I’m very confident in the decision that this is what’s right for us,” she told the magazine. “I consider myself a supporter of women’s rights and the choices that we make as moms. For some, that’s breastfeeding until the kid is 7, for some that’s breastfeeding until the kid is 2 weeks, for some it’s not breastfeeding at all, and that’s okay with me.”

She added that she hadn’t expected to breastfeed Addy for more than a year, but is letting her daughter decide when she is ready to stop.

“I don’t know how much longer the journey will be,” she said. “I thought I knew three years ago, but I didn’t.”

Burke said she uses her work to show “the connection that mothers have with their children,” rather than trying to make a statement about breastfeeding.

But, she said she hopes her images will show a positive example of breastfeeding for those who need it.

“Maybe their opinion on what it looks like and what it means will change,” she said.

She added she has been surprised at the amount of awful comments and vitriol she and her clients have received for simply taking the pictures.

“I don’t know why people like to use a woman’s body to fuel negativity and debate,” she said.

Craig told People she will treasure the photos, as they represent a very special time in the lives of her and her children.

“Any opportunity I have to capture that moment, I want, because I don’t know what their memory of it will be 20 years from now, and I know that I want that to share with them,” she said.

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