Parents

Birth-photography contest highlights the raw and emotional sides of childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth can be beautiful, overwhelming and emotional — often in the same moment.

Birth photographers have the important job of capturing the entire realm of emotions present when a baby enters the world. So to celebrate the beauty of birth and the skill required to preserve such precious moments for parents, online photography resource Birth Becomes Her put out a call for submissions for their 2018 birth photography contest.

Veronika Richardson/Fox Valley Birth and Baby
First place winner in the contest's postpartum category was this image, titled "This is VBAC," by Wisconsin photographer Veronika Richardson.

Monet Nicole, a Colorado birth photographer who co-founded Birth Becomes Her with Michigan birth photographer Jennifer Mason in 2013, says the mission of the organization and the contest is to showcase the ways pregnancy and childbirth empower women.

Never miss a parenting story with the TODAY Parenting newsletter! Sign up here.

"We hope to encourage the world to embrace the beauty of birth," Nicole told TODAY Parents.

Marijke Thoen/Marijke Thoen Geboortefotografie
The overall winner in the contest was this image, titled "Stunning Siblings First Encounter," by Marijke Thoen.

Nearly 1,000 entries were received from around the world for the five contest categories: maternity, labor, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding. The winners showcase the entire pregnancy experience, from stunning photos of water births to candid images of postpartum bodies.

For more parenting stories, follow TODAY Parents on Facebook

"Clearly the winners were incredibly powerful," said Mason. "The moments were real — some were raw — but each managed to capture the beauty of birth and motherhood in a creative and impactful way."

But Mason says the contest was about more than captivating photos.

Vanessa Mendez/Vanessa Mendez Photography
Awarded third place in the maternity category was this photo, titled "A Mother's Love," by Vanessa Mendez.

"For so many years, birth has remained something that happens behind closed doors," Mason said. "For decades, women were given very little options about what their births could look like. By seeing real images of real stories, women and men around the world are able to understand that birth isn't something to be feared — rather, it can and should be one of the most profound and supported days of your life."

For a complete look at the winners of the Birth Becomes Her contest, check out this slide show.

  • Slideshow Photos

    A Wondered Life Photography

    Birth Becomes Her

    Photographers share stunning labor, delivery and postpartum images.

  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Overall winner and people's choice overall winner: "Stunning Siblings First Encounter" by Marijke Thoen 

    Marijke Thoen Geboortefotografie
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    First place winner, birth category: "Half Born and Already Reaching for Mama" by Selena Rollason

    Brisbane Birth Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    First place winner, breastfeeding category: "Within Reach" by Cory Janiak

    Ebb and Flow Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    First place winner, fresh/postpartum category: "This is VBAC" by Veronika Richardson

    Fox Valley Birth and Baby
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    First place winner, labor category: "Nowhere and Everywhere" by Rebecca Coursey 

    A Wondered Life Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    First place winner, maternity category: "This is what a Goddess Looks Like" by Jen Conway

    Jen Conway Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Second place winner, birth category: "Fist Bump for Mom" by Neely Ker-Fox

    Ker-Fox Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Third place winner, birth category: "Caught in Between Worlds" by Dominique Lamontagne

    Dominique Lamontagne Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Second place winner, breastfeeding category: "Tranquility" by Veronika Richardson

    Fox Valley Birth and Baby
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Third place winner, breastfeeding category: "Stir Fry" by Christina Benton

    Christina Benton
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Second place winner, fresh/postpartum category: "Rebirth" by Lacey Barratt

    Lacey Barratt Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Third place winner, fresh/postpartum category: "Postpartum Uncensored" by Kayla Gonzales

    Austin Birth Photos
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Second place winner, labor category: "Labor by Candlelight" by Ashley Marston Photography

    Ashley Marston Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Third place winner, labor category: "Before the Cut" by Laura Cate

    Laura Cate Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Second place winner, maternity category and people's choice winner, maternity category: "Staying Afloat" by Melissa Benzel

    Benzel Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    Third place winner, maternity category: "A Mother's Love" by Vanessa Mendez 

    Vanessa Mendez Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    People's choice winner, birth category: "Transition to Earth" by Caroline Devulder

    Caroline Devulder
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    People's choice winner, breastfeeding category: "A Hush Fell Over the Crowd" by Gabriella Hunt

    Gabriella Hunt Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    People's choice winner, fresh/postpartum category: "Success" by Deborah Elenter

    NEO Photography
  • Birth Becomes Her

    of

    People's choice winner, labor category: "Three Souls Labor as One" by Esther Edith

    Esther Edith Photography
TOP