The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) has just announced the winners of the 2021 Birth Photography Image Competition, and the pictures are just as powerful as last year.
Photographers from all around the globe capture the raw and intimate moments of childbirth. Not only do they lift the veil on this miracle to those who aren't familiar with it, but they also awaken precious memories for moms, dads, and the people who helped them introduce new life into this world. So it's only fair these photographers get the recognition they deserve.
Continue scrolling to check out what images IAPBP's honorable judges think best describe childbirth this year.
Honorable Mention: "The Miracle Of Life In Your Hands" By Nora Dalmasso, Argentina
The annual competition by IAPBP celebrates the beauty of birth and the skill of birth photographers around the globe in five categories -- labor, delivery, postpartum, birth details, and fresh 48. The number one birth association worldwide, IAPBP, encompasses more than 1,100 members in 52 countries.
Liz Cook, director of IAPBP, told Bored Panda in a statement that "Despite birth photographers worldwide losing a majority of their work and income in 2020 due to the global pandemic, I am thrilled to be able to feature the talent of our members in our annual image competition."
Best In Delivery: “The Greatest Love In The World” By Anne Lucy Silva Barbosa, Brazil
"We are incredibly proud of the entrants of this year's competition because in spite of all we endured in our community in recent months, this contest represents the resistance birth photographers have to overcome in unforeseen challenges," Cook continued. "We are proud to present to you a breathtaking body of work that shares life's most powerful moments from 2020."
The association's annual photo competition recognizes its members and their best work on an international platform—the competition has grown in scope each year. Highly anticipated, the results quickly go viral each year as soon as the winners are announced. Images are judged on a variety of criteria and the first place winner will be featured throughout the year.
Best In Labor: "Primal Shapes Of Birth" By Laura Brink, Australia
First Place: "Daddy's Girls" By Ashley Marston, Canada
"Our association has grown by leaps and bounds and our members continually produce excellent, emotive, invaluable birth photographs for the families that hire them," Cook said. "I want to thank each and every IAPBP member who entered this year and, of course, the families who agreed to share their beautiful and sacred birth moments with the world."
Honorable Mention: "Welcome Little Woman" By Kate Kennedy, Australia
Honorable Mention: "Birthing Queen" By Kate Kennedy, Australia
IAPBP has assembled an impressive panel of judges for this year's competition, including multi-award winning birth photographer Dora Barens, photographer, mentor, and educator Kristen Cook, one of the 2019 Birth Photography Competition winners, Samantha Evans, and other highly-qualified professionals.
Honorable Mention: "You And You And Me" By Brittany Knapik, United States
Honorable Mention: "Home Birth In A Pandemic" By Ashley Marston, Canada
Best In Birth Details: “The Origin Of Life” By Charlene Foertser, Germany
Birth photography is a highly specialized field and the choice to have the experience documented is an intensely personal decision.
It involves the birth process, environment, the parents, and those in attendance; it encompasses the tears of joy, the wonder of bringing a new life into the world, and celebrates family.
Honorable Mention: "A Mother's Guidance" By Cat Fancote, Australia
Honorable Mention: "When Time Stands Still" By Ashley Marston, Canada
Honorable Mention: "Of All Our Travels, This Journey Will Be Our Greatest" By Dana Jacobs, United States
This year, the first place went to Canada, to Ashley Marston for her image, titled 'Daddy's Girls'. A mother of three beautiful children, Marston said hearing the big news was "just amazing."
"I have been a member of IAPBP for 7 or 8 years, almost as long as I've been a birth photographer and as long as they've been around," Marston explained in her Instagram story.
Honorable Mention: "This Moment 2020" By Kandyce Wagar, Canada
Honorable Mention :"Underwater" By Dania Watson, Australia
Honorable Mention: "Silent Night" By Rianna Cross, Australia
"Their image competition means a great deal to me. It's a competition that I highly respect <...> Last year, I won first place in the delivery category, this is the first time (maybe the last) I've ever taken first place. So, obviously, first place was unbelievable," Marston said.