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.

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

 

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

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

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

An alleged suspect in two Cache Creek crimes was caught on surveillance camera in April 2021,and police are hoping someone can identify him. (Photo credit: RCMP)
Alleged suspect in Cache Creek crimes caught on video

Police are hoping someone can identify man who is a suspect in two Cache Creek incidents

An information slide shared at the Cache Creek council meeting on May 3 shows the annual operating costs and revenues of the pool from 2009 to 2019. There is no provision in this year’s budget to open the pool for the 2021 season. (Photo credit: Village of Cache Creek)
Cache Creek faces 30% increase in taxes, 25% increase in utilities in 2021 budget

Financial position means pool will remain closed in 2021

This house on Sunvalley Crescent in Cache Creek sold for above list price in February 2021. (Photo credit: eXp Realty)
Local housing market heating up with higher prices and more demand

House prices are up, selling time is down, and more people are looking to relocate to the region

Clinton village office, 2014. Photo credit: Journal files
Village offers grant funding opportunity to Clinton non-profits

Council votes to provide up to $50,000 to assist non-profit organizations hit hard by COVID-19

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read