The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Image of the Year Competition. Our Judge panel had a very difficult job in narrowing down the winners this year as there were many excellent entries. We are appreciative of their time and efforts. Winners were chosen on a point system and judged on technicality, emotionality and composition. Thank you to each and every IAPBP member who entered this year and, of course, the families who agreed to share their birth moments with us all!

  • All images have been shared with the permission of the family and the photographer. Please respect their choice and copyright. Do not copy, print or save any of the images. You are, of course, welcome to share a link to this page if you wish.
  • This competition has now ended. Judging was completed using a point system. For more information please view our 2017 Official Rules, Terms and Conditions.
  • Media: If you would like to do a story on the competition please complete our Media Request Form below before using or sharing any images. Images can only be shared once the form is complete. Proper credit and hyperlinks to the photographer / copyright owner are required. We will provide you with all the contact info, photographer links and watermarked / web ready images in one download. Requests for an interview or quote with our Founder should be directed to media@birthphotographers.com.

If you are new here and would like to find a birth photographer in your area, please visit our Birth Photographer Directory. If you are interested in finding a birth videographer, please visit our Birth Videographer Directory. If you would like to become a member of the IAPBP, you can join here.

Please note: While birth is beautiful, it is also messy and real. You should expect nudity when viewing the entries.

 

2017 Competition Winners


First Place Winner


148 | Road to Deliverance
Jaydene Freund – Cradled Creations

 


 

Best In Category: Labor


472 | Determination
Katie Mathis Photography

 


 

Best In Category: Delivery


067 | With A Splash
Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography

 


 

Best In Category: Postpartum


366 | Straight from Heaven
Natasha Hance – Birth Unscripted

 


 

Best In Category: Birth Details

009 | Pieces of Me
009 | Pieces of Me
Kourtnie Scholz – KEDocumentary

 


 

Honorable Mentions

Sponsored By

            

            


2017 Competition Entries

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Judges


Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein

Abby_Epstein_&_Ricki_LakeFrom acting and producing, to dancing her way into the hearts of television audiences, Emmy Award winning Host Ricki Lake is a pop culture icon who has built a career on her graciously candid sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature.

Ricki Lake’s legacy and perhaps her greatest love is her role as an independent filmmaker. Her award-winning documentary The Business of Being Born debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Lake worked closely with filmmaker Abby Epstein on the project, which resonated with audiences, striking up a conversation about a subject that is sometimes considered taboo. Declared a film that ‘should be seen by every pregnant woman in America’, it has also inspired a rise in homebirth rates and an increase in midwife practices.

Lake is again collaborating with Abby Epstein and they are currently in production on two documentaries; Sweetening The Pill, about hormonal birth control and Weed The People, about medicinal cannabis. Both films are slated for late 2015 release.

Lake competed on the 13th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” where she partnered with three-time champion Derek Hough, making it to the finals. She recently performed with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall.

At the age of 24, Lake entered the living rooms of millions of television viewers with her daily talk show, “The Ricki Lake Show”. After 11 successful seasons, “The Ricki Lake Show” wrapped in 2005. Lake returned in 2012, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

The world first met Lake in 1988 as Tracy Turnblad in John Waters’ film Hairspray. Her additional film credits include Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Working Girl, Last Exit To Brooklyn, and Mrs. Winterbourne. Television credits include “Babycakes”, “China Beach”, “The King of Queens”, “Matters of Life & Dating”, and “Loving Leah”.


Abby Epstein produced and directed the celebrated documentary The Business of Being Born, with her longtime producing partner, Ricki Lake. Heralded as a “must-see for every pregnant woman,” The Business of Being Born premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival where it was named among “Best of the Fest” by New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. The Business of Being Born was released theatrically in 2008 and had its broadcast premiere on Showtime. The success of the film inspired Abby and Ricki’s book Your Best Birth, which was published by Hachette. Their follow-up DVD series More Business of Being Born featuring Cindy Crawford, Alanis Morissette, Gisele Bundchen and Christy Turlington was released in 2011. Abby made her film directing debut at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with the documentary, Until the Violence Stops, featuring Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Salma Hayek and Rosie Perez. The film played at the Miami, Santa Barbara, Maui and Locarno Film Festivals and won the Audience Award at the Amnesty International Film Festival in Vancouver. Until the Violence Stops premiered on Lifetime Television and received an Emmy and a Gracie Allen Award. Under their joint venture BOBB Films, Abby and Ricki served as Executive Producers of the 2014 documentary Breastmilk and are in production on two new films: Weed the People and Sweetening the Pill. Prior to her film work Abby directed theater, helming National Tours and international premieres of RENT and “The Vagina Monologues.”


