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2019 ACM Birth Photograph of the Year // Amber May Photography

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

Last night I found out I not only won the midwife category at the ACM birth photography awards but I was also chosen as the 2019 ACM Birth Photograph or the Year with this image “Midwife gives a calming touch”⁣ For me birth photography is about recognising the moments that may seem small but leave massive impact. Right here in this moment Jessie was breathing through yet another surge, her shoulders tightened. You could feel a shift in her energy. A crisis of confidence was edging its way in.⁣ Her beautiful midwife walked over to where Jessie was kneeling, crouched down beside her. Placed her hand between her shoulder blades. Transferring her calming energy to Jessie. You could instantly see her shoulders relax. No words were spoken. Touch was all that was needed in that moment. Just one touch giving energy, support and compassion all at once. ⁣ I have been a professional birth photographer for a little over a year now and I have been fortunate enough to witness these acts of support and compassion from midwives first hand. I know from my own birth experiences with my own extraordinary midwifery led care just how important and defining these moments truly are and I seek them out when I’m at a birth. ⁣ What a midwife can offer a birthing women extends right through to postpartum and beyond. A simple touch. An encouraging word. A deep look. An imprint left on her soul. Helping her to tap into and harness her birthing power.⁣ Feeling supported and cared for by your midwife during labour and birth is so important. I want this image to remind midwives they have the power to change the way a women remembers her birthing experience. The way she processes it. Small seemingly simple gestures of support and compassion echoing through, transforming the women into the mother.⁣

Thank you to the amazing judges and congratulations to everyone who entered, the finalists and the winners. I looked at every image shown during the people’s choice and the calibre of work displayed is seriously inspiring. It’s so humbling to see these stunning images displayed all together. What a gift you have given to these beautiful families.⁣ Lastly thank you to Jessie. For trusting me to hold space with her and document her incredible journey bringing her beautiful babe earthside.

If you're interested in having your birth journey documented, you can get in touch with me here or if you're still unsure and have some questions, just do the same and ask away – can’t wait to hear from you!

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