Infant Loss Photography Project Details

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Several months back, I posted a photography project proposal for infant loss moms in the Montreal area (or surrounding ares, if you are willing to travel. The details about the origin of this project can be found here.

While much of this project remains vague (e.g. I don’t plan to bring props or anything like that), the mission remains clear. Initially written from the point of view of two mothers, Hannah and I have talked a lot about how grief does not solely belong to the mother of a child, and how the initial post was generally directed at the mothers of infant loss. Hannah and I want to put an emphasis on extending the invitation to the whole family, whether this means bringing the biological father, same sex or non-binary partner, or otherwise.

“While there is not enough support for anyone involved in losing a child, other family members are often left out of the equation when it comes to what little resources or publicity perinatal loss already has. No matter if you carried the child in your womb or not, you are their parent and experience the same grief regardless of gender or other circumstances. We want to acknowledge this role and give every parent a face & voice.”

Some of the demographics of the project remain to be determined. This will partly depend on how many participants can make it on these dates. For those of you who have responded to the initial post and have completed a contact form, I will be reaching out to you with the dates to see if you are available to come. For those of you who are interested in participating but have not yet completed a contact form, please do so here.

Infant Loss Project Details

October 27th, 2018

Montréal | Québec, Canada

  • Exact Location and Time TBD depending on participation
  • RSVP to Ann or Hanna by September 26th so that a location can be determined
  • Hannah or Ann will reach out to you with the exact details

2 thoughts on “Infant Loss Photography Project Details

  1. Yesterday I received the following inquiry through my Contact form and wanted to reply publicly, so that everyone can see this. Please continue to reach out to me or Hannah with any questions.

    Inquiry:

    Hi! i am Interested in participating in the infant loss project, however i am having difficulty understand what the vision of the photographs would be? Do you want the moms to bring articles belonging to our babies who did not survive? Do we bring our children? Can i ask for a bit more of the big picture?
    Thanks so much!
    M.

    Response:

    Hi M.!

    Thank you so much for writing about this. I appreciate your request for more information about the vision and the end product, because it is by communicating about it that Hannah and I are still learning and clarifying.

    The idea of this project is mainly to carry on the memories of the babies that have been lost. After Senna was born – still born – Hannah processed her grief largely by talking about Senna, and being open and honest about her feelings. She was actually met with a lot of resistance in a lot of areas, and kept feeling as though people wanted her to stop talking about Senna. Some people even directly told her this, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Everything written above was from my own point of view about what Hannah has gone through. I have copied him on this email so that she can also respond in more detail from her point of you.

    One thing that I have personally learned from Hannah sharing her story so openly is how vital it is to respect each individual is grieving process. The end result of this project has purposely been left vague, because how these images are shared will largely depend on the wishes of those participating. I want to respect the grieving process, and as such my goal is documentation rather than exploitation. To me, this means letting families choose whether or not their images will be posted on my website, on social media, etc.

    As an additional note about how I work in general, during my sessions, I rarely go in to a session with any kind of shot list. Instead, I take in my surroundings, and observe the people I am photographing, and try to find the best way to photograph THEM. This is exactly the type of approach I plan to take with this project. That said, people will be welcome to bring anything they want to help document the life of their loved one, and I will aim to incorporate those things in a meaningful way into the photographs.

    One thing that each family should do is to write their own story about their loved one. This does not mean a newspaper article (though it can be). This should be an account of their experience, in whatever level of detail they wish. We do plan to create a template in a guideline for this story. The template will be shared with all interested in participating in the project. About a couple of weeks before the event date, Hannah plans to have a meet and greet in Montreal to begin to share stories.

    I hope this helps to explain our vision. Neither Hannah nor I have done something like this before, so this is definitely a work in progress. We are learning as we go what the needs of the project are. What is clear is that both of us want these families to have a voice, and for that voice to be heard how and when they want, and we feel that respecting their voices, both individually and collectively, people who are “outside” of their grief can better respect their grief, and can learn how to honor them – ALL of them, earthside and beyond.

    Ann

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