This year I was eligible to submit photos to the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers Image of the Year Competition. There were 4 categories: Labor, Delivery, Postpartum, and Details. I chose to enter 2 photos. One in the labor category and one in the delivery category. I knew there was no way I would win. I'm very proud of the work I've done in the last year but I also see the work of the other birth photographers that were going to be entering images and they are all so incredible. I entered not to win but to push myself to be better. To get out of my shell and put my work "out there".
The coolest aspect of this contest took place in the days leading up to the entry deadline. Each photographer was posting images that they were considering and asking their "competition" for help deciding which one to enter! The community of birth photographers across the world is incredibly supportive and instead of acting like competition, they are encouraging and helpful. Even though this is a "competition" the idea is NOT to put one birth against another but instead to show the beauty in every birth and the strength in every family that is welcoming a new baby. You should take a few minutes and look at not only the winners but every entry. (There are only 600, shouldn't take too long right?) You can check them out here: 2017 Image of the Year Competition, IAPBP.
Below are the 2 images I submitted. I'm already looking forward to next year!