"In Between" by Daniela Justus of Daniela Justus Fotografia

Those fortunate enough to witness the sacred space that surrounds birth will attest to its miraculous nature.

Lucky are the handful of photographers who are welcomed into this intimate experience with families.

The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) was created to assist expectant parents in search of a birth photographer in their area. Each year the IAPBP holds a birth image content. IAPBP recently announced the winners of their 2020 Image of the Year competition, and the results are breathtaking. The annual contest, currently in its 10th year, celebrates the work of over 1,100 birth photographers representing 51 countries.

"I am so thrilled to be able to feature the tremendous talent of our members in the image competition this year," said Liz Cook, director of the IAPBP. "Our association has grown by leaps and bounds and our members continually produce excellent, emotive, invaluable birth photographs for the families that hire them," she continued.

A diverse panel of 15 well-respected industry experts judge the competition, including the 2016 IAPBP winner, Natalia Walth. The committee chooses an overall winner, as well as winners in various categories including Best in Birth, Best in Postpartum, Best in Fresh 48, Best in Labor, and Best in Birth Delivery. IAPBP members are also given an opportunity to vote.

Below are a handful of the winners and some of Mothering's favorites. To view all the images, visit the IAPBP website.

First Place:

"A Moment of Silence" by Jessica Vink of VI-Photography

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
Show Content

Best in Birth Details:

"Warrior" by Bree Garcia of J&B Photography LLC

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
Show Content

Best in Labor:

"Morning Light Creeps In" by Shea Long of Coastal Lifestyles Photography

Best in Delivery:

"Unmasking the Many Layers of Birth" by Alexandria Mooney of Alexandria Mooney Photography

Best In Postpartum

Vernix Constellation by Kristy Visscher of Kinship by Kristy

Best in Fresh 48

"Denial" by Natalie Weber of Natalie Zepp Photography

Members' Choice - First Place

"Ring of Fire" by Katie Torres of Your Story - Professional Birth Services

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
Show Content

Members' Choice - Best in Birth Details

"Baby Noah Empelicado"by Jana Brasil of JanaBrasil Fotografia

Members' Choice - Best in Fresh 48

"Her Cup Runneth Over..." by Martha Lerner of Zenmamalove

Mothering's Favorites

"Unplanned, Furious and Free"by Bree Garcia of J&B Photography LLC

"Reactions" Paulina Splechta of Paulina Splechta Birth Photography and Films

"Stretch. Arch. Surrender" by Cat Fancote of Cat Fancote - Capturing Birth