Catherine Pearson

Catherine Pearson is a senior reporter for the Women and Parents sections of The Huffington Post, where she writes about maternal health, reproductive rights and policy, parenting, and relationships. She is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and New York University and is the proud mother of a 2-year-old son.


Penny Simkin

Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 13,000 women, couples, and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women and couples through childbirth as a doula. She is author or co-author of books for both parents and professionals, including “The Labor Progress Handbook;” “Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide;” “When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women;” “The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions,” She has developed teaching materials for birth classes and produced several videos for educators, doulas, and families , the latest of which is for siblings-to-be, “There’s a Baby.” She is co-founder of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America) and PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth). Currently, she serves on the editorial board of the journal, Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, and serves on the senior faculty of the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor. Today, her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling, and labor support, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops. Penny and her husband, Peter, have four grown children and eight grandchildren from 11 to 28 years of age, two grandchildren-in-laws, and a pug, Lola. Find out more about Penny at her website: www.pennysimkin.com.


Jan Tritten

Jan is the founder, mother and editor-in-chief of Midwifery Today magazine and a midwife who was in active practice from 1977–1989. She became a midwife in 1977 after the powerful homebirth of one of her daughters. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies throughout the world. She does this by organizing Midwifery Today conferences around world as well as publishing the magazine. One of her favorite tasks is to look at photos of mothers and babies and births so she is honored to participate in this contest.


Peggy Vincent

Midwife since 1980 (retired, mostly), mother (3 adults), wife (>50 years to a very patient man), cat-herder (just 2 of them, really), cheese lover, knitter, and author of 3 books, titled Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife (Scribner 2002), Midwife: A Calling (Ant Press 2015), and Midwife: A Journey (Ant Press 2016). I discovered a love of the power of birthing women when I was still a teenager, and that love has never diminished.


Dr. Stuart Fischbein

Stuart James Fischbein, MD was Board Certified in 1989 and became a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1990. He has been a practicing obstetrician in Southern California since completing his residency in 1986. While well trained at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the standard medical model of obstetrics he had the respect and vision to support the midwifery model of care and served as a backup consultant to many home and birthing center midwives for 25 years. In 1996 he founded The Woman’s Place for Health, Inc., a collaborative practice of Certified Nurse Midwives and Obstetricians in Camarillo, California.

In 2004, Dr. Fischbein co-authored, “Fearless Pregnancy, Wisdom & Reassurance from a Doctor, a Midwife and a Mom” www.fearlesspregnancy.net. For his efforts he has been awarded the Doulas Association of Southern California (DASC) Physician of the year award three times and was the very first recipient of DASC’s lifetime achievement award in support of pregnant women. He has spoken internationally on breech and vaginal birth after cesarean section and has appeared in many documentaries, including: “More Business of Being Born”, “Happy Healthy Child”, “Reducing Infant Mortality”, “Heads Up: The Disappearing Art of Vaginal Breech Delivery” and multiple YouTube videos discussing birth choices and respect for patient autonomy and decision making.

Dr. Fischbein now works directly with home birthing midwives www.birthinginstincts.com and offers hope for those women who prefer and respect a natural birthing environment and cannot find supportive practitioners for VBAC, twin and breech deliveries. He is an outspoken advocate of informed decision making, the midwifery model of care and human rights in childbirth, receiving the 2016 “Most Audacious” award from HRIC and the Association for Wholistic & Newborn Health. Hear more of his thoughts and advocacy for evidenced-based, reasonable choices on his podcast at www.drstuspodcast.com. His recently published paper, “Home Birth with an Obstetrician, A Series of 135 Births” critically analyzes his home birthing statistics. Dr. Fischbein has as a goal the re-teaching of the skills, such as breech and twin vaginal birth, that make the specialty of obstetrics unique.


Lena Hyde

lena_hydeFor the last 16 years, Lena Hyde has been transforming the way her clients view photography through her stunning philosophy of life as art, and by creating memories of childhood that will be treasured for a lifetime.

With advanced degrees in photography and art history, Lena is highly capable in both the technical and aesthetic possibilities of her craft. Also frequently published and internationally exhibited, Lena speaks as a respected expert in the field of contemporary childhood photography. Her studio and offices are headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Lena is the creator of both Design Aglow , the highly acclaimed and awarded design and business success resource for portrait and wedding photography studios since 2006. Lena recently authored two best selling photography books, released to an international audience of professional photographers by Random House.

Lena’s photography and businesses have been featured in Professional Photographer Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, Click! Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Country Life Magazine (UK), Palm Beach Young Society Magazine, City & Shore Magazine, and Whole Living Magazine.

