Lets first start off staying how proud I am to be a member of this association and all that they do!

They are changing the way the world sees birth and bringing this community together from all around the world

Entering images into the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers competition for the second time was both thrilling and nerve-wracking. It's like offering up a piece of your soul—your art, your sweat, your tears—and waiting anxiously for judgment. But there's an undeniable rush in knowing that your work will be seen, that it might resonate with someone out there. And let's be real, the possibility of winning in a category? I would be blown away and honored! So, with a mix of excitement and trepidation, I submitted three images that hold a special place in my heart.

Fast forward two months, the IAPBP had over 500 images submitted and a total of 55 countries represented. So you can imagine my sheer elation when I learned that one of my images snagged the Best Documentary Award in the Postpartum Catalog and clinched a Silver Award, while another secured a spot in the top 20%. I still can't quite wrap my head around it—every time I say "I won," it feels surreal! But wait, it gets even better. My work was also chosen to be showcased in Australia at a gallery (EEKKKK!!)—a dream I've held since high school.

Now I would love to share with you the stories behind each of these photos. They're more than just snapshots; they're windows into moments of raw emotion and profound connection.

"Nebula of Love"

"Nebula of Love" encapsulates a moment of profound serenity and connection amidst the intensity of childbirth. To fully grasp the significance of this image, let me take you back to the scene.

Mom and Dad had envisioned a peaceful water birth, but as fate would have it, their son had other plans and made his grand entrance on the bathroom floor. Amidst the whirlwind of emotions, Mom was still wrapping her head around everything that had just happened. Recognizing her longing for a water birth, the midwife and her team made sure she would get what she desired.

With gentle guidance, Mom was led to the birthing pool, where she could finally take a breath and process the events of the day, and just enjoy the fruits of her labor. This was a testament to the midwife's dedication to honoring Mom's wishes and ensuring she had the opportunity to embrace her birthing experience fully.

Just minutes before, Mom had tapped into her superpower and brought her son into the world. Now, here she was immersed in the warmth of water, marveling at every little detail of her newborn. She watched each rise and fall of his chest and examined his tiny toes and fingers with wonder. What made this moment so poignant was the unwavering support and devotion displayed by Dad. From ensuring his wife's comfort to tenderly holding his son's hand, he remained a steadfast pillar of love.

As I captured this scene, I was drawn to the intricate details that narrated the story of birth—the tattoos adorning their skin, the blackbirds flying from Mom's forearm reflecting back to Dad's forearm, the new baby's head and knees marked with the evidence of his journey, and the freshly cut umbilical cord. And those lights surrounding them seemed to create their own world, where nothing else mattered; a magical nebula, filled with warmth, peace, and above all love.

"Silent Strength"

This image just gets me EVERY TIME! "Silent Strength" speaks volumes with just one glance. It's a moment that resonates deeply with each birther, capturing the essence of sheer determination and resilience in the face of doubt.

Mom had been laboring tirelessly for two days, facing relentless waves of contractions that seemed to test her every ounce of strength. When I arrived, she had reached a point where she needed additional support. I watched as she moved from laboring in the water to finding solace on the bed, her partner and doula remained by her side, offering unwavering support, and whispered words of encouragement and affirmation. They were speaking to her inner voice reminding her of her strength, that she was making the best choice for her and baby, and that yes she was doing it.

Everything in this scene draws you in—the soft glow of lights above leading your gaze to the doorway where she labors, the contrast of darkness enveloping the hallway, illuminated only by the radiant light spilling from the doorframe. The flower, in its full blossom, mirrors the mother in her own moment of strength and resilience, poised to bloom amidst the intensity of labor.

In this image, we see the story of a mother confronted by relentless waves, daring to engulf and consume her, yet ultimately finding stability amidst the chaos of her inner turmoil. We witness not just the physical act of labor, but the emotional and spiritual journey of a mother as she navigates the depths of her own strength and endurance. It's a testament to the power and beauty inherent in the birthing process—a reminder of the silent strength that resides within every woman as she brings new life into the world.

"Unwavering Love"

When I say this birth was magical. I truly mean THIS BIRTH WAS MAGICAL!

"Unwavering Love" isn't just a photograph; it's a testament to this mom's strength and triumph amidst life's chaotic and unexpected twists. Throughout her pregnancy, she longed for a smooth and calm birth, and this image stands as undeniable proof that her hope and desire were fulfilled.

As the final trimester unfolded, she faced challenges that would've made many falter. But not her. Surrounded by a tribe of fierce women—midwives, doula, and yours truly—she danced through labor with a grace that was both inspiring and humbling.

When the moment arrived, she submerged herself into the warm embrace of the birthing pool, determination etched on her face. And then, with a strength born of sheer will, she caught her baby as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

But what truly captivates me about "Unwavering Love" is the way the ripples of water cascade off her belly as she moves to embrace her baby. It's as if the movement in the photo draws us into the moment, where not only is the mother reaching out for her child, but the child is also reaching out for their mother.

Can you imagine the scene? The room echoed with the sounds of new life, and her smile—oh, that radiant smile—lit up the entire space as she cradled her newborn close and reminded herself that she just did that. Nothing was going to stop this mom from having her baby the way she intended.

We toasted her triumph with bubbly and laughter, reveling in the power of her spirit and the sheer magic of childbirth. "Unwavering Love" isn't just a photograph; it's a testament to resilience, strength, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child.

OK so this image didn't receive an award like I had hoped, but I'm still so proud to have the privilege to share and celebrate this momma. Her moment still deserves a place on this page and I will hold this moment close!

Watch the Awards Live

IAPBP recorded the awards live and showcased the images in a beautiful gallery for anyone to come and look at. here's the link to watch it for yourself.

Don't stop there, take a look at all the IABPB Award Winning Images

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