A few years back, New York-based photographer Tina Boyadjieva embarked on her most extensive campaign ever, which spanned five continents, 18 countries, 65 women, and countless publications. In 2018, the Director of Marketing at Lansinoh USA reached out to Tina out of the blue to ask her how many countries she thought she could visit in two months.
I went to Duke for my MBA and worked in finance for a decade before I changed careers to pursue photography. She witnessed my transition as I quit my well-paying job, rented out my Manhattan apartment, traveled for a few months, and then returned to NYC to go back to school for photography.
Tina is no stranger to taking risks, so when Lansinoh wanted to do a campaign featuring mothers around the world by documenting the perception of breastfeeding in public, she was a logical choice. Tina has done extensive portraiture and fashion work, so when Lansinoh called to discuss the project, the photographer saw it from a different perspective.
I suggested taking photos of the mothers in a more artistic way. I wanted them to wear clothes representing their native culture and photograph them in locations that speak to where they’re from. I scheduled the whole trip — 18 countries in two months — and kept a running document with addresses, contacts, and expenses, so the client knew where I was every single day.
Tina has already been around the world several times, speaks multiple languages, and has an innate ability to connect with people from foreign cultures, a must for this project. That said, there were places on Tina’s list that she’d never visited.
Creatively, location scouting was a challenge, especially places I hadn’t been to before. The mothers were also instructed to wear clothing that represented their individual folklore; however, in most cases, I had no idea what that would look like, and if it would mesh well with the locations I had chosen.
This trip consisted of plenty of unknowns, mainly centered around a lack of familiarity with some of the locations, clothing choices, and subjects. Tina would have to over-prepare and leave no stone unturned.
We’ll let the photographer take you the rest of the way here.
See more of Tina’s work at tinabfoto.com.
Check out our other great photographers on our Find Photographers page!