A photo by Belgian photographer Marijke Thoen was selected by the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) as the most beautiful birth photograph in the world, writesDe Morgen. The annual IAPBP competition celebrates the beauty of birth and the skill of birth photographers around the globe in three categories – labor, delivery and postpartum.
The winning image (pictured), captured by the 38-year-old photographer from Ghent during a water birth eight months ago, was crowned the world’s most beautiful birth photo by a 20-member jury at the fifth edition of the Birth Photography Competition.
While first prize in the competition is €350, Thoen is especially pleased with the recognition, having received compliments from all over the world in languages she can not even identify.
Thoen says she had a feeling it would turn out to be an exceptional photo: “The lighting was perfect, the baby’s head was facing me and there were not too many hands or arms in the way of my camera,” she says in Het Nieuwsblad.