The miraculous process of giving birth is unquestionably a defining moment in the lives of almost all parties involved. Childbirth is a life-altering experience, but it is also filled with moments of raw emotion, moments of community, moments of surreal beauty, and moments of powerful resilience. These are the kinds of fleeting moments that birth photographers hope to freeze on film for their clients’ families. The images that took first place in the annual birth photography competition held by the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) capture the genuine wonder of childbirth, in contrast to the sanitized depictions of labor and delivery that are common in movies and television shows.

“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.”

Birth photography is frequently graphic and raw, despite the fact that it is frequently beautiful and emotional. This should serve as a warning to any readers who find the sight of naked bodies, blood, or other bodily fluids uncomfortable or uninteresting. Other than that, you will find that the crop of IAPBP-winning images from this year — which range from overall champs to members’ choice winners to honorable mentions — is an amazing collection of birth stories from all over the world.




In some pictures, the moment of arrival is captured, while in others, the euphoric exhaustion that comes after or the strength and power that comes after that are shown. Other photographs capture quiet, tender moments between a child and their parent, between an older sibling and a newborn, and between a parent and their child. According to Cook, a particular kind of photographer is required to be able to capture moments that are so emotionally charged.

“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.”

Take a look at the winners of the Birth Photography Image Competition for the year 2020 below:

 

“A Moment Of Silence”

The photograph “A Moment of Silence” taken by Jessica Vink of VI-Photography from the Netherlands was judged to be the best overall entry. Additionally, the Members’ Choice Award for Best in Postpartum was given to this photograph.

 

“Warrior”

“Warrior,” a photograph taken by Bree Garcia of J&B Photography, LLC in the United States, was judged to be the best example of the category “Birth Details.”

 

“Unmasking The Many Layers Of Birth”

With her photograph titled “Unmasking the Many Layers of Birth,” Alexandria Mooney of Alexandria Mooney Photography in the United States was awarded first place in the category of Best in Delivery as well as the Members’ Choice Award for Best in Birth Delivery.

 

“Denial”

The “Denial” photograph taken by Natalie Weber of Natalie Zepp Photography in the United States was deemed to be the most outstanding entry in the Fresh 48 category.

 

“Vernix Constellation”

The “Vernix Constellation” photograph taken by Australian photographer Kristy Visscher of Kinship by Kristy took first place in the “Best in Postpartum” category.

 

“Morning Light Creeps In”

“Morning Light Creeps In,” a photograph taken by Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography in Canada, was judged to be the winner of the “Best in Labor” category.

 

“Ring Of Fire”

The “Ring of Fire” photograph that was taken by Katie Torres of Your Story – Professional Birth Services in the United States was selected as the winner of the First Place Members’ Choice Award.

 

“Baby Noah Empelicado”

The photograph “Baby Noah Empelicado” taken by Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia in Brazil was judged to be the best example of birth details and was awarded the “Members’ Choice Award.”

 

“Her Cup Runneth Over…”

The photograph “Her Cup Runneth Over…” taken by Martha Lerner of zenmamalove in the United States was selected as the winner of the Members’ Choice Award for Best in the Fresh 48 competition.

 

“I Am A Birthing Goddess”

“I Am a Birthing Goddess,” a photograph taken by Sophia Costa of The Sophia Co in the United States, was chosen as the winner of the Members’ Choice Award for the Best in Labor category.

 

“On The Day You Were Born”

With her photograph titled “On the Day You Were Born,” Sarah Maverick of Sarah Maverick Photography in the United States was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“Unplanned, Furious, And Free”

With her photograph titled “Unplanned, Furious, and Free,” Bree Garcia of J&B Photography LLC in the United States was awarded an honorable mention for her work.

 

“She Watches Them”

With her photograph entitled “She Watches Them,” Canadian photographer Ashley Marston of Ashley Marston Photography was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“Fresh”

An honorable mention was awarded to Brittney Hogue of Brittney Hogue Birth, Baby, and Family in the United States for the photograph she submitted titled “Fresh.”

 

“In It Together”

With her photograph titled “In It Together,” Lori Martinez of Lori Martinez Photography in the United States was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“Dance With Me On Your Long Walk”

An honorable mention was awarded to “Dance with Me on Your Long Walk,” a photograph taken by Kate Carlton of Kate Carlton Photography in the United States.

 

“Holding Two Sons”

The photograph “Holding Two Sons” taken by Lindsey Ellis of L.E. Ellis Photography in the United States was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“Breech”

With her photograph titled “Breech,” Dutch photographer Cindy Willems of Birth Day geboortefotografie received an honorable mention for the competition.

 

“Colostrum Drunk”

With her photograph titled “Colostrum Drunk,” Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography in Canada was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“We’ve Got You Baby!”

With her photograph titled “We’ve Got You Baby!,” Australian photographer Belle Verdiglione of Belle Verdiglione Photography was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“In Between”

With her photograph titled “In Between,” Brazilian photographer Daniela Justus of Daniela Justus Fotografia was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“Silence”

With her photograph titled “Silence,” Dutch photographer Evelien Koote of Love & Little Birth Photography was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“Overflowing Love”

With her photograph titled “Overflowing Love,” Barbara Aviz of BRBARA AVIZ in Brazil was awarded an honorable mention.

 

“A Dramatic Entrance”

Dania Watson of Lauren + Douglas in Australia, who took the photograph “A Dramatic Entrance,” was awarded an honorable mention for it.

 

“Reactions”

An honorable mention was awarded to the photograph “Reactions” taken by Paulina Splechta of Paulina Splechta Birth Photography and Films in the United States of America.

 

“Milagre Da Vida”

“Milagre Da Vida,” a photograph taken by Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia in Brazil, was awarded an honorable mention for the competition.

 

“Stretch. Arch. Surrender.”

The photograph “Stretch. Arch. Surrender” taken by Cat Fancote of the website Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth in Australia was chosen as the Director’s Favorite.