27 Award-Winning Birth Photos That Capture The Magic & Emotions Of Childbirth

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For nearly everyone involved, the miracle of birth is undoubtedly a life-changing event. But along with being life-changing, childbirth also contains moments of raw emotion, community, surreal beauty, and powerful resilience. It's these moments that birth photographers set out to capture for families. And unlike the often sanitized versions of childbirth depicted in television shows and movies, the winning set of images from The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers' (IAPBP) annual birth photography competition capture childbirth's real-life magic.

"We are especially excited about this year's winners because they truly represent the passion and skill required to capture moments like these in an unpredictable and uncontrollable environment such as the birthing space," IAPBP Director Liz Cook tells Romper. "We believe competitions such as ours are important to help spread the beauty of birth, but also to set a new standard each year for excellence in the birth photography industry."

While often emotional and beautiful, birth photography can sometimes be raw and graphic. Readers who are squeamish or uninterested in seeing nudity, blood, or other bodily fluids should consider this to be their warning. Otherwise, you'll find this year's crop of IAPBP winning images — which range from overall champs to members' choice winners to honorable mentions — to be a stunning collection of birth stories from around the world.

While some images capture the moment of arrival, others capture the euphoric exhaustion that follows or the strength and power that proceeds. Other images capture quite, tender moments between child and parent, sibling and newborn, mother and father. And according to Cook, it takes a special kind of photographer to capture such emotionally-charged moments.

"Our artists are knowledgeable, talented, and quick thinking," Cook tells Romper. "They are able to be present for events like these because they spend time building relationships with their clients, becoming a safe person in the birth environment while simultaneously using their photographic talents to preserve memories for families all around the world."

Browse through the 2020 Birth Photography Image Competition winners below:

"A Moment Of Silence"

Jessica Vink of VI-Photography

Jessica Vink of VI-Photography from the Netherlands won first place with her photograph "A Moment of Silence." This photo also won the Members' Choice Award for Best in Postpartum.

"Warrior"

Bree Garcia of J&B Photography, LLC

Bree Garcia of J&B Photography, LLC in the United States won the Best in Birth Details category with her photo "Warrior."

"Unmasking The Many Layers Of Birth"

Alexandria Mooney of Alexandria Mooney Photography

Alexandria Mooney of Alexandria Mooney Photography in the United States won the Best in Delivery category and the Members' Choice Award for Best in Birth Delivery with her photograph "Unmasking the Many Layers of Birth."

"Denial"

Natalie Weber of Natalie Zepp Photography

Natalie Weber of Natalie Zepp Photography in the United States won the Best in Fresh 48 category with her photograph "Denial."

"Vernix Constellation"

Kristy Visscher of Kinship by Kristy

Kristy Visscher of Kinship by Kristy in Australia won the Best in Postpartum category with her photograph "Vernix Constellation."

"Morning Light Creeps In"

Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography

Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography in Canada won the Best in Labor category with her photograph "Morning Light Creeps In."

"Ring Of Fire"

Katie Torres of Your Story - Professional Birth Services

Katie Torres of Your Story - Professional Birth Services in the United States was the First Place Members' Choice Award Winner with her photograph "Ring of Fire."

"Baby Noah Empelicado"

Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia

Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia in Brazil won the Members' Choice Award for Best in Birth Details with her photograph "Baby Noah Empelicado."

"Her Cup Runneth Over..."

Martha Lerner of zenmamalove

Martha Lerner of zenmamalove in the United States won the Members' Choice Award for Best in Fresh 48 with her photograph "Her Cup Runneth Over..."

"I Am A Birthing Goddess"

Sophia Costa of The Sophia Co

Sophia Costa of The Sophia Co in the United States won the Members' Choice Award for Best in Labor with her photograph "I Am a Birthing Goddess."

"On The Day You Were Born"

Sarah Maverick of Sarah Maverick Photography

Sarah Maverick of Sarah Maverick Photography in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "On the Day You Were Born."

"Unplanned, Furious, And Free"

Bree Garcia of J&B Photography LLC

Bree Garcia of J&B Photography LLC in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "Unplanned, Furious, and Free."

"She Watches Them"

Ashley Marston of Ashley Marston Photography

Ashley Marston of Ashley Marston Photography in Canada won an honorable mention with her photograph "She Watches Them."

"Fresh"

Brittney Hogue of Brittney Hogue Birth, Baby, Family

Brittney Hogue of Brittney Hogue Birth, Baby, Family in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "Fresh."

"In It Together"

Lori Martinez of Lori Martinez Photography

Lori Martinez of Lori Martinez Photography in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "In It Together."

"Dance With Me On Your Long Walk"

Kate Carlton of Kate Carlton Photography

Kate Carlton of Kate Carlton Photography in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "Dance with Me on Your Long Walk."

"Holding Two Sons"

Lindsey Ellis of L.E. Ellis Photography

Lindsey Ellis of L.E. Ellis Photography in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "Holding Two Sons."

"Breech"

Cindy Willems of Birth Day geboortefotografie

Cindy Willems of Birth Day geboortefotografie in the Netherlands won an honorable mention with her photograph "Breech."

"Colostrum Drunk"

Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography

Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography in Canada won an honorable mention with her photograph "Colostrum Drunk."

"We've Got You Baby!"

Belle Verdiglione of Belle Verdiglione Photography

Belle Verdiglione of Belle Verdiglione Photography in Australia won an honorable mention with her photograph "We've Got You Baby!"

"In Between"

Daniela Justus of Daniela Justus Fotografia

Daniela Justus of Daniela Justus Fotografia in Brazil won an honorable mention with her photograph "In Between."

"Silence"

Evelien Koote of Love & Little Birth Photography

Evelien Koote of Love & Little Birth Photography in the Netherlands won an honorable mention with her photograph "Silence."

"Overflowing Love"

Barbara Aviz of BÁRBARA AVIZ

Barbara Aviz of BÁRBARA AVIZ in Brazil won an honorable mention with her photograph "Overflowing Love."

"A Dramatic Entrance"

Dania Watson of Lauren + Douglas

Dania Watson of Lauren + Douglas in Australia won an honorable mention with her photograph "A Dramatic Entrance."

"Reactions"

Paulina Splechta of Paulina Splechta Birth Photography and Films

Paulina Splechta of Paulina Splechta Birth Photography and Films in the United States won an honorable mention with her photograph "Reactions."

"Milagre Da Vida"

Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia

Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia in Brazil won an honorable mention with her photograph "Milagre Da Vida."

"Stretch. Arch. Surrender."

Cat Fancote of Cat Fancote - Capturing Birth

Cat Fancote of Cat Fancote - Capturing Birth in Australia won Director's Favorite with her photograph "Stretch. Arch. Surrender."