January 14, 2017

IAPBP 2017 Photo Competition

The first time I allowed myself to admit that I was a “photographer” (rather than just someone who takes photos or who is learning) was also the same day that I signed up for a table at my first wedding expo in 2013. It was a small expo in Red Oak, TX – not like the crazy ones up in Dallas. Still, there was a good turn out of brides-to-be and although I was very nervous I was very excited to feel like a professional for the first time. Just a few minutes before the show was to open, I noticed there were only two other photographers with tables. The first photographer was a seasoned veteran who took traditional studio portraits and the second appeared to be a a no-show being that his table was completely empty just minutes before the doors opened. Just at the last minute a photographer comes in with giant stands and lights, computers for his table, and fancy equipment. Immediately I felt intimidated, scared, jealous, and insecure. My little table had some beautifully framed photos, a wedding album, and some large canvases, but nothing that could compare to his “fancy” setup.

Although I was scared and intimidated, I put on my most professional face and welcomed each bride as she came to my table. Throughout the day I made my way around to introduce myself to the other vendors and hand out business cards, leaving the other photographers for last. The entire day in my head I had imagined how the other photographer probably thought I was so inexperienced, incompetent, and unprofessional with my little table and pictures. Normally when I project my insecurities on other people I am proven wrong and reassured after talking with them, so I was pleasantly surprised to see him walking over with a cheery smile on his face to introduce himself.

The conversation started off with the basics: “Where are you from? How long have you been doing this? Are you having a good season?” and the normal chitchat. He then asked about what packages I was offering for brides at the event and asked to see one of my hand-outs. After looking it over for a minute his still cheery smiled looked down at me and said, “With these prices you must have a husband who supports you. What does he do for a living?”

I felt my ears getting hot.

I responded politely and tried to redirect the conversation to avoid further embarrassment. Guys like this like to talk about themselves, but my attempts to move the conversation away from me were failing miserable. My humiliation was growing as he grilled me on technical lighting equipment (even at that time I photographed almost completely with available light and didn’t use a lot of on or off camera flash as a style choice), what I would do in different lighting scenarios, and on and on.

When he finally had enough he shook my hand with his unending, fake, cheery smile and walked away leaving me feeling emotionally naked and ashamed. My brave face didn’t feel so brave anymore and I was counting down the minutes until the show was over. From that day on I doubted my abilities, questioning if I would ever have what it takes to be in this business. I became jaded about other industry professionals, telling myself that I needed to look out for myself and not offer advice or assistance even if I knew I had something to offer.

Two years later, I left the wedding industry altogether from burn out.

Eventually I decided to try my hand at birth photography. Thinking birth professionals were like the wedding professionals I had encountered, I geared up for a similar fight to hold my ground in the birth world. From my very first encounter I was proven so wrong. Kourtnie Sholz took the time to come to my house and answer any and every question that I had about the industry, introducing me to countless people and referring me along the way. The ladies at Birth Unscripted took me under their wing and mentored me, giving me the confidence I had been lacking. Then upon joining the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, I was introduced to an entire group of birth photographers across the globe who encourage, inspire, and support each other on a daily basis just because.

Right now the IAPBP is holding their annual birth photography photo competition. In the weeks leading up to the deadline members have been posting their submissions in the Facebook group and asking for advice or help narrowing down the entries. Even though we are each other’s competition, we have been freely offering advice and encouragement every time someone asks. Not only is it inspiring, but it also helps push our industry forward as we work together to better it as a whole. Thus I have decided:

“I don’t want my success to be built on the back of my competition’s failure.”

Below are my entries this year. Although I am not expecting to win anything, my hope is that with each photo entered, we will each contribute to the art of birth photography and normalizing birth around the globe.

Labor – “The ‘Susan’ Squat”

Birth Photography Dallas

Delivery –  “The Final Push”

Birth Photographer Dallas Texas

Postpartum – “Midwifery in the Operating Room”

Birth Photographer Dallas Texas

Details – “Judah & Jovie: The First Fight”

Birth Photographer Dallas Texas

Be sure to click on the links below to see some amazing work by fellow birth workers around the world and stay tuned to find out the winners for the photo competition!

