27 Powerful Photos That Graced The 2024 Birth Photography Image Competition

Published 1 month ago

While birth is an essential part of life, its actual process remains mysterious to many unless they’ve experienced it firsthand. Thankfully, there are individuals dedicated to capturing this beautiful journey for the rest of us to witness. Each year, the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers competes to honour the most remarkable birth photos. Scroll down to see some of the most emotional submissions presented with the title of best photo of the year. 

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#1 Members’ Choice: Best In Postpartum: “Tue Love”, Sophie Bailey , United Kingdom

Image source: Sophie Bailey

Sam, this beautiful doggy, had spent the whole evening by his Mama’s side as she laboured. He even sat next to the birth pool, with the occasional cry and woof but mostly resting his head on the pool as he sensed the shift in the atmosphere. As this beautiful baby arrived, acceptance was instant. With sniffs and kisses. As his Mama lay on the settee with his new big sister just after delivering the placenta, I turned around to find him looking with so much love at his newest family member. It was a split second moment but in that second the amount of love in those eyes was so palpable I almost cried on the spot!

#2 Members’ Choice: Best In Delivery: “By Morning Light”, Nicole Hamic, United States

Image source: Nicole Hamic

This family welcomed their first baby at home and labored all through the night and their son was born just as the sun crested the mountains

#3 Best In Delivery: Documentary: “Reflections Of Birth”, Settia Tin, Netherlands

Image source: Settia Tin

For this photo, you have to look twice to see what’s happening. The mother is giving birth on her hands and knees, and the baby’s head has just been born. Without the mirror, I couldn’t have captured this moment.

#4 Members’ Choice: Best In Birth Details: “Beyond The Veil”, Julie Francom, United States

Image source: Julie Francom

I love how this mom paused to admire and appreciate the beauty of the sac that protected her baby for nine months. The baby boy was born en caul, coming into the world with the sac over his head and right into his mother’s arms.

#5 Best In Postpartum: Black & White: “Hello My Little Sister”, Karoline Saadi , Brazil

Image source: Karoline Saadi

Upon meeting their newborn sister, the two daughters continue breastfeeding TANDEN, an act of surrender, completeness and connection between mother and daughters!

#6 Best In Postpartum: Fine Art: “Finally Face To Face”, Lisa Weingardt, United States

Image source: Lisa Weingardt

A redemptive HBAC story full of moments she missed in her first operative delivery.

#7 Best In Delivery: Fine Art: “Raw Embrace”, Isabell Steinert , Germany

Image source: Isabell Steinert

With a sigh of relief, she picked up her daughter – still covered in vernix – and held her close to her.

#8 Honorable Mention: “A Grandmother Is Born”, Liz Walsh , United States

Image source: Liz Walsh

A previous loss for this family meant the birth of this baby would be celebrated with pronounced enthusiasm, especially between this tightly bonded daughter and her mother, now a grandmother.

#9 Best In Birth Details: “Ponte Entres Os Mundo”, Luma Braz, Brazil

Image source: Luma Braz

#10 Best In Delivery: Black & White: “Into Their Hands”, Lauren Maggi , United States

Image source: Lauren Maggi

A repeat c-section, done on mom’s terms. The drape dropped when her baby boy came into the world into the hands of the team she chose and trusted, she got to announce it was a boy, and she felt the empowerment of her birth, even though her baby boy was delivered into their hands, and not pulled into the world by her hands, she still felt the empowerment of her decisions and choices in a hard situation.

#11 Honorable Mention: “Her Baby, Her Birth, Her Way (Maternal Assisted Caesarean)”, Inge Berken, Netherlands

Image source: Inge Berken

A maternal assisted Caesarean birth is a caesarean section delivery that allows the mother to be actively involved in her birth. In a maternal assisted caesaren (MAC) the mother is able to reach down to help pull her baby out of the womb, lifting the baby straight onto her chest for skin-to-skin contact

#12 Best In Labor: Fine Art: “Heart Hold”, Laura Brink, Australia

Image source: Laura Brink

‘Heart Hold’ was captured during the peak of Patricia’s labour at home on the Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. This image shows the palpable trust and love shown by Patricia’s birth support during a challenging phase of labour. Just 35 minutes later, the heartbreaking decision to call an ambulance for professional medical support was made following significant signs of distress and mother’s intuition. Patricia had planned to free birth her baby at her home, but adapted to change beautifully as her baby became significantly distressed during labour, requiring a Category 1 Emergency Caesarian with general anaesthetic, temporary neonatal CPR resulting in NICU admission, only 10 minutes after arrival to hospital.

#13 Members’ Choice: Best Overall: “The Weight Of Loss”, Kyra Wijnhausen, United States

Image source: Kyra Wijnhausen

A father and a grandfather bearing the unbelievable weight of grief and loss

#14 Best In Birth Details: Black & White: “Focusing”, Ania Wibig , Poland

Image source: Ania Wibig

#15 Best In Birth Details: Documentary: Feet First, Jessica Innemee, Netherlands

Image source: Jessica Innemee

A beautiful calm breech birth. They expected her bum to come first, but whoop, there were two little feet!