LenaHyde.com | DesignAglow.com


Kirsten Lewis

kirsten_lewisKirsten is a family photojournalist based in Denver, Colorado however her work brings her all over the world, from New Zealand to Dubai, Brazil to Canada, Italy to Hawaii. Although she has been shooting and teaching for over a decade, it was her 3 day Creative Live class that really brought her approach to documentary family photography to the forefront as a desirable alternative to the traditional family portrait. Her Day In The Life sessions are completely raw, 24hrs of coverage of a single family usually producing incredibly funny and touching images depicting real life as a kid as well as a parent. She has been mentoring photographers Internationally not only within her genre of photography, but a coach guiding them to find their own unique voice by embracing their personal experiences and letting them reflect that history through their photographs. She is most excited for the biggest job she’ll be undertaking in the beginning of May, that of Mommy with the arrival of her first baby with husband Greg.


Darren Mattock

Darren_MattockDarren is an Australian-based Expectant & New Dad Specialist with 8+ years’ experience in the pregnancy, birth and early parenting spaces. In 2012, he founded Becoming Dad – an online community that serves to help prepare and support men as they make the transition to fatherhood and parenthood. Darren has worked with hundreds of dads in his own community and thousands online – in groups and private practice. He also trains childbirth professionals (childbirth educators, doulas and midwives) on how to work with and support men on their Becoming Dad journeys. Darren currently has students from the US, UK, Australia and Canada, and is inspired by the birth community’s commitment to create better outcomes for moms, babies AND dads. He is a HUGE fan of birth photography and this is his fourth consecutive year as a Judge! Most importantly, Darren is dad to his son Charlie – his greatest source of inspiration.

Becoming Dad | Facebook


Dawn Thompson

Dawn Thompson is the founder and President of ImprovingBirth, a national advocacy organization who’s mission is to Inform, Support, Engage and Empower Consumers, Community Leaders and Providers with Tools to Improve Birth. Dawn has been in birth work since 2003 as a Doula and Birth Activist with a background in marketing and public relations.


Molly Flanagan

Molly Flanagan is a Family Storytelling photographer in South Carolina. She has traveled world-wide documenting families in their homes, no posing and no trying to make life appear flawless. Molly is also owner of The Define School for photographers. Her mission through The Define School is to help photographers gather the tools they need to find their own unique perspective, while building community through small classes and mentoring relationships with teachers.


Peggy O’Mara

Peggy O’Mara is the Editor and Publisher of peggyomara.com. She was the owner of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011 and founded mothering.com in 1995. Peggy’s books include Natural Family Living, Having a Baby Naturally, and A Quiet Place. She is the recipient of the La Leche League, International 2001 Alumnae Association award, the National Vaccine Information Center Courage in Journalism award, and the Holistic Moms Network Lifetime Achievement Award. Peggy is the mother of four adult children and grandmother of three.


Jenna Shouldice

Jenna Shouldice is a documentary and wedding/family photographer based out of Victoria BC, where she works with her husband and they raise their small daughter. Her documentary work focuses on women’s issues and more specifically, the labour process. In additional to being professionally trained Jenna has a degree in Psychology, trained as a doula in 2011, and her birth work has been published internationally both online and in print.


Rebecca Dekker

Rebecca L. Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN is the founder and author of Evidence Based Birth®. Rebecca is an assistant professor of nursing at a research university in the U.S. She teaches pathophysiology and pharmacology to BSN nursing students, and she serves as a mentor for doctoral students in Nursing.

Rebecca’s area of research is depression in people with heart disease, and she is currently funded by a $355,000 grant to gain formal training in cognitive behavior therapy and clinical trial research. Recently, Rebecca was invited to serve as a co-investigator on several studies testing cognitive behavior therapy for pregnant women who are at high risk for future cardiovascular disease.

Rebecca’s research has been recognized with many awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the Cleveland Clinic Institute for Heart-Brain Medicine and the Promising Young Investigator Award from the American Heart Association. Rebecca is also a board-certified adult clinical nurse specialist and an advanced practice registered nurse.

In May 2012, Rebecca realized that it was very difficult for the average person to find information about evidence-based maternity care. Realizing that she had the research and writing skills to meet this need, Rebecca coined the term “evidence based birth” and founded www.evidencebasedbirth.com. The mission of Evidence Based Birth® is to promote evidence-based practice during childbirth by providing research evidence directly to women and families.

