TOP SNAP: This shot by Jen Shipston of the Heart of Motherhood earned an Honourable Mention.
TOP SNAP: This shot by Jen Shipston of the Heart of Motherhood earned an Honourable Mention. Contributed

Birth photographer stands out in international comp

FOR most mothers, labour is something they may only experience in their life once or twice.

Since 2011, Jen Shipston has been part of around 65.

The Gatton birth photographer has captured the special moment for families from the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, Toowoomba and as far as Stanthorpe and Dalby.

She recently found out one of her photos received an Honourable Mention in the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers' 2017 Image of the Year Competition.

It was one of just 21 to be picked out amongst more than 600 entries worldwide.

"Every photographer enters thinking they're not going to place because the images are just out- standing,” Mrs Shipston said.

The mother of three said she entered because she wanted to show the local community how vital it was to capture such a special moment.

"I thought how important it was to have someone dedicated, like you would have at a wedding,” she said.

"For the mother there are a lot of things that you don't remember of the day because it's all so intense and emotional and it can just be a bit of a blur.”

Birth photographers also take the pressure off of fathers to capture the moment and allow them to be involved fully.

"We shouldn't expect the dad to take the photos and we want them to be in the story and supporting their wives,” she said.

"One day down the track those photos are going to be so precious for the baby.”

Mrs Shipston was well aware of the stigma around her work.

"I think it's important to show it's not just about the birth but the whole experience,” she said.

Going back to take photos for the same family, like she did in December, was always special.

"The big brother was there watching on, it was really cool,” she said.


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