As a society, we collectively stopped learning what the process of labor and delivery look like, now that it’s no longer happening in the room or hut next door.
Our culture doesn’t always appreciate beautiful, transformational work that brings babies into the world. But maybe – just maybe! – getting an inside look through birth photography could change that.
Birth photography is an incredibly intimate and powerful art form. To honor this work and the families who choose to document and share these vulnerᴀble moments, the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers holds an annual photo contest.
These photos capture intimate, miraculous moments that show human life does go on, despite the hardships we’ve all faced in the past couple of years. We are still in awe of the way families trust a photographer to document this profound moment in their lives.
On Wednesday, the IAPBP announced the winners of its 11th annual Birth Photography Image Competition, which celebrates excellence across four main categories: lᴀbor, delivery, postpartum and birth details. Subcategories for recognition include black and white, documentary, fine art, and hᴀrdship and lᴏss.
“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 press release.
“We are also thrilled to introduce a new, impactful and powerful subcategory titled ‘Hᴀrdship and Lᴏss,’” she added.
“We desire to honor the 1 in 4 birthing persons who experience ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ and/or lᴏss and inviting images of these events into our celebration of birth photography is one way we can do this. We are proud to present to you a breathtaking body of work that shares life’s most powerful moments from 2021.”