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Birth is a beautiful, natural process for anyone to go through. But between films and filtered Instagram photos, it's impossible to tell what it'll actually look like until you experience it for yourself.
Thankfully, 2021 winners of the world-wide Birth Photography Of The Year (BPOTY) competition have been announced. Each photo is breathtaking in a number of different ways.
The competition runs in collaboration with Atkins Lab, a small-town photography outlet based in Australia.
Lacey Barratt, an award-winning 34-year-old photographer, founded Birth Photographer Of The Year as a way to further legitimise the stunning and intricate art of birth photography.
She's been a 'passionate' birth photographer since her early twenties, and was one of the 14 judges on the panel this year.
Winners have been able to claim a number of prizes in exchange for their incredible entries.
The person in first place is set to win a cool $750 AUS ( £410) , along with a trophy for good measure. Certificates and merit points are also being handed out to people who placed in the top 20.
"We aren't just looking for stunning images", the organisation stated on their website. "But also smart and savvy business people".
"Birth Photographer Of The Year is more than a great photographer", they continue. "This is the pinnacle of our niche".
Winners of this year's prestigious award include doula and maternity photographer Colby Tulachanh, as well as fellow photographer Rianna Cross.
Each photo captures the visceral reality of childbirth - it definitely doesn't involve the gorgeous glowing and dainty screaming a la Bridget Jones or Rachel Green!
Blood, sweat and tears were literally poured into every photo. Congratulations, winners!
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