Ashley Marston’s award winning photo of Justin Webber bonding with his newborn baby Junia, and his daughters Evelyn, Olivia, and Avery. (Ashley Marston photo)

Ashley Marston’s award winning photo of Justin Webber bonding with his newborn baby Junia, and his daughters Evelyn, Olivia, and Avery. (Ashley Marston photo)

Vancouver Island birth photographer wins international competition

Ashley Marston’s winning photo ‘Daddy’s Girls’ captured Ladysmith’s family welcoming their newborn

Chemainus birth photographer Ashley Marston has won first place in the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) annual photo competition.

RELATED: Ashley Marston has found her passion in birth photography

Marston’s photo titled ‘Daddy’s Girls’ features Ladysmith’s Justin Webber with his daughters Avery, Evelyn, Olivia, and newborn baby girl, Junia, shortly after she was birthed by her mother Nikki.

“Ashley has been taking pictures of our family since 2014,” Nikki said. “It’s been amazing. Ashley has been there to photograph the birth of three of my kids. It’s been really cool that she’s gotten to watch my family grow over the years.”

Junia was birthed at home in May 2020. She had been lying breech until 39 weeks, and the Webbers thought they would have to give birth by c-section. COVID-19 protocols would have only allowed one visitor in the hospital, which would have forced them to cancel their plans with Marston, and left them scrambling to organize child care.

“But at the last second Junia turned around, and everything was good to go. We actually called Ashley at about midnight after an hour of labour,” Nikki said.

The now internationally recognized photo was taken around 3 a.m. that night in their Ladysmith home.

“Nikki gave birth beautifully and joyfully to this baby in the birthing pool in her living room with all of her girls and her husband surrounding her. It was incredible,” Marston said.

“Just before I left the dad crawled into bed and put the baby on his chest, the girls crowded around, and I snuck in for one last shot. That was it. I left as the sun was coming up.”

Marston has been working as a birth photographer in the Cowichan Valley since 2014. She has worked with families from North Nanaimo to Victoria, but does most of her work in Cowichan. Her birth photography previously earned accolades from National Geographic 2018.

RELATED: Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

RELATED: Marston brings breastfeeding awareness project to Cowichan

Two other photos from Marston were recognized in the IAPBP competition. Her photos ‘Home Birth in a Pandemic’ and ‘When Time Stands Still’ were given honourable mentions. ‘Daddy’s Girls’ was also picked as the Member’s Choice in the Postpartum category.

For the Webber family, the international recognition has put a spring in their step, but what matters most to them is the precious memory that Marston captured.

“When I look at the picture I’m reminded of the togetherness that we’ve experienced together during the pandemic, and I really hope that other people can see this picture and be reminded of the good things that have happened for them during this time,” Nikki said.

For more of Ashley Marston’s work visit: www.ashleymarstonbirthphotography.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Martha Jane McHardy displays her knitwear in one of the windows at Imagine That! in Duncan this month. (Submitted)
Arts and Entertainment column: Lots to see in Duncan in March

Funding success, painters show, folk art, tell your COVID story

The Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan Lake is a sight to behold. Funding for the expansion of the Shawnigan Museum celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Citizen file)
Shawnigan Museum expansion gets $480,000

Funds from Government of Canada Legacy Fund - Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
Cowichan Valley mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Clockwise from top left: Malahat First Nation Chief George Harry and councillors Steve Henry and Cindy Harry address community members in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Malahat Nation confirms first two cases of COVID-19

Community has been under stay-at-home order since Jan. 7

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read