Childbirth. It’s one of the most magical, beautiful, all-out crazy experiences that you’ll ever have.
With that in mind, capturing it in photography form is one way to save these most-precious moments for all time.
The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) 2017 Image of the Year Competition has come through with some of the most astounding, amazing and downright awesome pics of this more than memorable time.
Before you go thinking that the IAPBP’s contest was just of birth shots, take another look. Yes, obviously, childbirth is a major theme in the photos, but the IAPBP did also accept an array of photos. With categories such as labour, delivery, birth details and postpartum, this contest brought in wild works, intimate moments and everything that goes into becoming a mum.
Judged by a distinguished panel, including actress and pop culture icon Ricki Lake and producer/director of the documentary “The Business of Being Born” Abby Epstein, the contest gave awards for 1st place (overall), best in category (for all four categories) and honourable mentions.
And the winner is … Jaydene Freund with Cradled Creations.
Hailing from Abbotsford, BC, Canada, Freund’s “Road to Deliverance” isn’t what you might expect from a birth scene. Instead of the oh-so-typical hospital or birthing centre, this absolutely emotional photo features a labouring mum in the car (as if the name didn’t give it away).
Best in category for labour features winner Katie Mathis from Katie Mathis Photography.
This water-birth shot packs a punch with intensity and the emotion of going through everything that labour is. As mums we all know the almost undefinable pain and feelings that labour brings on. Mathis’s photo creatively captures this in an artistically realistic way. It’s simple. It’s pure. And its “Determination” (the name of the photo, of course) is true.
Elizabeth Farnsworth of Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography’s “With A Splash” took the delivery best in category award. An action shot that’s beyond anything we’ve seen, this photo literally shows delivery with a splash.
In the best in category for birth details, Kourtnie Scholz of KEDocumentary’s winner features mum, the brand new baby and everything else that was part of the birth. Well, maybe not everything. But, along with the newborn, the placenta and the cord play starring roles in “Pieces of Me.”
When it comes to best in category for postpartum, Natasha Hance of Birth Unscripted captured serene stillness is “Straight from heaven.” Even though your eyes are immediately drawn to the newborn (of course), the reflection of the sky in the water seriously turns this from what could be just another pic of a baby to a statement – and a true piece of art!
Some of the honourable mentions we loved include: