Ashley Martson’s image of the birth of a girl. (Photo by Ashley Marston)

Ashley Martson’s image of the birth of a girl. (Photo by Ashley Marston)

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Chemainus photographer Ashley Marston had not just one, but two photos chosen among the 36 elite submissions in National Geographic’s Your Shot best photos of 2018.

“I’m at a loss for words,” conceded Marston, 36, whose husband John is a renowned carver. “I could hardly believe my own eyes. Two of my photos were selected.

“The photos accompanying mine from all over the world are stunning. I can hardly believe I am among them.”

One of the photos Marston described as “a simple portrait of me and my three children.”

But Sukanya De, one of three Your Shot photographers tasked with picking 12 favourite photos each from the 18,880 submissions, called it “much more than a simple self portrait.

“It is an intriguing portrayal of your identity, expressing your role as a mother in a most powerful way,” he added. “I love that you have focused on the expressions in the eyes of your two kids, not showing your face or that of your elder child, and only his hand reaching out to you. There is so much of trust, support and connect in the way your children hold on to you. The textures on your skin, black and white tones and the play of light and shadows instill so much of character and presence in this moment. It definitely takes portraiture to a unique level of excellence.”

Marston said she’s been shooting daily family photos for five years. “I call it my love letter to my kids,” she said.

The other Marston photo selected depicted a home birth of a baby girl.

“The first-time mother was strong and confident in her body and the support around her to bring this baby earthside,” she explained of the moment. “This photograph is everything. All the hands coming in to assist and then there is hers, the mother’s hand, placed so gently on top of her baby’s head for their first contact outside of the womb.”

Shannon Hunt, another of the Your Shot photographers who pored through the entries, gave the image high praise.

“What a special moment to be part of Ashley,” she wrote. “The moment a new life comes into the world is such a personal experience for the mother. To see so many people supporting her in this trying moment made my heart flutter. I love how she is not only surrounded by people, but she and the baby are surrounded by love. What better start to a new life. Thank you for sharing such a special moment.”

Marston said she submitted three photos that she felt were some of her top work for the year. She definitely hit the jackpot with two of them picked out of such a high number of entries.

Both photos are in black and white. “Black and white I always prefer for my story-telling images,” she said.

Rose Ungvari was the other photographer chosen by National Geographic Your Shot producer David Lee to pick the winners, along with De and Hunt.

“They have earned my respect through their hard work and positive attitude,” noted Lee. “Shannon, Rose and Sukanya have established the quality standard of what I expect in future Your Shot mentees. Throughout 2019, I look forward to continue identifying exceptional Your Shot photographers who articulate why they love the photos of their peers in thoughtful comments, and offering them opportunities to edit assignments and curate stories.

“Your Shot is my way of giving back in appreciation of those editors and photographers who gave me an extra five minutes out of their busy schedule. However, even more important was the role my peers played in my growth as a photographer. That is what makes Your Shot such a special platform, you are a global community of photographers who all aspire to be better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers.”

Marston appreciates the sentiment in her case. “We run a fairly artistic household,” she said. Those traits are being passed on to her kids.

“They are very artistically and musically inclined,” Marston conceded.

 

Ashley Marston’s “family portrait.” (Photo by Ashley Marston)

Ashley Marston’s “family portrait.” (Photo by Ashley Marston)

Just Posted

princess margaret
Penticton high school has COVID-19 exposure days

Princess Margaret Secondary had potential days of exposure May 10-12

Brandon Messier of Messier’s Concrete and Landscaping has added some unique, glowing features to his front yard at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in Penticton yards

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

There is nothing left of a structure that burned down in rural Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Nothing left at fire scene in Summerland

Summerland firefighters arrived when the structure was fully engulfed in flames

Penticton city parks staff were busy this week using the beach grater to sift through sand, getting the shores ready for beach season. When it comes to beach clean up they are collecting run-off debris, pulling weeds and picking up litter. (Penticton photo)
Hottest day of the year, so far, in the South Okanagan

Penticton city park staff cleaned up the beaches getting ready for the season

Discovery House executive director Jerome Abraham in front of the third building, Parkers Place, for the addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Discovery House opens Parkers Place in Penticton to provide transitionary care

The addiction recovery program is now able to provide support for as long as necessary

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces campaign on the same day

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred at Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers by Carol and Robin Edwards, is currently the No. 1 ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S. and has drawn an invitation to the world’s most famous dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club event in New York, next month. (Photo submitted)
Okanagan-bred cocker spaniel to strut stuff at Westminster Kennel Club

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred by Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers, is ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

(Lindsey Roche/Contributed)
Kelowna children enjoy drive-in movie thanks to support from the community

A daycare in the Mission area gets creative during the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Most Read