Please read the entirety of the rules to fully understand the competition and how each part flows with the other.

 Images that do not meet the vetting criteria may be returned to you to fix any issues and be resubmitted pending there is time before the close of entries.

There is one category. All Birth entries will be submitted into Birth.

Images must be taken by the entrant and the entrant must own the rights to the image.

Images must be edited by the entrant. Outsourcing editing is not allowed.

All scenarios of birth are encouraged to be entered. We want representation, not just inclusivity. Please represent all Peoples.

Each image will be vetted to ensure the authenticity of the photograph and to ensure they meet the criteria of the rules. If images do not meet the rule criteria, entrants will be notified. Birth Photographer reserves the right to disqualify entries later in the competition if they are found to not meet the vetting criteria.

The vetting team reserves the right to ask for raw files to verify the authenticity of the image.

Images must be an actual representation of an event that unfolded in front of you without direction or placement. No staged model calls, No workshops, and no Mock birth images may be submitted. Portfolio building model calls are accepted.

Basic editing techniques are able to be used. This means no major pixel manipulation. NO cloning and NO composites. If it can be done in a darkroom it can be done in the competition.

Basic dodging and burning, vignettes, levels layers and application of texture and clarity and sharpening is allowed (this is the only pixel manipulations allows.)

Conversion to black and white is allowed.

Images must have been taken in the last 4 years from close of entries.

Judges are not permitted to enter the competition.

Images are only able to be entered into the first and second part once

ALL entries should NOT be watermarked. Watermarked entries will be returned to you to resubmit. 

Image Submission Criteria

  • each image should be sized to 3000 pixels on the longest side
  • colour space should be in sRGB colour space
  • please use JPEG as your image format
  • no image should exceed 2MB in size
  • please name your entries with this format pending the number of entries you are submitting



  •  Birth Images must be of birthing people in at least early labour: No maternity, No newborn (documentary style or posted), No fresh 48. No pre-labour. 
  • images may be of birthing people in early labour, active labour, transition, pushing, and up to three hours postpartum
  • submissions may contain family members
  • submissions may contain medical staff ONLY IF a written model release is obtained or if their identity is unidentifiable
  • no hospital should be able to be identified in any images unless written consent has been obtained
  • postpartum submissions must be within 3 hours of giving birth
  • images must have been taken within the past 4 years. Images older than this may be disqualified.
  • vetting team reserves the right to ask for raw files to verify the validity of all images submitted
  • diptych, triptych and storyboards are accepted and encouraged to be entered 

First Part

 Entries are open from 13 July 2020 to 27 July 2020
Judging Begins 3 August 2020
Judging Times, Dates, and Live-stream links to be announced
Judges Masterclass is 15 July 2020

  • anyone can enter
  • you may submit 2 images into the First Part for feedback to prepare your images for the Second Part of the competition later on in the year
  • judging masterclasses will be happening prior to judging
  • entries are free
  • prior to judging, new judges are trained and will use the First Part of the competition to put their new skills in action
  • there are NO awards given during 1st part of the competition (only in the second part)
  • there are no ‘winners’ simply invaluable feedback for the participant to use in the second part of the competition


Second Part

Entries Open 12 October 2020 to 26 October 2020
Judging begins 2 November 2020
Judging Times, Dates, and Live-Stream links to be announced
Semi-finalists, Finalists and Winners will be announced closer to the closing of the competition


  • you may submit a maximum amount of FIVE entries
    Pricing is as follows:
    1 Entry- $25AUD
    2 Entries- $45AUD
    3 Entries- $70ADU
    5 Entries- $100AUD
  • You need not have entered the first round to pre-qualify you to enter the second round. All are welcome to enter.
  • You may enter the same image(s) from the First Part or chose to enter new images for the Second Part
  • judges scoring will be live-streamed (images will not be talked about or given feedback, only a number score unless challenged. Please see Challenge Section for more clarification)
  • live-steamed scoring will be only to view the scores as the images are judged. To obtain feedback, you can purchase the FeedBack option / image at checkout for a discussion to be held live on your image. Please make it known that discussions/feedback does NOT constitute a challenge. 
  • if your image has been challenged and you paid for feedback, you will have your image scored and challenged first and then judges will proceed to give feedback before the next image is shown. 
  • judges feedback can be purchased for an additional $10AUD per image
  • judges are able to challenge a score to bring it up if they think their peers have missed an integral part of the image or misinterpreted it.
  • there is a Gold, Silver, Bronze award system
  • if you entered the first part you may enter the same image in the second part with changes applied from the judges (or no changes, it’s up to you)


How Semi-Finalists Are Chosen


Winners are chosen out of a pool of the top twenty highest scoring images by artist. 

Each participant’s scores will be tallied up out of a max of 5 entries. Those with the highest cumulative scores will be entered into the top 20 semi-finalists. 

For Example:

Lacey enters 4 images and scores 20 on all 4 images making her cumulative score 80

Sally enters 5 images and each image scores 20 making her cumulative score 100.

Sally would then proceed to be a semi-finalist pending 19 other participants did not score higher than her cumulative.

Scenario 2-

Lacey enters 4 images and each image scores 30 making her cumulative score 120

Sally enters 5 images and each image scores 20 making her cumulative score 100.

Lacey would then proceed to be a semi-finalist pending 19 other participants did not score higher than her cumulative.


How Finalists Are Chosen

To become a finalist, it is an application process. All semi-finalists are invited to apply.

From the top twenty semi-finalists, all are invited to apply for a finalist by submitting a letter of recommendation from a peer, such as a medical professional or peer in the photographic industry.

Participants must also submit a review from a client who’s birth you shot.

Out of the recommendations, our panel of judges will then select 5 to proceed to be in the running to win Birth Photographer of the Year


How The Winner is Chosen

Our fresh panel of judges will then invite the top 5 semi-finalists to submit a business review written by them about their own business. This will require the participant to review their business and answer questions on sustainability, ethics, and community. From the 5 applications, First, Second, and Third Place winners will be announced with the following two submissions being runner-ups.



Judging criteria is as follows:

Each image will be judged individually based on the skill of the photographer.

0-19 Below Standard

20-29- Professional Standard

30-39- Bronze

40-44- Silver

45-50- Gold

Below Professional Standard– The photographer still needs to garner some knowledge on basic photography theory and technical skill. With some practice, improvement can easily be made.

Professional Standard– The photographer has displayed basic understanding of lighting, exposure, shadows, highlights and composition. This would be what is expected of any professional photographer.

Bronze– the photographer has displayed above average skill. He/she understands that all categories work together and has made each one flow together.

Silver– the photographer displayed superior skill and knowledge in lighting, creativity, and composition.

Gold– the photographer exceeds in technical skill and innovation. He/she understands story telling, technical skill and emotive story telling.


A judge may choose to challenge the score of an image during round 2 only if he or she is more than 10 points off from the lowest scoring judge.

For example:
Judge 1 scores 35
Judge 2 scores 19
Judge 3 scores 21
Judge 4 scores 20
Judge 5 scores 22

Judge 1 then has the opportunity to challenge this image and talk to the panel of judges and explain why he/she thinks this is a higher scoring image. A discussion can emerge and judges can then rescore with a new perspective. 


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email