To many, the actual moment of a baby's birth is the most emotional, beautiful, and ultimately human moment that exists in the world. Most would say that no writer can put this experience into words, no musician can put it into song, and no person can adequately explain it. But what about a photographer? It's certainly true that a photo says a thousand words, but of those thousand, are there the appropriate ones to communicate the miracle that is giving birth? 

Recently, The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) held their annual Image of the Year Competition and it's safe to say these portrayals more than adequately capture the moment of and surrounding birth. Winners were selected by a panel of judges, and these photos demonstrate the inexplicably intense but undeniably beautiful nature of bringing life into this world.  

Winning photos were chosen by the quality of technicality, emotionality and composition. Listed below are category winners and additional entries. See what you think of these dynamic, eclectic, and raw images of love.   

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1. "Transition" by Snap Life Photography. 

 Whether they're tears of joy or of pain, they're beautiful. 

2. "Mymmy's Little Doula" by Lacey Barratt Photography. 

When a little girl is about to become a big sister. 

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3. "Support" by Ashton Renee Photography. 

When three people are about to become one. 

4. "Power" by Thistle + Lace Photography. 

This expression honors the strength and determination of mothers everywhere.