We wanted to start off our new blog with a bang and knew that featuring last year’s 2017 Image of the Year Competition winner, Jaydene Freund, was the perfect way to kick things off!  Jaydene holds the distinction of being the very first photographer to win the competition with a labor image.  

Jaydene is an award winning photographer and videographer located in Abbotsford British Columbia, Canada. Since beginning her career in birth photography in 2009, Freund has photographed and filmed over 150 birth stories and has been featured in numerous publications.  She has chosen to specialize in birth stories and film because she is constantly inspired by the strength within women and the love that blooms between families in the birth room. 

Our first question….”What was it like to win the competition last year?”

“This was a huge honour for me as I have been submitting images into this competition since the first year they ran it 5 years ago.  It was funny timing, as this was the year I had chosen to step back from my business and enjoy a proper maternity leave after my 3rd baby was born in March. It felt bitter sweet to turn down all the inquiries that came after winning the competition but luckily there are also a lot of other great birth photographers in my area that covered for me this year while I chose to focus on motherhood.”

We also wanted to know more about the birth story and the winning image:

“This mom had planned to birth at home and luckily here in Canada, midwifery care is covered by our government. She was labouring beautifully and enjoying her home environment. Things intensified when her waters broke at 8cm and there was meconium present. Here in Canada our midwives follow a standard of care that encourages safe homebirths for low-risk women. When there is meconium present, midwives usually recommend transferring to birth in hospital. This mom chose to transfer to the local hospital (10 minutes away) at her midwife’s recommendation. She also chose to drive instead of calling an ambulance because she decided it would be quicker in the end. I hopped into their car with them “just in case” and grabbed my 24mm because I knew I would be shooting in a tight environment. The drive there was long as we all knew things were changing and she was incredibly close. It was no surprise that she was 10cm when we arrived to the hospital. Despite the chaos of the transfer, she still chose to stay focused and listen to her body’s needs (which were to walk herself up to her room at 10cm and push out her baby in hands and knees position on the hospital bed.) It was a surprise girl and the best ending to a VERY fast moving birth.”

And, of course, e all wanted to see more from this beautiful birth and Jaydene shares the full story with us here:

Jaydene, thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us and the world.  We’ve been so thrilled to have you represent IAPBP in 2017!  You can find more of her work here:

The 2018 Image Competition is currently under way.  The deadline to enter is March 13, 2018 and we are honored to have Jaydene as one of our esteemed judges.