As part of BuzzFeed News' Reader series How Do We Have Sex Now?, writer Hannah Frishberg explores the dark and kinky world of BDSM in New York City's devout Jewish communities. To illustrate the story, BuzzFeed News sent photographer Megan Mack into an actual kink dungeon to document the BDSM experience. The results are a sensitive and eye-opening exploration of human sexuality, devotion, and spirituality.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
Our poor, poor, coral reefs. Many environmental factors, such as climate change, pollution, disease, and overfishing, have degraded almost 50% of our oceans’ coral reefs. Photographer and environmentalist Alexis Rosenfeld worked closely with French journalist Alexie Valois to create the project Coral Reefs: A Challenge For Humanity, which aims to bring awareness to the dying nature around us, human contributions to the decay, and most importantly, to inform younger people about these changes before it’s too late.
—Neah Gray, photo intern, BuzzFeed News
As we approach National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, this Time photo essay of photographer Gina Marie Brocker's work is a great study of both the highs and lows of breastfeeding. Women's bodies were meant to do exactly this, so when our bodies, our babies, or society get in the way of this natural act, many mothers face frustrations they weren't prepared for. This series shows mothers that they're not alone in their frustrations, and Brocker and her subjects hope it will help others to feel more confident when breastfeeding in public. It will also hopefully remind society that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful.
—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News
This series of pictures flows as a progression from the normal (flags and fashion) to bizarre (sex dolls and giant robots), and the downright questionable (those chicks!!!). From the scale of production seen in these photos, you begin to discern the reach of the “Made in China” brand. Even those who reject overseas manufacturing seem to get caught up in the appeal of cheap mass production.
—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
Birth can be a beautiful thing. It's raw, messy, emotional, and painful, yet one of the greatest moments of a mother’s life. This photo series by Paula Galvão challenges us to see the beauty in the most graphic parts of giving birth — the blood, the vernix, the umbilical cord, the contractions, the amniotic sac, and the tears shared among everyone in the room. We all know how we got here, but what we don’t remember is the sacrifice it took to be here. Looking through this beautiful and touching series on childbirth is a humbling experience that reminds us to appreciate our mothers just a little bit more, or hug them just a little bit tighter the next time we see them.
This compilation of photos is really a game of “Can You Get Through This Post Without Squirming?” You don’t really realize the intensity (to say the least) and danger of the Tour de France until you start to focus on all the blood. Cycling is not a contact sport, but on the road, the athletes’ greatest challenge is nature — the nature of their surroundings and of their own physicality. This feature demonstrates that the 23-day, 2,200-mile ride is clearly no stroll in the park.
For a long time, the experiences and lives of Africans were not told by Africans themselves, but instead by outsiders looking in. When it comes to the diverse and massive continent of Africa, that story is often one of poverty, chaos, hunger, and an erasure of its countries’ different identities. Photographer Alec Lomami has decided to tell his own narrative of his home city of Kinshasa in the photo series Kin la Belle. Lomami states that his home is multifaceted, with both dirt roads and asphalt ones, beautiful homes as well as shacks. Lomami doesn’t try to hide what his home city embodies, but instead gives us a fair representation of his life, his family, his surroundings, and the complexity of it all.
Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.