25 intimate birth photos that capture the beauty and power of delivery

Birth photography is one of the most intimate and powerful art forms. To honor this work and the families who choose to document these vulnerable moments, the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers holds an annual photo contest open to its 1,100-plus members in 52 countries.

On Thursday, the IAPBP announced the winners of its 12th annual Birth Photography Image Competition, which celebrates excellence across the categories of labor, delivery, postpartum, birth details, and hardship and loss.

“We are incredibly proud of the entrants of this year’s competition because in spite of all we endured in our community in recent years, this contest represents the resistance birth photographers have to overcome unforeseen challenges,” IAPBP director Liz Cook said in a news release. “We are proud to present to you a breathtaking body of work that shares life’s most powerful moments from 2022.”

Keep scrolling to see this year’s winners and honorable mentions. You can visit the IAPBP website to see all the entries. (Readers should note that the following uncensored photos show people in the act of childbirth.)

Overall Winner and Best in Birth Details: Fine Art

Overall Winner and Best in Birth Details: Fine Art

Annemarie Fuckel of Annemarie Lea

Overall Winner and Best in Birth Details: Fine Art

“Crossing the Veil”

Best in Labor

Best in Labor

Jessica Innemee of Vi-Photography

Best in Labor

“Safe Space”

Best in Labor: Documentary

Best in Labor: Documentary

Laura Brink of Rewild Her Birth

Best in Labor: Documentary

“Drowning in Exhaustion”

Best in Labor: Black &  White

Best in Labor: Black & White

Laura Brink of Rewild Her Birth

Best in Labor: Black & White

“The Loyal Birth Attendant”

Best in Delivery: Documentary

Best in Delivery: Documentary

Jessica Miles Photography

Best in Delivery: Documentary

“Hello, I Have Arrived”

Best in Delivery: Fine Art

Best in Delivery: Fine Art

Laura Brink of Rewild Her

Best in Delivery: Fine Art

“Brace for Birth”

Best in Delivery: Black &  White

Best in Delivery: Black & White

Karoline Saadi Photography

Best in Delivery: Black & White

“The Expected Meeting”

Best in Delivery

Best in Delivery

Mary Beliz Photos

Best in Delivery

“Life Beneath the Surface”

Best in Postpartum: Documentary

Best in Postpartum: Documentary

Dania Lauren of Lauren + Douglas

Best in Postpartum: Documentary

“Bed 32”

Best in Postpartum: Black &  White

Best in Postpartum: Black & White

Annemarie Fuckel of Annemarie Lea – Geburtsfotografie Frankfurt

Best in Postpartum: Black & White

“Peaceful Arrival”

Best in Postpartum: Fine Art

Best in Postpartum: Fine Art

Laura Brink of Rewild Her

Best in Postpartum: Fine Art

“The Sovereign Family Tree”

Best in Birth Details

Best in Birth Details

Paula Beltrao

Best in Birth Details

“Waking Up at Sunrise”

Members' Choice: Best in Delivery

Members’ Choice: Best in Delivery

Settia Tin of Hello Baby

Members’ Choice: Best in Delivery

“First Touch”

Members' Choice: Best in Postpartum

Members’ Choice: Best in Postpartum

Natalie Brothers of Portland Birth Photographer

Members’ Choice: Best in Postpartum

“The Lovers After”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Erin Stetson of Erin Beth Birth

Honorable Mentions

“You Are My VBAC Queen”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Laura Brink of Rewild Her

Honorable Mentions

“All Lines Lead to You”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Lawrence Snapka of Lawrence Rose Photography and Film

Honorable Mentions

“I Stand in My Power”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Anne Lucy Silva Barbosa

Honorable Mentions

“Cry of Love”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Tiarra Doherty of Mother Wolf Birth Photography

Honorable Mentions

“Beautiful Beautiful Boy”

Members' Choice: Best in Labor

Members’ Choice: Best in Labor

Nicole Hamic

Members’ Choice: Best in Labor

“I Call Down My Power”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Kristen Fortier of New Moon Doula and Photography

Honorable Mentions

“Letting Go”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Tania Fragoso of The Grateful Doula

Honorable Mentions

“It’s in Our Hands Now”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Sarah Romero of Sarah Elizabeth Photos and Films

Honorable Mentions

Postpartum Porcelain Throne Check

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Megan Angstadt-Williams of Badger and Quill Photography

Honorable Mentions

“Liminal Space”

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Julia Santiago Photography

Honorable Mentions

“My First Seconds Here”

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