Tara Ruby took this image of a woman breastfeeding in a firefighter’s uniform to inspire working moms
Moms are known as nurturers and caregivers, but we’re also fiercely strong and capable individuals, and that’s why one Texas photographer is on a mission to showcase working moms in uniform for her latest collection.
Tara Ruby is a military mom-turned-photographer who’s passionate about supporting moms. Recently, Ruby has been taking pictures of breastfeeding women in uniform for a series she calls the “Uniformed Breastfeeding Portrait Collection.” Last week, her work went viral after she shared her latest image — a stunning photo of a woman in a firefighter’s uniform breastfeeding her baby.
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In the photo’s caption, Ruby writes that she “dreamed of this photo for a long time” and clarifies that it’s actually a woman wearing her husband’s firefighting uniform. Still, she says her ultimate vision is to show as many “mommies in their actual career fields in their own uniforms” as possible, and that her project is less about individual women, and more about supporting working moms. “This portrait was made to show the power of a working mother,” she says, “for all mothers that might be in the firefighting career field. I created this for that purpose and that purpose only.”
Ruby invited her fans to list the first word that came to mind when they viewed the photo, and got incredible responses, like “brave,” “powerful,” “resilient,” and “beautiful.” Wrote one woman:
“‘Service.’ This woman puts her life on the line for people she doesn’t even know because she serves the public. And she serves her family, too. She knows that she may go in for a shift and never come home to this beautiful baby. This is having a servant’s heart for sure.”
This isn’t Ruby’s first experience having one of her powerful photos go viral. Last year, she took a portrait of ten active-duty military moms breastfeeding in uniform, and it was shared over 24,000 times. The response to that image is what spawned her mission to photograph as many moms in uniform as she could.
Ruby tells SheKnows she has plans to photograph a doctor, a nurse, and a police officer, but she isn’t restricting her images to a certain field of jobs. “Any mother with a uniform is one I want to to work with,” she says. “Mothers nowadays tend to work, so I want to help promote the idea that you can go back to work, you can work a full-time job and still breastfeed your baby. Capturing these portraits does just that”.
What makes Ruby’s images so powerful is not just that these women are breastfeeding or doing it uniform, but the way they represent the idea that moms can do anything. They show that we are powerful, yet nurturing, and there’s no limit to what we can accomplish both as mothers and as individuals. When women look at these images, they see themselves — driven, dedicated, raw — and the photos are an incredible reminder of the love and commitment we put in to everything we do.