Ivette Ivens, Photographer and Mother
We are thrilled share our interview with renowned photographer Ivette Ivens who is revolutionizing the perception of breastfeeding and pregnancy through her enchanting work.
ELTC: Tell us little about yourself, where are you from? How does your culture perceive breastfeeding?
IVENS:I was born in Lithuania. Lithuanians are way more restrained than Americans when it comes to breastfeeding. So what I am doing here is an even bigger deal in my homeland and I get a lot more negativity towards this project from there. This is one of the reasons why I am doing it – to help normalize breastfeeding in all cultures. No matter your religion or culture, breastfeeding is one of the few things that tie us mothers together and it shouldn’t be restricted.
ELTC: Do you think our society needs to shift the way we view and appreciate pregnancy and breastfeeding?
IVENS: Definitely. While it is still a mother`s choice, to breastfeed or not, I think that it would be a good idea to teach their children that this is a natural process. Nowadays a lot of parents get offended seeing a breastfeeding women just because they`re afraid that their children will see a breast. Quite a few of my images of nursing mamas have non nursing children in them too. They are so gentle and caring. There is nothing to hide.
ELTC: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
IVENS: I remember taking pictures with my mother’s camera and then playing with them in Photoshop when I was a teenager. It was my hobby for a while, and about 4 years ago it became my career.
ELTC: What was it that cultivated your passion for photography and breastfeeding?
IVENS: My own experience. I am trying to live as nature intended in many ways, and breastfeeding is one of them. However, I had to learn that there is a lot of ignorant people in this world. And I don`t blame them, they don`t have the knowledge, or never went through this. I`m just trying to find a beautiful way to go back to the roots, that`s all 🙂
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ELTC: The pregnant and breastfeeding women in your photographs are so ethereal; you must have a deep appreciation for the wonder that is woman. Do you find pregnancy and breastfeeding to be sacred?
IVENS: Yes! What can be more sacred than a new life and the ability of a woman`s body to grow it, heal it, calm it, love it?
ELTC: Most of your photos are set in nature, do you feel that it just makes sense being that pregnancy and breastfeeding are so natural? Is that part of what you are trying to convey in your work?
IVENS: Yes, I am saying ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
ELTC: Through your photography, how do you want to impact the way pregnancy and breastfeeding is viewed?
ELTC: Do you feel like this is your purpose in life? If so, tell us a little bit about your journey up to this point, feedback from others & goals for the future.
IVENS:I think my purpose of life at this stage is being a good mother to my beautiful children, have more children, spread confidence to other moms. Wait to see what`s next. Embrace it.
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ELTC:Your book “Breastfeeding Goddesses” is now available for pre-order. What was it like creating this?
IVENS: So much fun. I feel like I found my cup of tea. The pre-order link is www.ivetteivens.com/breastfeedinggoddesses
ELTC: What is it like working with these women and their little ones?
IVENS:We talk and laugh the whole time. I love meeting all the mamas and I am so happy they are a part of this.
ELTC: What’s your source of inspiration as an artist?
IVENS:Honestly, it`s my own life. My fears, tears – happy and sad -people I meet, what`s happening around me.