02/05/2019 16:26 EST

18 Striking Photos That Capture The Intensity Of Birth

Birth Becomes Her announced its annual photography contest winners.

Birth photographers capture moments of deep intensity and emotion for parents. To celebrate this work, an international community of birth photographers called Birth Becomes Her holds an annual contest honoring labor, delivery and postpartum images.

The organization invited birth photographers around the world to submit images taken in 2018 for the categories of hospital, out of hospital, color, black and white and postpartum. A panel of judges selected three winners in each category and overall winners out of a pool of roughly 1,200 submissions from more than a dozen countries. 

“We are excited to see the contest grow each year, as we believe there is POWER in seeing real and striking images of birth,” the contest organizers wrote in a press release. “The artists who submitted to this contest are incredibly talented and their work makes a huge difference to families in both the local and international community. We hope that this collection changes the public’s perception on birth and reminds us that we have options when birthing our babies.”

Below, find 18 striking photos that capture the raw intensity of birth. To see all the submissions, visit Birth Becomes Her. (Note: Some of these images may be considered NSFW.)

  • Overall Winner
    Overall Winner
    Sadie Wilde Photography
  • Color -- First Place
    Color -- First Place
    Fox Valley Birth and Baby/Mary Nieland
  • Black And White -- First Place
    Black And White -- First Place
    Cat Fancote
  • Postpartum -- First Place
    Postpartum -- First Place
    Photo: Art by Jessica
  • Out Of Hospital -- First Place
    Out Of Hospital -- First Place
    Northern Light Photography/Linnea Geiger
  • Hospital -- First Place
    Hospital -- First Place
    Life and Lens Photograph
  • Overall -- Second Place
    Overall -- Second Place
    Belle Verdiglione Photography
  • Color -- Second Place
    Color -- Second Place
    Kendal Blacker Photography
  • Black And White -- Second Place
    Black And White -- Second Place
    Sashi Hesson, Photographer
  • Postpartum -- Second Place
    Postpartum -- Second Place
    Coastal Lifestyles Photography
  • Out Of Hospital -- Second Place
    Out Of Hospital -- Second Place
    Micah Lynn Birth Stories
  • Hospital -- Second Place
    Hospital -- Second Place
    Marijke Thoen
  • Overall -- Third Place
    Overall -- Third Place
    Toni Nichole Photos
  • Color -- Third Place
    Color -- Third Place
    Chiara Doveri Photography
  • Black And White -- Third Place
    Black And White -- Third Place
    Salt City Birth & Newborn Photography
  • Postpartum -- Third Place
    Postpartum -- Third Place
    Hanna Hill Photography
  • Out Of Hospital -- Third Place
    Out Of Hospital -- Third Place
    Cradled Creations
  • Hospital -- Third Place
    Hospital -- Third Place
    Bree Downe