Childbirth is a uniquely powerful experience to both partake in and witness. It's this power and magic that birth photographers, such as the winners of this year's International Association of Professional Birth Photographers' annual photography contest, attempt to capture. Full of the tender intimate moments and raw emotions, these 26 award-winning birth photos beautifully capture the magic and realness of welcoming a new life into the world.
"Despite hundreds of birth photographers worldwide having lost a majority of their work and income in 2020 due to the global pandemic, we are incredibly thankful for and proud of the entrants of this year’s competition," the association said. "In spite of the hardships we endured as a community, this competition represents the resilience birth photographers have shown to overcome unforeseen challenges."
Readers should take note that birth photography is often graphic and can include nudity, blood, or other bodily fluids. Those who don't wish to view such images should consider this their warning to stop scrolling. Otherwise, browse the full list of 2021 Birth Photography Image Competition winners and their stunning photographs below: