Birth photographers document babies' entry into the world

Warning: This article contains images that some viewers may find disturbing.

The earliest moments of life make a huge imprint on us, even if we're not aware of it. They have nearly as big an impact on mothers (and fathers), who encounter their babies for the first time outside the womb. 

Capturing the magical moments of arrival and discovery is the mission of a new group of portraitists: birth photographers. Their International Association recently gave awards to the most extraordinary pictures in this genre and we made a selection of our faves:

1. "I hope there won’t be too much traffic…"

2. 1+1 = huge happiness

3. Splash!

 

4. The whole picture…

5. Welcome!

6. He doesn't know he's been born yet…

7. Little fish.

8. Such love.

9. Such joy!

10. Family…

Pictures like this reveal the pain and tenderness of giving birth up close and personal — plus the sheer intensity of the drama. Don't they make you want to thank your mom for going through all that?

Giving life is such an ordeal, and yet such a beautiful, miraculous-seeming superpower: it’s great that these artists have thought to document it! 

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