makayla crist


Motherhood as a Photo Project

This year has been tough. And not in the same way I usually say every year has been. I've never felt so naked in front of a crowd, hypothetically speaking. Vulnerable, yes. Young, yes. Confused, even more. I've never seen the downfall of humanity more abundant in my eyes. I've never seen the people close to me get hurt in the most horrendous ways before. I've never felt adulthood more prominent in my life. No one has ever told me how much it really sucks getting older. Seeing the world for what it truly is. I've never felt nostalgia more. I wish could be a little babe again- back to your mother's arms and soft sheets. Which I think has lead me to shooting the intimate moments with a mother and her child. So naturally beautiful. Back to the simplistically basic things about life.

I love the idea of this as a working project is, despite the controversy and what people think, it's real. You were fed by your mother's breast. It's so vital to never underestimate this unconditional love. It has never been a sexual or gross thing that people make it out to be. And If I can take a portrait of a mother, and make her feel loved and powerful amongst all this uncalled for chaos, then that is what these portraits are about.

I first shot with Anna, and to be honest, I was very nervous because I have never shot something like this before.


She had one small window in her room, which created such an intimate setting. I was very excited about the minimal light but probably brought my ISO too high. Oh well.

 Her little boy, Sheppard, is two and clings onto her whenever he can. He actually grabs her breast for comfort. Whenever he can, wherever he can. It's an unconditional love I haven't fully witnessed before. She is his favorite person even though he can't quite express his feelings. I am so so in love with both of them. 

Meet Quinn-

The second mother I had the opportunity to shoot. I have known Quinn for awhile and stoked when she let me shoot her and her baby LJ.


I asked Quinn what exactly does breastfeeding means to her and this was her response-

"I love breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding has been a very powerful and wholesome experience for me.  It shows how capable we are as women, not only to create life but to sustain it as well.  My body creates something that gives my baby life.  It has also been an unexpected type of experience for me because in society breasts are inherently sexual. And they are posted everywhere. On giant billboards and magazine adds.  But suddenly when they are used to keep a tiny human being alive they are taboo.  and I thought I would be uncomfortable breastfeeding around people or in public and I finally became brave enough to say fuck that, and my perspective of society and men and women bodies changed completely.  Breastfeeding makes me proud and feels both strong and nurturing at the same time.  I am sad to be almost done with it...but it is a beautiful thing that deserves to be praised, not hidden. YAY BOOBIES!"

Thank you, Quinn, for sharing. So happy I could be apart of this experience in some way.

Here are some more photos from these shoots-

I am still looking for mothers to shoot. If you are interested in being photographed, go to my contact page, and would love to hear from you-




makayla crist