Www.lorimartinezphotography.com /www.breatheinphotography.ca / www.costallifestylesphoto.com / www.brittanybrooksphotography.com / www.thekindredmama.com / www.pictureyourbirth.com / http://luzesytesoros.com / www.khamphotography.com / www.jessicaworland.com / Cherishedbirthphotography.com / www.bythecphotography.com / Bluemusephoto.com / Www.serendipityphotography.biz / Maegandougherty.com / www.sarakrebsbach.com / www.littlewondersphoto.com / bellaphotographytexas.com / Www.Photographytoremember.co.za / www.rachelutainevans.com / www.churchinphotography.com / www.RachelDemandPhotography.com / www.anyawait.com / www.sabrenarexingphotography.com / Www.lindsay-kaye.com / BirthDenver.com / Www.isadoraphotography.com / www.TulsaBirthPhotographer.com / www.angieklaus.com / https://austinbirthphotos.com / www.vivienstembridge.com / www.theartofunscripted.com / www.vanessamendezphotography.com / www.fotoszijnleuk.nl / www.lawrenrosephotography.com / Www.sacredmoments.ca / Www.ashleyshortphotography.com / Www.faithdoggett.com / www.littleplumphoto.com / www.bellybeanphotography.com / www.jessieandbree.com /www.litttleearthlingphotography.com / Www.nataliawalth.com / www.blossomandbloomphotography.com / Www.elisehurstphotography.com / Www.laurabeckphotography.com / www.amandajacksonphoto.comwww.ashleymeyerphotography.com / www.aliciatphoto.ca / www.ellianagilbert.ca / Jessicanothumphotography.com / www.shellyheinrichsphotography.ca / www.bysilvie.nl / http://www.vi-photography.nl / http://www.samanthanoelphotography.com / http://www.pietersfotografie.nl / http://www.dorabarensfotografie.nl / http://www.lauriedonovanphoto.com/birth / http://www.LittleLeapling.com / http://www.lynndotsonphotography.com / http://Www.tgbphotography.com / http://tampabirthphotographer.com / http://www.oregonbirthphotographer.com / http://Www.cdaisyphotography.com / http://loveatfirstsightphotographydoula.blogspot.com/?m=1 / http://www.creanostra.com / http://www.photosbyamarie.com / http://www.jeanetteleephoto.com / http://www.puurmama.com / http://www.ay-ambiencephotography.com / http://magnificentbirth.com / http://www.kindredbirth.com.au / http://Www.raleighbirthphotography.com / http://www.gerjanne.nl/portfolio-geboorte / www.renatevanlith.nl / http://www.geboortefotografie-utrecht.nl / http://Www.bjornahoen.com / http://www.leonadarnell.com / http://Www.kellywilsonphotography.com / http://Lcrazebirthphotography.co.uk / http://www.heathersearsphotography.com / http://www.artshapedphotography.com / http://www.birthinfocus.com / www.bonnielehr.com / http://www.lifetimeofclicksphotography.com / http://www.jessicabphotography.com / http://www.birthblessingsphotography.com / http://www.cherylgroff.com / http://www.treeoflifedoulaphotography.com / http://www.birthdaygeboortefotografie.nl / http://www.onetreephotography.com / http://www.capturedbycasey.net / http://www.jhmamarazziphotography.com / http://www.sandrinosfotografie.nl / http://www.shirleyannephotography.com / http://www.katiagphoto.com / http://TCbirthphotographer.com / http://www.zuralagarde.com / http://www.megaboophotography.com / http://www.morganlangphotography.com / http://CampbellKamine.com / http://www.lukk.nl / http://Tcbirthphoto.com / http://Www.bornbirthphotography.com / http://www.firstembracephoto.com / http://www.samschroder.co.za

8 Comments

Marjolijn de Graaf

Postpartum – “Midwifery in the Operating Room” What a beautiful picture! Wauw!

22:10 January 14, 2017
Reply

Heather J. Ball

Your blog post is totally awesome - thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to have an insight into your journey. I also want to thank you for sharing a link my website. Your a beautiful person inside and out. Hugs, love and good luck to you and everyone else who submitted work for the competition.

01:08 January 15, 2017
Reply

Bree Garcia

I adore these images. Great blog post and thank you for sharing my website link as well! Good luck for the competition! You're talented!

02:30 January 15, 2017
Reply

Morgan Lang

I'm glad you didn't give up on photography after he talked to you like that because your work is beautiful! It's hard whenever you get a group of females together to have everyone get along, but for the most part the birth photography community is kind and supportive. We're all wanting the same thing- to show the world how precious and beautiful a baby's birth day is. To create keepsakes for families to look back at years later and still have warm fuzzies as they think back to the day they held their child for the first time. I'm glad that you've been supported and shown kindness through this great group of birth photographers! Best wishes in the competition! Your midwifery in the OR room image touches my heart as a c-section mom.

04:27 January 15, 2017
Reply

Elise Hurst

Oh my goodness! First of all, you are incredible writer. My heart hurt with you as I read about your first vendors experience. Secondly, you killed it with these entries. I especially love that labor image! Thank you for the mention!

17:25 January 16, 2017
Reply

The Art of Unscripted

This post is everything. I am happy you have found where you belong amongst so many beautiful birth photographer souls! I love, love, love the "First Fight" because it's so documentary in nature and the fact it is not something you see everyday! Thanks for the lovely mention!

07:06 January 17, 2017
Reply

Katie

Stunning! I see all winners!

04:59 January 18, 2017
Reply

Ashley

I love this so much. Your birth photography is beautiful! Thanks for including my link, too! <3

16:21 January 18, 2017
Reply

You might also like