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

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

(Black Press Media file photo)
Aggressive bus passenger arrested in Saanich for uttering threats

Suspect had outstanding warrant for assault at bus stop, two assaults on BC Transit buses

(Pixabay photo)
New program to provide recovery beds for at-risk Greater Victoria youth

It will aim to meet ‘health and social’ needs of wide range of youth

Pacific Coastal Airline flights 8P1543 on Feb. 22 and 8P1538 on Feb. 24 had cased of COVID-19 onboard, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. (Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Two flights between Kelowna and Victoria report COVID-19 exposures

Pacific Coastal Airlines flights on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 affected

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting, threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

Most Read