#16 Best In Postpartum: Documentary: “Nebula Of Love”, Colleen Murtha , United States

Image source: Colleen Murtha

After having a surprise birth in the bathroom, Mom got into the birthing pool to relax and enjoy her first moment with her baby. Dad was infatuated with his baby boy and reached down to touch his hands. Their son then grabbed his finger and it was the perfect peaceful moment in the starry abyss of lights.

#17 Honorable Mention: “A Fluid Connection”, Katie Lacer, United States

Image source: Katie Lacer

This couple has a connection that is almost overwhelming, they love each other so well. It’s apparent in how they melt into one another, even during hard labor. Their hands, together but open, a moment of release in the middle of something so hard, shows just how fluid this entire process is.

#18 Best Overall: First Place: “Holding Hands”, Nora Dalmasso, Argentina

Image source: Nora Dalmasso

#19 Best In Postpartum: “A Whole Story In One Image”, Jessica Innemee , Netherlands

Image source: Jessica Innemee

After a beautiful c-section, the belly is being closed, mom is feeling fine and dad is getting to know his baby girl.

#20 Best In Hardship & Loss: “Generation Lost”, Kyra Wijnhausen, United States

Image source: Kyra Wijnhausen

A grandmother holds her grandchild, born sleeping, while looking at her son. She feels the pain of missing her grandchild and also carries to pain of her child losing his baby.

#21 Honorable Mention: “Bubble”, Hanna Troch, Belgium

Image source: Hanna Troch

#22 Honorable Mention: “Miracle #2”, Martha Lerner, United States

Image source: Martha Lerner

This image represents their second miracle baby, Baby S. Their first was conceived via IVF/surrogate and he was named Seven because he was attempt number 7. Miraculously, they got pregnant and in this picture were finally meeting their second miracle, born via c-section after trying ALL THE THINGS to have a non-medicated, natural birth.

#23 Honorable Mention: “Attitude”, Sarah Turner , Germany

Image source: Sarah Turner

This snapshot was the very last picture I took after a long and tiring home birth and I only just realised at home what this newborn girl was “telling” us.

#24 Honorable Mention: “Mommy, I Will Help You With My Wand!”, Gladys Garcia,united States

Image source: Gladys Garcia

This little boy stole all our hearts. His heart for his laboring mama was the most precious thing to witness. He was concerned, yet wise beyond his years. Despite only being 4 yrs old, he knew to keep his touch gentle and his voice quiet, but would bring lego flowers to her that could get wet, or kiss her hand when her eyes were closed. He was a gentle giant that gave her strength in the most impactful way when she needed it. Here he was waving his “wand” to take her pain away!

#25 Best In Birth Details: Fine Art: “Vernix And Breastmilk Rings”, Tiarra Doherty, United States

Image source: Tiarra Doherty

This mom’s labor was only 15 minutes from first contraction until baby in her arms. I captured this as she was pulling up her beautiful 4th babe.

#26 Members’ Choice: Best In Labor: “Power Couple”, Larissa Van De Geer, Netherlands

Image source: Larissa van de Geer

#27 Best In Labor: “Relax, Soften, Open”, Chinelle Rojas, United States

Image source: Chinelle Rojas

In this striking black and white image, we witness the profound and transformative moments as a mother steps into a birth pool during labor. The high-contrast composition enhances the depth and intensity of the scene, allowing emotions and sensations to take center stage.

Standing confidently and nude, the mother embraces the power and vulnerability of her body. The soft illumination from outside the sliding glass door delicately highlights her form, creating a captivating interplay of light and shadows. This ethereal lighting accentuates her curves and contours, symbolizing the radiant strength and beauty that emanates from within.

Behind the mother, a set of birth affirmation card hang, serving as a visual anchor amidst the anticipation and intensity of labor. The first card bears the words “relax, soften, open,” a gentle reminder for the mother to surrender to the natural rhythm of her body, to trust in the process, and to embrace the transformative journey ahead.

As she steps into the birth pool, the mother allows her body to acclimate to the soothing temperature of the water. This moment of pause and reflection signifies a pivotal transition, where the water becomes a sanctuary of comfort and support, easing the physical and emotional strain of labor.

The black and white aesthetic of the image adds a timeless quality, emphasizing the raw and primal nature of childbirth. By stripping away color, the image invites us to focus on the essence of the moment – the mother’s strength, determination, and connection with her body.

Through this captivating composition, we are reminded of the inherent beauty and power of childbirth. It is a testament to the mother’s resilience, courage, and ability to embrace the unknown. This image encapsulates the transformative journey of labor, the importance of self-affirmation, and the profound connection between a mother and her body.

It serves as a tribute to the incredible strength and grace exhibited by mothers during childbirth, as they navigate the depths of their own being to bring new life into the world.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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awards, best photo, birth, birth photographers, birth photography, competition, photography, photography competition
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