Founding Evidence Based Birth® has led to new opportunities for Rebecca. In November, 2012, she was asked to join the executive board of directors of www.ImprovingBirth.org, a non-profit whose mission is to bring evidence-based care and humanity to childbirth. Over the past year, Rebecca has given many presentations about evidence based birth to nursing students, medical residents, college students, and nurse midwives. In 2013, she gave a speech at the American College of Nurse Midwives annual conference, and she spoke about the use of social media to promote evidence-based maternity care at the Virtual International Day of the Midwife.

In addition to being a prolific writer, researcher, and teacher, Rebecca is wife to Dan and mom to two young children. In her spare time she loves to garden, bike, and play piano, flute, and piccolo.


Twyla Jones

I recently moved to Florida with my fiancé and our two sons after growing up running around the woods and fields of Kansas. I have a degree in Human Biology but shifted my focus to photographing human connection instead. I am obsessed with beautiful light and looking for magic everywhere. I focus heavily on creating environments that foster meaningful connections between my subjects. It is my desire to create photographs that do more than serve as proof that you existed, I want to show that you lived passionately and loved madly. I enjoy sharing the way I see beauty with other photographers and helping others find the confidence they need to create meaningful artwork for both themselves and their clients.  Website:  http://www.twylajones.com/


Heather Dessigner

heather_dessingerHeather is the founder of Mommypotamus.com, a site devoted to helping moms take steps toward healthier living. She’s passionate about real food, natural remedies, homemade non-toxic beauty products, and sharing research on health topics that affect families. Her interest in birth began, of all places, at a book store close out sale. On a whim, her brand-new husband bought her a copy of Birth Without Violence. Though they hadn’t started their family yet, it challenged every idea she’d ever had about birth and inspired her to research her choices. She and her husband now live with their three little “potami” on a homestead near Nashville, Tennessee.

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest


Michelle Anderson

For more than a decade, Michele of Pinkle Toes Photography has been one of the most sought-after family and child photographers in Austin and around the country. Back in 2007, she was considered a “pioneer” in area of birth photography as it wasn’t commonly practiced at the time. She is known world-wide for her authentic, lifestyle portraiture, and unexpected, beautiful newborn and baby imagery. She has three children and is married to a wonderful man who keeps everyone happy and fed.


Jill Krause

205aJill Krause is the voice behind BabyRabies.com, where she chronicles life after baby fever became baby rabies, leaving her with no choice but to become a mom. She’s now mother to four. Jill tries to write candidly, with a sense of humor about life as a mom. She also likes to focus on photography, and using it to document and share all the small and ordinary details of family life she knows she’ll miss the most 20 years from now.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Christina Beckett

christina_beckettTina Beckett is a professional photographer serving the Baltimore, MD and DC Metro surrounding areas. Tina is also the founder for the photography blog and forum In Beauty & Chaos. Tina specializes in maternity, newborn, and family portraiture. Documentary photography and dramatic light are her true loves. An army wife with three little ones, Tina stays busy documenting life at home, the lives of her clients, and spreading the love of photography as a mentor at In Beauty & Chaos.

Christina Beckett Photography | Facebook


Marijke Thoen

Marijke Thoen is a professional birth photographer based in Belgium.

In doubt at the age of 18 whether to study midwifery or photography, she chose the latter and started her professional photography business soon after. A few years later, she found the perfect way to blend both her passions: she specialized in the field of birth photography. Marijke won last year’s IAPBP Image of the Year Competition and was published in numerous magazines and websites all over the world.

Marijke is the founder of www.geboortefotografie-Vlaanderen.be and a co-founder of www.geboortefotografen.com, the official association of professional birth photographers in Belgium and The Netherlands, which offers a platform and information for parents, photographers and medical staff.

Through her work, Marijke wants to show the illusion of separation between mother and child at birth. Even though the delivery marks their physical separation, she believes a much deeper connection is established almost immediately afterwards. It is that magical moment of connecting on a deeper level that takes your breath away time and time again.

Being a mother to two wonderful children herself, she believes each and every child she has photographed at birth will – one day – look at those pictures and understand how much they are loved.

Website | Facebook | Instagram


Lyndsay Stradtner

lyndsay_stradtnerLyndsay is the founder of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers. In addition to a thriving portrait and birth photography business, Life in Motion Photography, Lyndsay has mentored birth photographers from around the world through her mentoring program, The Birth Experience. Lyndsay’s award winning work has been featured in many publications through the years and she’s worked with various media news outlets around the world featuring birth photography including The Today Show, People Magazine, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, BBC News, Vanity Fair, Self Magazine, Elle, Fit Pregnancy, Redbook, Women’s Day, Yahoo News, Rangefinder, Parenting Magazine, Baby Talk Magazine, Baby Center and BuzzFeed. She resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and four (soon to be five) children.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Instagram