I am stepping out of my comfort zone and entering this year’s International Association of Professional Birth Photographer’s Image Competition. This is an annual image contest dedicated to birth photography professionals. This year, there are four categories: labor, delivery, post part and birth details. I entered this image into the Birth Details category. The competition is fierce! By participating, we as professionals validate and normalize birth and all that goes along with it. For something so natural, it is hard to believe we must use the word “normalize” to bring it to the surface. It is natural and oh so beautiful!
This image obviously isn’t for everyone, which is one of the reasons I dedicated a post to it. It is part of a much larger story, which I will be sharing in the weeks to come. I just couldn’t wait to share it with my entry pending.
This placenta has earned quite a reputation as one of the thickest and longest cords professionals have seen. It nourished a 10lb. 5oz. beautiful baby boy for 41 weeks. This lifeline creates a bond that extends well beyond the womb. There is reliance, an understanding between mother and child, that establishes the life-long dedication to one another; a love that is unique to mother and child.
This image also expresses my feelings for birth photography. I was in LOVE after I was able to process everything about my first birth story session almost a year ago. It is such an amazing experience to not only witness the miracle of birth (this seems like such a cliche until you have actually witnessed it), but also to see how these families grow. Not only in number, but emotionally. The amount of support, awe and respect that is exhibited in these moments is immeasurable. Having images to capture the look on a loved ones face as they are watching their wife/mother/ daughter/sister find a strength they have never observed. These moments that go often go unseen by the birthing mother, as she is digging deep to literally push past the moment. That is what birth photography is all about; allowing those moments to be captured for the family to reflect upon for years to come.
I encourage you to follow IAPBP on Facebook at birthphotographers.com and Instagram @birthphotogs. There are so many amazing photographers in this Association. Contest winners will be announced January 19th, 2017.