Exploring Five Remarkable Birth Photography Competitions

Let us explore FIVE remarkable birth photography competitions that you could enter as an aspiring birth photographer or check out if you’re a birth worker who loves birth images and wants to follow along.

Birth photography is a captivating and emotional art form that beautifully captures the journey of bringing new life into the world. It is an art that requires immense skill, empathy, and sensitivity to portray the raw and transformative moments experienced during childbirth.

Each year, a few well-known birth photography competitions provide a platform for talented photographers to showcase their uncensored images and celebrate the beauty of birth. In this blog, I will explore five outstanding competitions that highlight this genre of photography. Additionally, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of participating in such competitions.

Over the years at one time or another, I have entered my birth photography work into each of these competitions and have received some awards along the way – I was even a judge once!

Let’s jump in…

ONE: Lacy Barrett’s Birth Photographer of The Year: Lacy Barrett’s competition for me stands out due to its unique live judging format. This dynamic approach allows participants to witness the evaluation process in real time, providing valuable insights and learning opportunities.

By engaging with the judging process, photographers can gain a deeper understanding of what makes a remarkable birth photograph. The transparency of this competition encourages photographers to refine their skills and push the boundaries of their creativity. Here is a link to past live-judging recordings!

TWO: IAPBP (International Association of Professional Birth Photographers): As one of the first competitions dedicated exclusively to birth photography, the IAPBP has played a significant role in establishing and promoting this genre. By participating in this annual competition, photographers can join a supportive community of birth photographers from around the world.

The IAPBP celebrates the diversity of birth experiences and showcases the power of visual storytelling through birth photography. By entering this competition, photographers gain exposure and recognition within the birth photography community. They also have a directory that listed birth photographers worldwide.  Here’s a link to the winners and entries for 2023

THREE: Documentary Family Awards: The Documentary Family Awards not only recognizes birth photography but also highlights the importance of documenting family life in its entirety. By featuring a specific category dedicated to birth, this competition provides a platform to showcase the profound moments surrounding childbirth within the broader context of family narratives.

The live judging process further enhances the educational value and promotes an inclusive perspective on birth photography. Here is a link to the latest winners and entries, including a video

FOUR: Birth Becomes You: Has a remarkable history of hosting birth photography competitions that allow photographers to receive recognition for their outstanding work. They also have an excellent educational section to help new birth photographers on their journey to becoming a birth photographer. Their latest competition (which is currently accepting entries)  is called ShowCase which celebrates what the photographers consider to be their best work.

The competition organised by Birth Becomes You serves as an inspiration for birth photographers worldwide and contributes to the growth and evolution of the genre. Participating can elevate a photographer’s profile and connect them with a global audience. Details of ShowCase are Here!

FIVE: Birth and Beyond Photography Awards: Is based in the Netherlands and was founded in 2019, by photographers from the fields of pregnancy, maternity & newborns. They are 10 photographers from different countries who make up the jury. It also provides a unique opportunity for photographers to showcase their work on a widely accessible social media platform such as Instagram.

With various categories, including Birth, this competition offers a chance to present compelling images to a diverse and engaged audience. The widespread reach of Instagram can lead to increased visibility and potential collaborations with birth professionals and enthusiasts.

While participating in birth photography competitions can be a rewarding experience, it is essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages.


Exposure and Recognition: Competitions offer an opportunity to gain visibility and recognition within the photography community and industry.

Learning and Growth: The judging process provides valuable feedback and insights, fostering artistic growth and skill development.

Community Engagement: Competitions often bring together like-minded individuals, enabling photographers to connect with peers, mentors, and potential clients.

Motivation and Inspiration: Competing alongside talented photographers can inspire creativity and push photographers to enhance their skills.


Subjective Judging: Photography is subjective, and winning or losing depends on the personal taste and preferences of the judges.

Time and Cost: Preparing and submitting entries can be time-consuming and may involve entry fees

Emotional Investment: Rejection or criticism can be disheartening, potentially affecting the photographer’s confidence and motivation. It is important to be prepared for the possibility of not receiving the desired outcome and to manage expectations accordingly.

Rights and Usage: Some competitions may require photographers to relinquish certain rights to their images or allow their work to be used for promotional purposes. It is crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions to ensure the protection of one’s artistic integrity and copyright.

The Conclusion

Participating in birth photography competitions can be a valuable experience for photographers looking to showcase their skills, gain recognition, and connect with a wider audience. Each of the five competitions mentioned above offers unique features, ranging from live judging to social media exposure.

While entering competitions can provide exposure, recognition, and opportunities for growth, photographers must carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages. By understanding the potential benefits and challenges, photographers can make informed decisions and navigate the competitive landscape to further their artistic journey.

Ultimately, these competitions contribute to the continual evolution and appreciation of birth photography as a powerful and emotionally captivating art form. They also help to widely circulate birth images that can be used as an exceptional free educational tool. See my blog “How Looking at Birth Can Actually Help You”

Finally, if you LOVE birth images why not follow each of these Instagram birth photography accounts:

(one more cheeky one – I’m on Instagram and share birth photos: @southwales_birthphotography)

P.S. If you enjoyed this blog or found it helpful consider sharing it 😉