Quick quiz, dear readers!
Which photography gig is the most dangerous?
- Nature photographer trailing hungry polar bear in the Arctic
- Underwater photographer hanging out in shark cage waiting for great white to smile pretty
- Birth photographer in a speeding car with a pregnant woman who’s 8 centimeters dilated
Yeah, we say No. 3 all the way too.
So we’re incredibly impressed by the cojones of Jaydene Freund, a Canadian birth photographer whose photo “Road to Deliverance” just won the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers 2017 Image of the Year Competition. (Freund even survived photographing this particular birth, so a posthumous award was not necessary.)
The mother in the photo had planned on a home birth (with Freund on hand to photograph the gore and tears blessed event), but changed her mind at 8 centimeters. Freund, a doula, knew the second-time-around mom could hit that magic 10 centimeters frighteningly quickly. So instead of tailing her to the hospital, she hopped in the backseat with her camera. Oh, brave human!
From the back of the car, Freund captured an incredible shot of the woman in labor, mid-massively painful contraction.
“So many women experience this difficult ride to the hospital, where every bump is elevated and every turn feels like the worst turn,” said Freund to People. “But they don’t have photos of this moment because you don’t often have a photographer with you when you’re driving to the hospital! I think this is a special photo because it captures a moment so many women know, and [when they see it they] can go back and feel the intense emotion of labor in the car.”
YES. Very special! Totally awesome! And very, very artsy! Yay, photography! Yay, miracle of life!
Look, we’d like to say we love the photo, which is truly incredible, but it’s hard to love something that makes your uterus whimper and contract in solidarity just looking at it.
So all our congrats to Freund and the mom in the winning pictures. But more than anything, congrats to us for being done with childbirth. (Sorry, all of you still about to go through this. It’s wonderful! No, really!)