Overall Winner & Overall People’s Choice Winner: Marijke Thoen of Marijke Thoen Geboortefotografie, “Stunning Siblings First Encounter”
Few experiences are as life-changing as giving birth. From the moment a mother discovers she’s pregnant to her baby’s first breath, it can be hard to express what this time means. But when words fail, birth photography ensures that the experience is beautifully immortalized; these specialty photographers capture maternity, labor, and life after the baby arrives. To highlight the very best in birth photography, Birth Becomes Her—a community of women passionate about the field—have just concluded their 2018 photo contest celebrating “real images of birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood.”
The Birth Becomes Her photo contest comprises five categories chronicling the different points of pregnancy and beyond. The divisions include maternity, labor, birth, fresh/postpartum, and breastfeeding; each category has first, second, and third place winners, as well as a People’s Choice award. This year, the competition received nearly 1,000 entries from photographers around the world. The winning images are an honest and nuanced view of families' lives, from times of joy to times of challenge.
So, who won the top prize this year? The Overall Winner and the People’s Choice Winner is photographer Marijke Thoen for her image titled Stunning Siblings First Encounter. Snapped in black and white, the picture is a striking look just seconds after a water birth. The focus is on the newborn and their sibling; the baby begins to cry as their curious sister stands face to face with the new person in her life. Thoen’s masterful eye—and being at the right place at the right time—externalizes a fleeting split second that can now be cherished for many years to come.
Birth Becomes Her recently concluded their 2018 photo contest highlighting the best in birth photography.
Birth (1st Place): Selena Rollason of Brisbane Birth Photography, “Half Born and Already Reaching for Mama”
Breastfeeding (1st Place): Cory Janiak by Ebb and Flow Photography, “Within Reach”
Fresh/Postpartum (1st Place): Veronika Richardson of Fox Valley Birth and Baby, “This is VBAC”
Labor (1st Place): Rebecca Coursey-Rugh of Rebecca Coursey Photography, “Nowhere and Everywhere”
Maternity (1st Place): Jen Conway of Jen Conway Photography Serving, “This is what a Goddess Looks Like”
Birth (2nd Place): Neely Ker-Fox of Ker-Fox Photography, “Fist Bump for Mom”
Birth (3rd Place): Dominique Lamontagne of Dominique Lamontagne Photography, “Caught in Between Worlds”
Breastfeeding (2nd Place): Veronika Richardson of Fox Valley Birth and Baby, “Tranquility”
Breastfeeding (3rd Place): Christina Benton of Christina Benton Photography, “Stir Fry”
Fresh/Postpartum (2nd Place): Lacey Barratt from Lacey Barratt Photography, “Rebirth”
Fresh/Postpartum (3nd Place): Kayla Gonzales of Austin Birth Photos, “Postpartum Uncensored”
Labor (2nd Place): Ashley Marston of Ashley Marston Photography, “Labor by Candlelight”
Labor (3rd Place): Laura Wando of Laura Cate Photography, “Before the Cut”
Maternity (People’s Choice Winner & 2nd Place): Melissa Benzel of Benzel Photography, “Staying Afloat”
Maternity (3rd Place): Vanessa Mendez of Vanessa Mendez Photography, “A Mother’s Love”
Birth (People’s Choice Winner): Caroline Devulder, “Transition to Earth”
Breastfeeding (People’s Choice Winner): Gabriella Hunt of Gabriella Hunt Photography, “A Hush Fell Over The Crowd”
Fresh/Postpartum (People’s Choice Winner): Deborah Elenter of NEO Photography, “Success”
Labor (People’s Choice Winner): Esther Edith of Esther Edith Photography, “Three Souls Labor As One”
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Birth Becomes Her.
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